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Mixed Emotions

29 Feb

Meia turns a year this coming Saturday. Wow. Whoever said that the days are long and the years are fast was correct. There were times when I just wanted the day to end so I can start fresh – a day without leaking diapers, witching hours, and bottle wars. And yet, here we are. One year gone and I honestly don’t know where it went.

When Meia was born, I promised myself that I’d stop breastfeeding when she turned a year old. I needed to get my life back, I thought. So for one year, I turned down most (if not all) invitations to hang out with friends unless (i) I could be home in 2-3 hours’ time (I really wasn’t comfortable pumping in a bathroom, and as far as I know, only Eastwood Mall has a decent breastfeeding room), or (ii) they were held in my house. I haven’t had a sip of coffee or caffeinated tea (or milk tea for that matter) or eaten anything coffee flavored since I learned I was pregnant. Exercise went out the window as it adversely affected my milk supply. Malunggay became my go to vegetable/vitamin. My pumping kit was my constant companion.

My sacrifice paid off. I am proud to say that Meia is still exclusively breastfed – almost 12 months in and yet she has never tasted formula (not that there’s anything wrong with formula). Four months in my breastfeeding journey, I had to buy a chest freezer since we needed more space to store my frozen milk. Less than two months later, I had to start donating since 4 cubic feet wasn’t enough to keep my milk stash.

At first, I pumped every 2 hours. When I went back to work, I moved it to every 3 hours. Sometime December or January, I decided to space my pumping time further apart to every 4 hours, then 5, and now 6. My milk supply has of course decreased as a result — I just found out that the yaya had to defrost milk for the first time in months today. And I don’t know how I feel about that.

On the one hand, I know that I had given my little bear the recommended one year’s supply of breastmilk (I have enough stash to last until her birthday) and that I can now transition her to cow’s milk. At the same time, I find myself reaching for another lactation cookie (my third today) that my friend, the Marshmallow Mama, generously provided me last Sunday, hoping that it will do its magic and that the yaya won’t have to defrost milk tomorrow.

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