Thanks, friends. Your encouragement means a lot as does your solidarity. Instead of responding to all of your comments with multiple ones, I decided I'd just write another post. My original post started as a way to celebrate the fact that I'd successfully breastfed my little bundle for 8 months and to talk honestly about what that means for me. I hope that it wasn't too terribly negative. I don't really worry about leaking or hate pumping (in fact, pumping gives me an excuse to check my e-mail or post a blog...uh-um). But, breastfeeding is a big commitment. And, I do have to wear breast pads when I leave the house (just in case) and carry bottles of milk home from school everyday. I was warned about how painful it would be and how you need to be patient with yourself and your baby and how your baby would nurse every 2 hours at the beginning, etc., but I failed to put two and two together. So, thanks for letting me "talk it out."
Sometimes motherhood is just so isolating, at least the stressful and/or frustrating parts of it can be. I often feel compelled to only share the good stuff as if by sharing something that I struggle with I'm being a bad mother. Or, that I'm a failure or selfish or whatever. I was talking with a fellow mother on Friday and we concluded that these feelings often come with the territory, but we're hoping they're not inevitable. We discovered that talking about our experiences, both exciting and challenging, was incredibly life giving. It means a lot to know you're not alone. Plus, it's easier not to be self-deprecating when someone you consider a wonderful mother, sister, friend, and minister is experiencing the same things. So, thanks for letting me share (and for sharing yourselves).
I love being a mother, but I'm realizing more and more that it's a commitment much like marriage. I love Cady, but sometimes that love is not a mushy-gushy thing, but a commitment thing. Breastfeeding in the middle of the night is rarely our greatest bonding moment; I do it because I love her - because I'm committed to her. And, that, I'm learning, is okay.
Oh, and Christy, if I'd lost 60 ounces, I think I would have cried too. I had to pour out about 3 that I found in the fridge last night and that was painful enough!
P.S. Susie, I'm certainly glad that you don't breastfeed your 64 children (though that would be impressive and I wouldn't judge your motherly intuition)!