Tag Archives: extended breast feeding

A Farewell to Nursies

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This photo might cause a letdown. Proceed with caution.

The time has come, and I am no longer a nursing mother. Just like that.

My breasts have been in full production mode for more than three years, and though I had never nursed a child for my previous 36 years of life, this had become such a deep part of my identity that I almost feel like I’ve lost a bit of myself.

But I’ve also gained. No longer obligated to wear a nursing bra, I might be able to have one that actually fits me now. (No one ever talks about this, but apparently nursing bra designers think that only women with large ta-tas breast feed. I am here to advocate for all of the Bs out there, we need bras too! I digress…)

Dresses and shirts that promise no easy access will now be worn again!

My body is my own again, I can eat and drink what I choose, and apply topical creams at will!

So I guess as with all things in motherhood, we trade one phase for another, full of ambivalence. While every step toward independence brings some degree of relief, it also forces us to realize that our children need us just a little less.

This is as painful as it is glorious.

No one ever said that motherhood wasn’t heartbreak and joy in equal measure, but this, this one is difficult. It’s final. The last two times I nursed my little Lila Jane, I was reminded WHY I WANTED TO WEAN.* In all caps.

In December, Sugarpie weaned completely (Yes, she was almost three). Two months ago, I cut Little Sugar’s sessions back to mid morning and early evening. Two times a day, that was it. Surprisingly quickly, she would go all day and not ask for it. I went with it, but wondered if I was really ready for this. A missed session turned into a missed day, then a few, then a week. Here we are.

But I didn’t want to let go, even though it had become unbearable in the most compelling way. I thought, the last time should bring that feeling of peace, love and oxytocin. But it didn’t. My body was done, even if my girl wasn’t. That much had been proven. So I tuned out the irritation, looked into her beautiful big eyes one last time and knew that this was it.

Now, onward we go. I am no longer a nursing mother. I am no longer the mother of a baby. Before I know it, I will no longer be the mother of toddlers, I will be the mother of school-age children, then teenagers, and so on.

But I am so lucky, because I still get to be their mother.

So to my no-longer-nurslings Georgia and Lila: let’s celebrate this new phase. I have grown you in my body, fed you from my body.

We will always be connected in a way that is profound beyond comprehension and because of you, it is lovely beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

 

*Nursing agitation, it’s a thing. Read about it here.

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35 Weeks Pregnant: “Still” Breastfeeding, Getting Close, Advice Welcome

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Well here we go again, TMI Tuesday.

Bullet point blogging:

*As of last week, I am officially already at the weight I was when Georgia was born. Oops!

*I thought I had life-threatening tumors in my thighs, but it turns out they are just varicose veins that you can’t see yet. Yay.

*Sugarpie will be 18 months old tomorrow, and yes I am “still” breastfeeding.

*Baby Girl #2 is a little over 5 pounds right now. This is smallish, but not worrisome.

*I have a few of glasses of wine a week. (No more than one in a day, people) Yes, it IS ok.

*Baby Girl #2 is stubbornly in a breech position one minute and transverse in the next. She flip-flops A LOT. I have been doing all kinds of weird things to get her to turn. (Will elaborate later) Mamma don’t want no c-section!

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Can you make out the sweet baby face? She’s sticking her tongue out.

*UPDATE: At our ultrasound yesterday, she had turned head-down and seems to be there still today! What worked? All of that hanging upside down from the couch?

*I am almost a centimeter dilated. Nice to arrive at the party prepared, no?

*I am now taking advice on how to keep a 19 month-old from wanting to banish her newborn sister from her kingdom.

Home Birth vs Hospital…can’t we all just get along?

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Anyone see this article in the New York Times today? It’s a profile on Ina May Gaskin, the woman responsible for bringing midwifery and home birthing back into the lives of modern American women. The comment thread has me thinking about how some (not all!) of us treat one another when faced with women who make choices that are different from our own. This is particularly true when it comes to parenting.

Between breastfeeding vs formula and natural vs medicated births, it seems that the opportunities for women to judge each other are endless. The war on women’s health that is being perpetuated by (mostly male) politicians is so egregious that we need support within our ranks, not antagonism.

With the recent public dialogue about breastfeeding into toddlerhood, we’ve seen how we might not always have each other’s backs when it comes to parenting and the choices we make.

When I was pregnant I had a conversation with a lady about whether or not I would have an epidural. I said, “I’ll go as far as I can, then we’re plugging in.” She responded, “No! It’s such a wonderful experience. Be brave!”

Be brave?! Those last two words were exactly the amount of judgement that I DID NOT NEED. So I’m a coward? It was innocent enough, but her words stuck with me. Like gum on my shoe. I didn’t ask for her opinion, or her birth story.

Are you “mom enough” to give birth with no pain meds?

Are you “mom enough” to make breast feeding work?

Are you “mom enough” to stay home with your kids?

Instead of posing these types of divisive questions with their implicit judgement, we should ask ourselves if we’re “woman enough” to look at our fellow mothers with kindness (not condescension/disdain) and know that no matter what our choices are, we all love our babies, and we’re all doing our best.