There is good news. My last ditch effort to increase my pumping output--which was switching out my pump's membranes--worked.. at least sort of. Now instead of pumping three times a day for 4 oz. total, I am pumping twice a day for about 7-8 oz. Still small, but somehow less soul crushing. I could pump three times a day, but at this point, it takes me between 30-40 minutes just to get those 3.5 ounces per session. I decided that I'm calling it. I'm officially pump weaning, and I will stick with two a day until I drop to once in a couple weeks.
So, math: Between pumping, my freezer stash, and the amount of time I plan to be home with Em over the next few weeks, my revised goal is to make it to the week of July 15, at which point we will begin supplementing with whole milk. She'll be two and a half weeks shy of her first birthday, and despite the minor baby Internet forum hysteria about introducing whole milk before your baby has logged 365 days outside of the womb, we have decided that it is somewhat ridiculous to transition from breastmilk to formula to whole milk to cover what amounts to eight daycare feedings.
Yesterday, Em and I had a playdate with @ and another friend of ours who has a two-year-old son and a newborn daughter.. After relaying my current pumping predicament, our BTDT mom friend said something along the lines of:
Breastfeeding is a contract between mom and baby. The terms can be renegotiated or the contract can be terminated if it is no longer working for mom or baby or both.YES. THIS. SANITY.
Sometimes you just hear the thing you need to hear.
Here's the thing: No matter how much we do for our babes, we moms tend to be pretty hard on ourselves and what we should do. And there's so much noise. Here's a tip for any moms-to-be out there: Step away from the Internet forums. Find some moms you trust IRL (in real life). Moms who have a balanced perspective about all this. Moms who will not judge you for making the tough decisions you need to make, not just for your baby, but for your family and yourself.