I got a FULL night's sleep for the first time since Nolan was born. And it happened LAST night. He's been sleeping through the night for a couple of weeks now, but occasionally he'd wake up wanting his paci or a quick "Shh" back to sleep. Or I'd instinctively wake up because of the internal clock I'd created with my consistent 3 a.m. pumping session. Or all three combined. But...a happy 3-month birthday to me. It's a little bittersweet because I thought for sure I wouldn't celebrate such an accomplishment until much later in our little man's life. Maybe 9, 10, or 12 months down the road. I mean, I'll breastfeed until he's one year old, right? Wrong. Ok, then I'll pump for that long! Nope...wrong again.
So, here's where we're at:
I was ready to be an exclusive pumper. I was truly emotionally and physically committed to take on such a crazy, consuming lifestyle. And for a season, it was wonderful. Just what we needed, and it totally worked for our family. But shortly after our last trip to hometown, my milk supply dropped drastically. I kept on, thinking maybe I was just in a slump, hoping the amount of milk I had been producing would come back. But, sadly, it didn't. Can I confess something, though? I surprised myself at just how "not sad" I actually was. And am. I have been incredibly encouraged by friend after friend, woman after woman, at what an incredible thing it is to take on pumping exclusively.
But y'all. It was no joke.
Having done a little of everything, I need to say something. Because whether you breastfeed, pump, or give your little one formula from a bottle, each is a comMITment and a beautifully humbling thing in and of itself.
To you breastfeeders:
What an accomplishment. And I truly applaud you and commend your perseverance if your experience was anything like mine. You are my hero (and you know who you are)! And if it came incredibly natural for you, AMAZING. If I get to have another go at it, please teach me your ways! What an irreplaceable gift you have with your sweet baby.
To you pumpers:
Whether you pump from time-to-time or exclusively, like I tried, it's HARD. May you have 10-20 minutes of "you time" every now and again to relish in and soak up as you provide for that babe in a unique way. And try lighting a yummy-scented candle next to your pumping station. That helped me relax a lot :). Multi-tasking has never looked so cray-cray, has it?
And to my fellow formula-feeders:
WhatEVER may have brought you to this point. Whether you decided to do it from the get-go or gradually made your way to this place...welcome. Having been an exclusively formula-fed baby myself, I have no problem settling right where we're at. I really wanted to try breast milk because, hey, let's be real. It's free, readily available, and super nutritious for that growing baby. But I always knew in the back of my mind that formula was an option too and found comfort in that if (and when) my breast milk just didn't suffice. Even if my sweet hubby had to remind me so (xoxo).
I have been discouraged (by myself mostly) and encouraged throughout this three-month feeding journey. And what a journey it has been. I am SO thankful for the time I got to breastfeed AND, yes, even pump. I see it as just one way I provided for our boy and, in a sense, for our family. I began the process of weaning off the pump. I'm down to one pitiful pumping session per day, and it won't be long before I won't do it at all.
Why go into all of this blabbing about how I feed, or don't feed, my child you may ask? Because this blog is for my family, especially for Nolan, to know and remember our journey through parenthood. The highs and the lows. And in this season, at this very moment, I need to be reminded of the fact that my identity is not in how I feed my child or anything else I will try to measure my worth up to. But in Jesus alone.
A sweet, breast-feeding, rockstar of a friend put it this way:
"Just remember, there's NO shame when the milk runs out. Let your body give what it can give and then call it an incredible WIN for you and Nolan."
We won, buddy boy. We won.
And Lord, time and time again, you. have. been. faithful.
I want our family to remember that always.
Now for the three-month update on our growing, silly little man:
Halloween happened this month! We dressed you as a very last-minute hunter.
You love to mimic the faces Daddy makes. You're super close to laughter.
Cloth diapers fit you much better this month, and we're finally getting the hang of them. Mommy LOVES them.
Football holds your attention unlike anything else.
As previously mentioned, you've started sleeping through the night!
You talk so much and have so much to say. One day we'll understand you :).
You are a professional drooler and bubble maker.
You stayed in the nursery for the first time this past Sunday with our Eden Village Church family. They told me you behaved yourself ;).
You love to swing.
You like to nap in your Boppy Lounger on Mommy and Daddy's bed with our comforter as your blanket.
You absolutely positively adore your little play gym mat thing. I think you talk to those hanging animals more than Daddy and me combined.
You received your first UGA attire. Go Dawgs!
You met more aunts and uncles at our most recent visit to hometown.
And you celebrated your very first Thanksgiving. We stayed here, in Savannah, and celebrated with close friends/family.
Happy three months, Nolan.
Thanks for still bearing with us, son.