It's funny how feelings can change in just a few days. Today, I'm feeling like I took a step backwards in the grieving process. As my final days of pumping approach, I find myself holding on and afraid of letting go. Seeing Mila's milk every day, writing her name on each bag every single day throughout the day has been so sweet & so special. I'll never get to fill out a form for Mila & write her name down on it. This is it. This is all I've had. These milk bags have been my only opportunity. I love writing her name down. I love that I think about her multiple times throughout the day. I don't want to stop thinking about her. I don't want "out of sight, out of mind", but I know that's how it's going to be. And I know that that's ok & probably even necessary. I'm feeling that all-too-familiar tension between life & death all over again. I want to choose joy and rejoice in life, but when I place myself back in that hospital corridor or back at that grave shoveling dirt over my daughter's coffin, I'm a complete mess.
As I see the milk come out of my body, I feel somehow connected to her. I guess because breastfeeding is a continuation of pregnancy, so pumping Mila's milk has felt like a continuation of her. I don't want that connection to end. I don't want to cut off this last piece of her that I have. After this, it really will just be memories. A vapor of vanishing memories. But this milk is tangible. I want something tangible. I want to physically feel her, and this pumping has become that for me.
My pumping days are coming to an end, and it is really such a bittersweet thing. I have felt so connected to my Mila while pumping the milk that she should have been drinking. I don't want to let go of that, but I know I have to put an end to it one day. My pump rental expires next week, I am running out of bags, and her due date is next week, too, so the timing just seems to be right. It has been such a joy to be able to donate Mila's milk to those 3 precious babies we found as recipients. It has been so sweet for me to daily write her name down on each bag.