Yup, that’s what I did. Well, technically 14 months and three days if you’re really counting. And yup, this really is a post about breastfeeding, so feel free to skip it (you know, if you’re my brother for example). I never thought I’d be writing about it. But I actually get a lot of questions on the subject. And since I blather on about other random things (like cloth diapering) and this blog is really just a way for us to remember things that we might otherwise forget (like paint colors and vacation happenings), I figure that something I did for so long (around 425 days straight) deserved a post about the range of emotions that it elicited. So here we go.
My first emotion: grateful. I was just so thankful it worked. I was acutely aware that some moms try extremely hard but it’s just not possible. I was also pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t as painful as I expected. I’d heard a lot about cracked and bleeding nipples (yes I just typed that) but thanks to genetics or a good latch (or some other random happening) I didn’t really have much pain at all (in the interest of TMI, I also never had sore boobs while prego, so maybe those things go hand in hand?). And I know the whole lack of pain thing might make you want to punch me (it annoys the heck out of my BFF) but I had a pretty frightening birth experience so I guess it’s always something (and not always the same thing) that throws you for a loop as a new mom.
Speaking of the whole birth thing, I was initially really stressed about Clara “taking” to breastfeeding because, due to our complications, I couldn’t nurse her until eight whole hours after she came into this world. I heard trying as soon as possible was the way to go, and I guess the whole scary birth experience had me fearing the worst (there was no baby-on-my-chest-to-snuggle-and-nurse-right-away occurrance, which is definitely what I pictured). But the sweet nurses pretty much just said to give it a try and it was miraculous. Clara got it right away. Such a relief.
As far as emotions go, after “grateful” and “pleasantly surprised” I moved into “exhausted and overwhelmed” territory. Clara was blissfully sleeping for 12 hours each night pretty much from the beginning, waking up for just one or two feedings most of the time (after we got the ok from the doc to let her sleep instead of waking her up to feed every 3 hours since she was steadily gaining weight).
But that meant that during the day she was feeding every two hours like clockwork (I fed her on demand, and at almost exact two hour intervals she screamed and wasn’t happy til she was nursing). So I really couldn’t get much done without having to stop and feed her. Which I actually loved for the bonding and the sweetness and the self-imposed break that it gave me from housework, blogging, and all that other stuff – but it was definitely exhausting and sort of all-encompassing in those bleary I-have-a-newborn months. I always joke that she let me rest at night, but during the day she made me work for it.
And when we went on a week-long family vacation when Clara was just six weeks old I remember sitting upstairs alone with Clara feeding her in a bedroom while everyone else was downstairs having fun together and thinking “I’m going to have to excuse myself and do this about eight times a day while everyone else hangs out – which adds up to 56 feedings that I’ll be doing over the next seven days.” That’s an overwhelming thought. At least it was to me. It was times like this that I actually wished feeding in public (or at least in front of your extended family) was more widely accepted. I tried to use a nursing cover but Clara wouldn’t have it. So up in my room I sat (with occasional visits from John who sweetly recognized that I’d rather be with the group and dropped in to keep us company). Back in these days feedings were pretty slow going (around 15-20 minutes per side for a total of 30-40 minutes spent sequestered). But we still managed to fit in some fun in the sun (or shade since she was so tiny).
I should mention that 1) pumping didn’t agree with me and 2) Clara never took to bottles (or pacifiers for that matter). You win some and you lose some. So every time she fed for the past 14 months it was directly from the source. Which was ok with me since pumping just didn’t work out and thankfully I have a job that allows me to be home with her. But it’s definitely sort of crazy as a concept because for over a year I was never away from my daughter for more than an hour or two. Ever.
But with a face like this, I was ok with that:
Around three months in I really got into the groove though. That’s where I’d characterize my feelings as “content and accepting.” I was happy to still be able to breastfeed and glad that it seemed to suit Clara. She seemed to enjoy it and I knew how to do it effectively and easily enough (in a parked car? check. in a dressing room? check). I even managed to sneak in a taping for the Nate Berkus show, nursing Clara in the green room right before we went on and right after (thankfully it was only a two hour process – or we might have heard her screaming for another feeding from on stage).
