Decisions Equal a New Chapter

It is that time again. That time where pain fills my heart as I make a decision that hurts me. Again. I think back to one year ago when I had to give up breastfeeding. It still hurts. I can't even explain why. I'm in that position again. The guilt swallows me up. Who knew it would be this hard?
I have decided to stop expressing breast milk for my son. I have been exclusively expressing for thirteen months now. I think that's a brilliant achievement. 

I have come to that point where my life is getting a little uneasy; when my son was a tiny baby I could put him down in his Moses basket while I pumped and that was that while I watched over him. Now, due to the fascination he has with my pump, he climbs all over me, spills my milk and makes the whole experience pretty stressful. But that's not my only reason. There are so many reasons, but they all feel so selfish. I have put my son first for thirteen months, it's hard to change that. I could stop expressing in two years, three years even, but I think the guilt is going to haunt me whenever I make that decision anyway.

I'd love an alcoholic drink known again, well actually, I'd like two or three. More than I should have while I'm feeding. I would like time to study without having to pump every two hours in between. I'd like to go out for the day, without worrying about full breasts and having enough milk out with me for my son. I can't imagine how easy it would be to just grab some milk from the shops. I can imagine spending the time I spend pumping just playing with my little boy, these young years will go so quickly. Again, I have so many reasons for my decision, yet I hate them all.

I shouldn't have to give my reasons to myself, but I feel like I do have too. I feel bad. I feel sick. I feel guilty. Mainly because he won't be getting my antibodies anymore. Am I going to hate myself everytime he gets a cold that I feel I could have prevented? I'm excited too though, I'm looking forward to this new chapter in our lives, our beautiful journey together. 

But should I be feeding for longer? Am I going to feel this way forever, or just a little while? How long will I feed my next child? Should I compare? Why does it hurt so much?

Before I had a child I hardly experienced emotions. Not strong meaningful emotions like these. I'm sure I will have many more to come as my boy gets older, as I make hard decisions. But how do you make choices like this? Do you weigh up the odds? 

It is going to take me a few more months to gradually wean my body from expressing anyway, so it isn't as final as it feels. I think I am making the right choice for my boy, myself and my family. Who knows? I hope I can eventually, one day, shrug off this guilt.

Boneata Bell

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