I have reached a critical juncture. My kids turn 1 year old in less than a month. I have 1 breastmilk storage bag left. I have no plan in place for calling it quits with the pump, or introducing cows milk. When I go to the store this weekend, I don't know if I should be buying organic whole milk, or more storage bags. Here are my jumbled, disorganized bullety thoughts on the matter. I would love to hear from all of you out there (especially the moms who work out of the home) to find out how you dealt with the one year mark and the expectation that your kids would start on cows milk!
*I am pretty sure my kids are not ready to stop nursing. The boob is my secret weapon. It never fails to calm them when they are fussy. They nurse to sleep every night. I don't usually tandem nurse, so I love having individual time with each baby when they're nursing. If I stop pumping during the day, I am worried that my production will drop too much to meet their needs.
*Part of me is really eager to be done with lugging the stupid pump everywhere. I am tired of dealing with cleaning all of the little bottles and pump parts. I am tired of needing to pump 28 oz a day so my kids will have enough for daycare. My production levels are such that it is not always easy for me to nurse them as much as they want and pump 28 oz. Sometimes it feels like a lot of pressure, and it would be nice to be done with that.
*I think the nursing sometimes hurts Elizabeth. She refers to herself as "toxic nighttime mommy" because when they wake up in the middle of the night they only want to nurse. They cry and twist and roll and struggle to escape her and get to the boob.
*I worry that it is "weird" to continue sending pumped milk to daycare once they've hit 1 year. If I will need to pump to keep up a supply to nurse when I am home, what do I do with all of that milk? Pump and dump? Donate?
*Sometimes I get really crazy, and think that I'd like to keep pumping to build a huge freezer stash for baby #3 which Elizabeth would carry. And so I could also nurse #3, so I don't also become "toxic nighttime mama". Problem is, we're at least 1 year off from even trying for #3. It's crazy to think about doing this, right?
EDITED TO ADD- I know I can only store milk in the freezer for 1 year max. I was thinking of trying to pump for my kids (or pump and dump, or donate) until we're at a point that I could freeze for #3. But I think I'd lose my mind if I had to pump that long.
2 weeks ago