I guess I had adapted more to it, and it didn’t feel like as big of a job after I got into the swing of things. And by about 6-8 months old Clara had become a lot more efficient, so feedings were only about 15 minutes total (and sometimes even ten). Interestingly enough, the introduction of solid food at six months old (which Clara loved from day one) didn’t have any bearing on her nursing. She still wanted just as much, just as often. And I was secretly kind of relieved because I worried a bit about my production slowing or even stopping if she suddenly dropped a ton of feedings. But that was not the case.
Up until Clara turned ten months old I was still feeding her every two hours during the day at her insistence (screaming until I nursed her = her insistence). That’s right, for ten months (that’s 300 days) I nursed Clara every two hours (except during the night). I was ok with it, and my doc was ok with it, but I heard from friends that only going two hours between feedings at that age was reallllly often (as in all of my friends were only feeding every 4-5 hours or so at that age). My doc explained that it made sense since Clara was such an unusually solid night sleeper (she segued from waking up for 1-2 feedings in her 12 hour span of night sleep to not waking up at all around 2.5 months in – I know, we’re insanely blessed to have gotten such uninterrupted sleep for such a long block of time). But it did mean not-as-long daytime naps and a whole lot of frequent feedings to “tank up” during her waking hours in exchange for such an awesome night’s sleep. Heck, I’ll take it.
Blissfully, after turning ten months old Clara started stretching her feedings to every three hours, which felt amazing. It’s funny how an extra hour feels like all the freedom in the world. It’s all relative I guess. At this point I was coming into the whole “I love breastfeeding” phenomenon. I still felt grateful to be able to do it, Clara was a thriving happy girl, it was saving us money, it gave me a moment to step away from the computer/paint brush/hammer and connect with the bean, and it helped me get back into my old clothes (even though I don’t think I’ll ever have my pre-baby body again, it’s fine with me because Clara’s so worth it). I should add that I’m a breastfeeding enthusiast when it comes to me and Clara, but I don’t judge anyone else when it comes to what they choose for their family. Whatever works for you & your ducklings = my mantra as a parent in general.
The next speed bump that we encountered was when Clara turned a year old we introduced organic whole milk. The problem? Clara wouldn’t drink it. She still wouldn’t really take a bottle so our doc recommended trying a sippy cup. It worked for water, but she refused to drink milk (and we tried about ten million different sippy cup varieties, tried slightly heating the milk, tried watering it down or mixing it with breast milk, etc). This is when I started fearing that she’d be 21 years old and still addicted to breastfeeding.
Next we tried almond milk at our doc’s advice, and she went for it (we think the thinner consistency seemed closer to breast milk so she was down). And slowly we mixed almond milk with whole organic milk and she made the transition to 100% whole organic milk at around 13 months. Yup, it took nearly a whole month to get her on board with it. She’s stubborn like her momma. Haha. Shockingly, that’s when her feedings dropped waaay down. From around five times a day to just two – once before bed and once in the morning. Which made me feel excited and free but sort of oddly sad at the same time. “My baby’s growing up, and she needs me less” was sort of how I felt. I know that’s not really true, but it’s the best way I can describe the feeling.
By 13 months and three weeks she just wanted a feeding in the morning when she woke up. Clara has always been the boss of this whole breastfeeding thing (since we opted to just do the “on demand” thing from day one), so who am I to argue with the girl? Just one morning feeding opened up a whole new world of evening fun for me and John thanks to his parents offering to babysit (we could see a movie or go out to dinner without Clara after over a year of not partaking in those activities – amazing!). Of course I thought about her the whole time we were out, but I guess that’s to be expected (picture me saying “I wonder what Clara’s doing right now” every ten minutes during our first movie together in over a year).
Two weeks later Clara wasn’t even interested in her morning feeding. Which was sad because that’s the one where we lie down next to each other and relax together. I know I sound crazy, but it was such a sweet way to start the day. To anyone who has yet to try it, nursing on your side while laying down = awesometown (they taught me that move at the hospital thanks to the whole c-section thing). And now it’s over. So my current feelings are sad (because I’ll miss it) but proud (because I can’t believe I breastfed for over 14 months) and grateful (because I know being able to nurse that long or even at all definitely isn’t a given).
