I asked for a sign that it was time to stop. I needed something to tell me it was time.
Between an extremely kind comment from my aunt (my father's youngest sister), which gave me permission to stop pumping, and the fact that my sweet LBZ has tolerated whole cow's milk since yesterday morning, I believe I am done pumping.
I pumped only about 4 ounces this morning, and while I felt the familiar need to pump, I easily could have gone without. I wanted to remember the last time I pumped. I wanted to cherish it, as I was unable to cherish our last nursing session since I didn't know it was our last. I wanted to remember it, so I pumped, knowing it was likely going to be my last.
I've tried to introduce cow's milk to LBZ, but he either became very crabby, or woke up a lot that night, or did something similar to make me think the milk might have contributed. He has now had all breastmilk/cow's milk bottles since yesterday morning and has displayed no symptoms that it's not agreeing with him.
I now feel comfortable stopping pumping. I have about 100 or so ounces in the basement that I will continue to give him over the next few weeks, as long as it lasts. Here's the last of it, which I just poured into a bottle for his night time bottle.
Thank you, aunt Robin, for telling me it is ok to stop. I didn't realize that I needed to give myself permission to stop, but I did. I needed to know it was ok to stop, and your sweet comment helped me do that. So thank you!
And thanks to everyone else who sent me positive thoughts and love as I went through the end of this phase of motherhood. I think I will always mourn the way our nursing relationship ended, but I can feel really good and proud of myself for continuing to provide this milk to him well into his second year.
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." ~Winston Churchill