Yesterday was the first day since June 19, 2008 that I walked into work without my pump. It was an odd but freeing feeling. My shoulders felt light and unencumbered. While I don't miss pumping once or twice a day, it's strange to look at the clock and not have to calculate when I need to get up and head to the handicapped bathroom (yep, that's where I did it...beats the chilly computer room where another girl did it) with my pump, my cooler of milk, and my little doorknob sign so no one stood around waiting for the bathroom while I pumped. It was a strange existence living like that for almost a year, but in the end it was worth it.
Then last night I didn't have to wash my pump parts. That was fantastic. In addition, Jacob's down to only two bottles a day at day care. Not that he drinks out of them...they're really just an easy way to measure and send milk. So, that part of my evening was much easier. However, with all of the little containers that I cook and send his food in, my dishwashing is brutal. Still working on that dishwasher, too. Ugh. But I definitely do not miss the pump parts. Every day. I can't put my pump away for good, though. Craig and I are planning a night away this weekend and I will need to pump once then. I'm still not sure what to do with the milk. Seems a waste to toss what may be the last of my milk that I see for a long time, but carting it around with us the rest of the weekend could get complicated. Maybe I'll just use it in a sippy cup on Saturday and get it out of the way.
The thing that struck me funny last night was that I'm not sure how I'm going to officially end all of this. It's at a nice, low-maintenance point right now so there isn't much reason to stop. The only motivating factors right now are: 1) Potentially less prep time before Jacob goes to bed, though the feeding might get replaced by story time or cuddle time, if he'll sit still long enough; 2) Not wanting to take my pump with me if I'll be away from Jacob overnight; 3) Getting him out of the pre-bedtime feeding habit (and the breastfeeding habit in general) before he can tell me he wants it or just can't live without it. Yikes. I'd also like to get back on regular birth control at some point, just because it's more reliable.
But actually taking that last step to do a final feeding is a big one. I'm just not sure how to do it. I definitely think it will be sad. I keep hoping I'll know when the moment's right, but I don't want to keep thinking that way just waiting for it to happen...because it might never seem right. Or maybe I won't even realize the last feeding is the last one as it's happening, and I'll be sad that I never got to officially say goodbye to the whole experience. Is that weird? I thought about that sort of thing when I sat in the chair in Jacob's room during those many middle of the night feedings...that at some point I would do the last night feeding and I probably wouldn't know it was the last one. It's been ages since I've had to do that, and sure enough, I don't know when the last one was. Not that it's that important, but that alone was a big step. It's such a huge bonding thing and it's been part of our relationship since about a half hour after he was born, so officially moving past that phase (and never going back) just seems like a BIG thing to really, truly be done with it. And I definitely think I'll have a hard time giving it up. Maybe he will too. I guess I'll have to get creative and find ways to ease out of it...for both of our sakes.
In other news, not much new to report. Jacob is active as ever, and is even starting to climb a bit. A couple times he's been caught leaning over a piece of furniture with his feet off the ground, so I'm already fearing what our little daredevil will get into. No walking yet, though he's getting good at pushing things and walking behind them. He definitely seems to be getting more of a personality, with some interesting new noises and faces lately. Nothing specific, but just stuff I never saw him do before. The babbling is really getting cute at times....still no "Mama", though. He's still not a fan of eating unless it's mac and cheese, chicken, veggie dogs, or fruit. We're tempted to try moving him out of his high chair and into his booster to see if he's just got a negative association with the high chair at home. Seems like we're grasping at straws, but if anything will get him to eat better, that would be awesome. He's taken to throwing food a lot, but I'm not sure if that's a commentary on the food itself, or his desire to eat, or if he just likes throwing balls so much that he wants to throw all the time. It's a little frustrating, though. Still, when he's happy he's amazing to be around. He laughs a lot and gives those killer smiles all the time. Irresistable. I'll hopefully post some new pictures soon...