So that’s my breastfeeding journey. Off to cry now (and I can’t even blame breastfeeding hormones for the tears). I know, I know, someone with a nickname
that won’t stick like $herdog shouldn’t be such a wuss. But it was an awesome/exhausting/amazing/tiring/surprising journey that I’m grateful to have experienced. Love you baby girl. Even if you’re over me my boobs.
WE have four kids and they’ve all weaned between 19 and 26 months more or less on their own. Extended breastfeeding is a great gift if you can give it. Good for you! But how sad that your own family wasn’t more okay with you nursing in front of them. That’s pretty weird, in my book. I mean, if you are totally disrobing, I guess that’s understandable but if you’re just doing the “discreetly lift your shirt and latch routine . . .” That doesn’t reveal too much. Not judging you at all. It’s just sad that nursing had to be that much of a sacrifice.
Since you didn’t post this, I assume that I was inadvertently offensive. So sorry! I didn’t mean to be. I guess you wouldn’t want your family reading a comment slamming them. So sorry. Love you guys and I’m impressed with your accomplishment. Lots of people would have given up long ago :)
Oh no- nothing like that! We have 101 comments right now sitting in moderation – so it takes me a while to go through all of them and read/approve them. Sorry for the delay!
Oh, you mean you’re just busy?! Why didn’t I think of that ;) Sorry about being hypersensitive.
No worries at all! I wish we could get comments up faster- we just hate to miss questions or not get to read them all thoroughly. You guys are all full of such amazing stories!
OMG. lol .I was JUST researching breastfeeding last night. This is such an odd convo. I mean what are the chances of you guys actually talking about this subject! haha wired. But I’m so glade you had such a great experience with it. I know so many people that gave up or quite because it was painful but you stuck to it! Way to go you! and just think…. now you have more time to play together instead of feedings. :)
Sarah JC says
Thanks for posting this. I can completely relate to your current feelings of sadness. I felt the same way when I stopped nursing both of my kids (one for 15 months, the other for 13 or so). I’t such a special bonding time for mother and child. I think it’s something you either like or don’t, and I definitely did. I enjoyed cuddling up together, having quiet, warm bonding time. Your post brought it all back.
Now it’s on to the next stages of Clara’s development! But don’t feel free to cry a little. :)
Great job!!!! What a great breastfeeding experience!
I also had a great experience, but mine also involved a pump and a storage room at work but it worked out great for us.
And every two hours? You are one amazing mama!
jill c says
kudos for making it over a year!
i nursed my first for 25 months, second for 33 months, and am currently at 9.5 months with the third (our last), so we’ll see how long it lasts…
Cathy V says
“This is when I started fearing that she’d be 21 years old and still addicted to breastfeeding”
my favorite part! I feel this way often with my 13 month old. He just really loves to nurse. Congrats making it to 14 months. Thanks for blogging about it and being so open!
How wonderful for you and Clara! I must admit that I’m uber jealous. Nursing the first one was the experience the horror stories were made of. The second was easy as cake! Thank you for encouraging other women to try to breastfeed.
You rock, momma!
I completely expect to fall apart a little when our breastfeeding journey ends. We are down to evening and morning only… and I relish the beauty in starting my day feeding him. And as much time and emotion I have invested, and how emotional I know I will be… I am excited to reach that next milestone.
Sherry, my goodness. WELL DONE.
Just, well done. You’ve every right to be proud of yourself, and your baby girl, for every single feed you two managed.
She’ll never be over you. You’re a rock star.
Thanks for you candid post about breastfeeding. Hopefully it will inspire some others to at least give it a go. Cheers to you and Clara.
That is amazing! I am glad you decided to share this. My daughter just turned one at the end of June and we are still feeding in the morning and at night. I totally understand the sadness/proud feeling. How has your bedtime routine changed if you don’t mind?
