Lola on nursing.

I can’t believe it’s almost been a year.  A whole year.

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I have been nursing Poppsyeed for more than 11 months.  It’s just nuts.

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I know I’ve said all of this on my blog before, but it was hard at first.  Really hard.  I wanted to quit at 3 days.  I wanted to quit at 1 week.  I wanted to quit at 2 weeks.  I seriously considered quitting at 3 weeks.  Okay, that’s not true. I never really considered quitting.  I guess I just wished it didn’t have to suck.  I just kept telling myself, “If I did it today, I can do it again tomorrow….”  I’ll always remember feeling so uncertain and being so terribly afraid that she would not get enough milk.  I kept an app on my phone and timed how long I nursed her, and I actually averaged between 5-6 hours a DAY just nursing in the first 3 weeks.  It was hard.  Why do I type all of this on a public blog?  Because back then I was stuck in a recliner with a baby attached to me for weeks, and I didn’t have anything better to do than read blogs and books about breastfeeding.

So if you are stuck with a baby on your chest right now, hey, I’ve been there Sister, and I feel ya.  But keep calm and carry on, it’s gonna get better.

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And now… it’s been 11 months.  I don’t remember when it got “easy.”  I’d say that it just got a little easier every week.  It wasn’t too many weeks before I started to see the benefits.  Our first good signs were simple.  She just gained weight, and that made me feel like a the World’s Best Mom.  Ha!  Forget that women have been nursing for centuries, I felt like I deserved a medal for passing our first weight check!  Then I realized how easily I could make her feel safe and calm just by nursing.  I eventually began to believe that it really must help her to stay well and healthy.

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After several months I’d mastered nursing her while lying down in bed, and I LOVED that because we both got to sleep!  I didn’t feel very tired during that time because I could take naps while she ate.  She loved to snuggle up against me, and it felt so natural and wonderful to fall asleep together.  I’d wake up in the mornings feeling very rested and find a happy little baby with a very full tummy burrowed up against my chest.  These have been the most happy and peaceful mornings I have ever known.

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At some point I realized that nursing really does relax not only the baby, but the mother.  I remember being really REALLY worked up about something one day.  I tried to calm down and relax my clenched jaw and wrinkled forehead, but the day’s events had really left me in a knot.  I realized it was time to feed the baby, and within 2-3 minutes of her beginning to eat I felt a wave of relaxation.  Geez, that oxytocin is no joke!  It’s better than two glasses of wine!  (Okay, that is a bold statement, but they are comparable.)

Not to mention, she is always soooooo cheerful and happy after she nurses!

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Though pumping while at work was a huge commitment, it made being a working mom easier in many ways.  I felt a lot of guilt for continuing to work, but I felt a sense of contentment that I continued to provide the best possible nutrition to her while I was away.

In the beginning I was certain that I’d wean Poppyseed at 12 months.  But gosh, now I’m not so sure.  It went by SO fast.  I’m not ready to wean her.  There are too many reasons to continue…. the bonding, the antibodies, the convenience of having a ready-made snack no matter where we are!  She’s only nursing 3 times a day now, but I just love it.   I love those sweet little eyes looking up at me…. I love kissing her chubby hands and seeing the corners of her mouth tilt up as she smiles and milk dribbles out.  I love the sound of her deep breathing through her nose every morning as she drinks her morning milk.  I love remembering the way she’d flap her arms when she was much younger when I’d walk toward her at meal time.   Oatmeal and I have laughed together SO many times, this morning included, at how much this baby loves her milk!

I used to think that 1 year old was so old.  I used to think that nursing sounded so weird and limiting.  Now I look at her and think, “No way… no way are we already done.  She’s still so little!”

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I know all of the statistics and recommendations on breastfeeding.  I know that the longer I nurse, the better off she will be.  I also know that the longer I nurse, the more I will get odd glances from those who don’t understand.  I don’t really care about either of those.  I’m not looking for advice or encouragement anymore.  I trust myself now.  I trust that I’ll know.

I bet there will be a moment where I say, “You know, we are done.  She’s ready to grow up, and I feel confident in this.”  Maybe it will be in a week or maybe in a month or maybe neither of those times.  We’ll see.

I guess the point of this blog post is just to share that I’m so thankful.  I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to do this.  It has been one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life.

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Comments

  1. Awe. My two beautiful girls…

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