With X turning one year old two days’ ago, it was time to move on to formula milk.
It was a bittersweet decision. First, I felt sad that I was selfish to stop providing him breastmilk. Second, I looked forward to liberation and that the medela breast pump would finally stop being my critical life support.
Using formula milk would be so much more convenient especially for travelling. At the moment, I had to express milk 5 times a day – 930am, 130pm, 530pm, 11pm and 4am. Trust me, when I was sick or extremely tired from the lack of sleep, I really wanted to stop breastfeeding. However, I held out because I had persisted during Z’s time. Z was also only introduced to formula milk after one year old and fully transited out of breastmilk by 15 months’ old.
Breastfeeding was, honestly speaking, hard work. How many times had I expressed milk till I nearly fell off the chair? How many times had I nodded off? Countless.
However, it had become such a natural duty that we just continued. It felt like the default choice of beverage was only breastmilk.
Of course, I acknowledged the benefits of breastmilk.
Most importantly, I had an unsung hero – Mr H. For both rounds, Mr H was the amazing spouse who helped to wash, sterilise and assemble my breastfeeding equipment. That really eased the entire operations of breastfeeding.
I spent approximately 30min per session and that meant I spent 2.5 hours a day to express milk. If you counted the waking hours, 2.5hours easily constituted 15-20% of my day. It really helped to have readily assembled parts for use.
It would not be practical for me to continue but I guessed Mother Nature’s really knew how to guilt-trip nursing mothers.