I used to nurse her and turn on her sound machine and turn off the light (not much ceremony in our house- haha). Now it’s just the same thing without the nursing. So we walk around and close the blinds and say goodnight to daddy and Burger and the sound machine goes on and Clara curls up in her crib with her stuffed giraffe and off go the lights.
You have a great baby! Thanks for getting back, enjoy the non-nursing bras :)
Love this post, I’m teary eyed as well – I’m into my 6th month of breast-feeding and your description of emotions hit home with me! Just started solids with my little guy and he doesn’t seem to be dropping a feeding either! I love these baby posts btw… Can you guys do another favourite things post soon? Keep up the good work, I always save the YHL post for last to read b/c it’s my fave!!!
We’ll add a baby favorite things post to the list for sure. Off the top of my head, we’re loving all things wooden (wood puzzles by Melissa & Doug, wood blocks by Plan Toys) and stuffed animals (Clara kisses hers and snuggles them now- so cute).
I’m the same way! I save YHL for last in my feeds because it’s my favourite. (Like saving the best chocolate in the box…when I don’t have to worry about my husband eating it first!)
I’m expecting our first and hoping to breastfeed since both of our moms did and would really support me with it. It’s great to read this and gain a bit of confidence from a real person; not just a midwife telling me that I ought to do it.
Oh, and on a cute kid side-note: it’s sweet that Clara hugs and kisses her animals now! My niece was a BF baby and when my mom bought her her first doll, immediately, my niece decides to hike up her shirt to feed it! So cute!
I’m very glad you got to do it for as long as you wanted. I have a daughter a little older than yours, and I was so stoked to nurse (I have an older daughter, but nursing wasnt that much fun with her for some reason)…but thanks to fate I had to give up nursing at 7 weeks. So I’m just going to pretend that your long tour made up for my unpleasantly short one!
Ashley @ DesignBuildLove.co says
You’re too cute Sherry! Eric and I have yet to have kiddos (waiting for the whole law school thing to be over), but I am a super advocate of breastfeeding and hope that I will too have your luck, though I do recognize that it doesn’t always happen! Luckily, my mom was a breast feeding wizz with all three of her kiddos and so was my mother-in-law, so hopefully it will be in the “genes!” We’ll see!
PS- if you don’t have your pre-baby bod back, you could’a fooled us! You look phenomenal, and are also totally rockin’ the new “do!”
My sweet girl had reflux so I had to stop and pump at 8 weeks old. I stuck it out for 7 months! I am so impressed with Clara! I hope one of my other babies does that. I am so happy you got a wonderful experience. It’s always great to hear pro-breastfeeding stories that are not nazi-like :)
I am trying to wean my little bean from bottle to sippy cup, and teared up yesterday as I put all the bottles away. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another… they constantly change and show us they are growing up. And too fast.
Love that you share your personal lives on the blog as well as the professional stuff. Y’all are so great.
I hope Clara is enjoying her Elephant cart!
It’s so great to hear when mamas and babies figure out breastfeeding right away! It took my little guy 7 weeks to figure it out and there were many times when I’d cry to my hubby, “My baby hates my boobs!” So funny now, but I was a wreck! We ended up going 16 and a half months, until he finally just refused even our sacred morning feeding. It’s such a bittersweet feeling, isn’t it?
Glad you shared! I hope it helps people continue to realize that breastfeeding is a beautiful thing.
Just wanted to throw out there that maybe Clara has an intolerance to dairy. Absolutely NOT pulling a “I’m a stranger who knows better for your child” here, but I gave up dairy a year ago at 28 and though I thought I was handling dairy fine for those 28 years, once I did a lot of “allergies” and asthma complications cleared up.
A friend’s youngest child is intolerant to diary and she learned some babies who are intolerant will refuse dairy, but as we coax it into them they adjust enough to continue consuming it, but can show up as other issues. Anyways, way to much FYI, but thought I’d share.
Thanks for the tip! We’ll keep an eye out for any indications of an allergy!
Loved this post!
My youngest (almost three now, siiigh) nursed for 15 months herself. I didn’t pump, she wouldn’t take a bottle or pacifier – I understand what you’re saying! (Plus, having two older siblings, all two years apart) – yikes. But I definitely wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world. Well, maybe I’d take the boobs back but ykwim ;)
I LOVED this post!
