Being OK with being done

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This week I stopped breastfeeding my baby.

I know what you might be thinking–I thought you were supposed to breastfeed until your kid was at least one.

Sure, that’s what “they” say, but that’s not what I decided to do.

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You may remember it took Judge and me a little time to figure the whole breastfeeding thing out. When he finally got it down, he was happy as a clam and very well fed. Then I went back to work and implemented my pumping routine–two to three times a day, usually for 30 minutes at a time. I typically┬áspent the time working. (Thank YOU, hands-free pumping kit!)

I went on several trips and continued to pump, even during a week-and-a-half long trip to Europe. (Of all of the interesting places I pumped while there, the bathroom of our train from Prague to Berlin probably takes the cake. Did I mention that my “seat” during that train ride was on top of my suitcase right outside the bathroom?)

My baby still generally┬ádigs breastfeeding, but he’s gotten pretty impatient. The boob isn’t as fast as the bottle, which he can now expertly grasp between his little hands. He sometimes gets frustrated at the beginning of a breastfeeding session and pulls his head away, not staying on long enough to get things moving. (Moms, you know what I mean.) There have even been some nights when I’ve had to use the manual pump to assist or even given up and prepared a bottle instead. And if I get stressed or anxious, that just makes it more difficult.

I want my baby to be happy and well fed. He’s eating pretty much every solid food I put in front of him, baby-led weaning style, and he has about eight teeth and is just about to turn nine months old. EIGHT TEETH.

This month, I’ll be traveling to New Orleans, New York City and Portland, and the thought of spending that much time away from Judge and working in pumping sessions on the go is just a little overwhelming.

The hubs says that Judge gets anxious when I do–I hadn’t even noticed, but why would I in the middle of being anxious?

In the end, moving to formula full time just makes more sense for us.

And you know what I think? That doesn’t make me a bad mom. It makes me a mom who decides what’s best for her family.

The pang of guilt I initially felt when I made the call has nearly gone away, and I thought that sharing my decision might kill it once and for all.

Because guess what?

Choosing to stop breastfeeding isn’t something I should be ashamed about. And if you stopped breastfeeding your kid at nine months like me or nine days because that’s what was best for your family, that’s FINE. You didn’t fail. And you shouldn’t be meant to feel like you did.

So stop reading things on the internet. That’s my best–and most contradictory–advice for you.

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