Week 1: Why, oh why, can’t I just get this kid to breastfeed?!? This is not what I thought it would be. I am an inferior Mother! Why am I getting so emotional over breast milk?
Month 1: Okay. No big deal. I’m getting the hang of this pumping thing. Thank God my milk finally came in and my nipples stopped bleeding. For at least three months, I can do this!
Month 2: There is NO WAY I can keep this up! Sleep while the baby is sleeping? HA! I’ve got bottles to wash and pump parts to clean and at least eight pumping sessions to fit in my day. Middle of the night pumps? Do I HAVE to? Ugh. How will I ever power through this? Will I ever sleep again?
Month 3: I’m so glad I powered through this. I can do this for three more months. Hooray for my supply being established and being able to drop down to six pumps per day. Maybe it will be easier to fit pumps in at my supportive workplace than in my crazy home. If only I could just breastfeed at home. Why, oh why, couldn’t I ever get this kid to breastfeed? I am an inferior Mother.
Month 4: This is nearly impossible to fit into my busy day. How will I be able to do this for two more months? Can I quit already?
Month 5: Well…if I’ve made it through pumping with the stomach flu, I must be more dedicated than I thought.
Month 6: Has it really been six months already? I guess I’ll aim for a year.
Month 7: I just want to sleep through the entire night, JUST ONCE, without waking up to pump. Is that so much to ask?
Month 8: Hello, skinny jeans! I’ve missed you these past few years!
Month 9: Why do people think it’s weird that I’m still pumping? My little man loves his Mommy’s milk. Giving this up might be harder for me than I thought…
Month 10: Pumping = automatic part of life.
Month 11: Hmmm, I guess I should start figuring out how I’m supposed to wean.
Month 12: Has a year really gone by already? I can’t believe I made it this far. Maybe I’m not an inferior Mother after all. This is a little bit sad for me. Why am I getting so emotional over breast milk?
Megan Brooks is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources, Stepmom to a 12-year-old, and Mom to an almost 12-month-old who she provided breastmilk to for an entire year via pumping exclusively.