My ode to weaning:
About a month ago, in midst of all the "Share Your Holidays" chaos, I realized that I didn't have time to pump twice a day. Work was so crazy that my second pumping was occuring later and later until it finally started happening at home without too much discomfort. Now the flip side of having less breast milk is that you need more formula to keep the babe happily sucking all day long. I'm convinced that baby formula possibly has flecks of gold or crack cocaine inside for the prices that they are charging for it. "DHA & ARA enhanced" my ass. Let's just call it what it is - a rip off. See, as a favorite comic once said, "They f**k you in the drive through because they know that they've got you. No one ever turns around, goes back through the drive through to tell them that they got your order wrong. NO. You just let them f**k you and you eat your fish sandwich that you didn't order."
The same is true for formula manufacturers. You can't feed (well....you can, but it might produce some pretty hectic gas followed by poop) a newborn anything other than formula. You are forced to suck it up and pay whatever price they are charging for the stuff.
When Zac was four days old I went to WIC to meet with a lactation consultant, for help with nursing. Zac wouldn't latch on and my breasts were engorged and painful. I had a hard time even sitting upright after my C-section, let alone trying to juggle a squimish, sobbing, hungry baby. They told me about this program that they had for nursing mothers who are going back to work. At six weeks, I could get a double electric breast pump - for free! Yeah! I could pump until my heart's content!! I just had to sign this little document "promising" that I would 100% breast feed. When the document was handed to me, I might have sold my second born (my first is too cute) for a breast pump. I'm not even sure that I glanced at it before signing away my right to choose the best feeding options for my baby and I.
Fast forward five months. I don't have time to pump and I'm using more and more formula each day. Zac also went on a "nursing strike" (just exercising his rights) around the same time. He refused to take the boob. Seems like a natural weaning process to me, from everything that I've experienced and read about. I go back to my friendly WIC office to tell them that I want to stop breastfeeding (the horror!!) and get formula assistance. The receptionist yelled at me for not calling before had to tell them this news. I didn't even tell the FOB, why would I tell a government agency about the current status of my boobs? Then, I go into see the nutritionist, who literally holds up the document that I signed and starts screaming: "You promised to breastfeed! We asked you all of these questions about work and school to see if you have enough time to pump during the day. YOU PROMISED! If you only pump twice a day your breasts are going to dry up and there will be nothing left for the baby (this is where I start crying)." I say that the baby is five months old and how long did they really expect that I would do this for? Until he graduated high school? Until I reached menopause?
I left that office feeling like the lowest form of mother and human. I questioned why I would give my baby chemical formula when perfectly natural milk flows freely (sometimes) out of me, besides that fact that I can't afford to put him on formula. On my way out, the receptionist saw that I was crying and told me that I could get formula assistance, as long as I brought the pump back. No one had ever told me that they would need the milk-encrusted pump back! I'll happy give the pump back, once I've weaned. Stopping cold turkey would cause some serious health problems for me and most likely upset Zac. So, I've been trying to wean during the day so I can shove the blasted WIC pump up the government's ass.