It seems fitting that I have finally gotten around to writing about stopping pumping one month from when the process began.
Exactly a month ago, I wrote a post about how I was having trouble letting go, even though our pediatrician had given us the green light to give the boys cows milk. It was as if I needed to put that out there for the universe to hear, because that very day things changed.
That was the day we ended up rushing the boys to emerg for their spiked temps and they had ear infections and pneumonia. Because we spent so many hours there, I not only missed a pump, but missed doses of my meds. I took that as a sign that should be the day to start weaning, so indeed, it was.
I stopped the meds cold turkey. Afterwards, I remembered that my GP had warned me not to stop all at once because it would decrease my milk supply substantially. She wasn't joking! I thought this was a grrrrrreat thing at the time because I wanted this over with quickly, but little did I know the havoc it would wreak. Essentially, within a day, I was left with 15-20% of the milk production I had just 24 hours before. This process of weaning that I thought would take weeks was to be over in no time!
Eight days - that was all it would take. To go from pumping 1800 ml (60 oz or over 7 cups) per day, to not pumping at all. My Christmas present to myself was pumping for the last time on Christmas day. Easy peasy - haaaa, right! When you think things are too good to be true, they usually are.
About 10 days after I stopped pumping, I woke in the night in extreme pain. Extreeeeeeme pain, like I considered getting out the hard drugs I had left over from my c-section. Not engorgement, just shooting pain. I also felt like I had been hit like a truck. I went from being completely fine to knocking on mastitis' doorstep. It wasn't good. I took good care of myself that day, laying down and resting as much as possible (with three kids and Jordan at work), alternating tylenol and advil all day and night, and using hot compresses as much as possible. For several days I kept this up and within about a week it was gone.
When again I thought the process was over, I realized it was not. Physically, my body was done pumping, but the hormones were mental. I think quitting the meds had something to do with it, but producing milk for that long and then just stopping - whoa. Not pretty for the sanity. This didn't happen to me with Rio, but I also weaned her a lot more slowly so I don't think it had the same effect.
Finally now, exactly a month later, I think it's fair to say things are back to normal, and pumping is completely behind me - both for my body and mind. Freedom, almost 15 months later. It's lovely :)