I breastfed/pumped for my daughter until she was 14 months old too. Although, she seemed less interested after she was a year old. It took me 2 months to give up myself. I knew I would miss the sweet closeness we had.(Wow! I’m tearing right now while writing this.)
I guess the timing was right because I got pregnant a month later. I now look forward to nursing our new daughter, arriving/expected on my daughter’s 2nd birthday!
I’m terribly curious when/if you started solids? Did you ever do any cereal? I’m breastfeeding too and my girl is nearly 6 months now. You know how everyone (docs included) say to start them on some type of solids by that time since breast milk is apparently “lacking” the amount of iron needed.
I appreciate your post: it inspires me to keep going!
Please let me know what you did w/the solids thing!
We did solid food at six months and used the Baby Led Weaning method. I got the book for cheap on amazon.com and it really worked for us. Clara is a great eater and loves feeding herself (the girl eats kale! fish! pickes! anything really!).
Way to go $herdog! (it is bound to catch eventually, right?)
Breastfeeding didn’t work for us (supply issues = dehydration and an IV at 4 days old) but I’ll try again with the next kiddo. It is great to hear of success stories. Good for you for sticking with it through every 2 hours (at 40 min each!) feedings. My mom always says 3 months is when you start to get a groove with a new baby, and apparently that holds true for breastfeeding as well. Clara is lucky to have a stick-it-out mom like you!
Ruth B. says
Thanks for sharing! I’m having my first in October and nervous about being able to nurse too. I appreciate your honesty and nonjudgementalness(is that a word?).
Kristen in Hawaii says
Go Sherry (and Clara)!!! That’s some serious dedication – no doubt well worth it. Gotta throw in a little Celebrity Apprentice reference…both of you are great champions. :)
This reminds me of my experience with my youngest so much. She nursed every two hours round the clock for 15 months. After she turned a year old when she tugged on my shirt I would ask if she wanted a cuppy instead and sometimes she would and sometimes she wouldn’t. That’s how we let her wean naturally. And now she’s 3 1/2. Sniff sniff…
Thank you so much for posting this!!! I’m currently TATTC and plan to get on the TTC band wagon next summer. Before, I was super excited thinking about the super fun parts of being a mom- you know, buying pink ruffley things. :) Since it’s becoming more real, I can’t get enough of what actually happens. The result is always a mixture of terror, excitement and gratitude. :)
Tristin @ Two Girls Being Crafty says
Oh how I loved reading your story–while mine is quite different (as all experiences are) I, too, nursed my little gal for 14 months. It was one of the toughest things I ever did initially, truthfully, but I’m glad we fought for it and kept moving along. My little one is a healthy babe and I’m glad it worked for us…and glad it worked for you, too!
You’re a “true” DIY-er! ; )
Good for you! I loved breastfeeding too, but there were times that it was hard to stay with it.
Christina D. says
Way to go!! Such a nice story! I am able to relate to you on all levels. All the emotions are right on. I BF my son (who is now 4) until he was 26 months. We had an amazing time but we were both pretty ready to be done by then. I am now BF’ing my daughter who is almost 7 weeks old and it’s such a wonderful time for us. Breastfeeding is definitely the way to go if all works out. Thanks for sharing!
This post made me so emotional! My little guy is going to be 8 months on Friday and we’re still BF away! I’m not looking forward to the time when it stops! Right now he lost all interest in his solid food which annoys me but at least he’ll still take me! ;) I too feed him every 2 hours and I think people think I’m nuts but I don’t really care — whatever works! Thanks for the post!
I love that you write about your Momma Journeys…I’m not a momma, but I love to hear stories. Such a sweet post, thanks for not giving in to the “critics” who say not to write about your home life. Makes it more fun to read :) Also, my husband and I just purchased a “Karl.” I’m in love! Thanks for giving us the idea!
Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. My kids are now 5 and 7 and your story just reminds me how fast time moves as a parent. I nursed my son exclusively (no bottles, formula. etc.) for about 18 months. I happened to be 4 months pregnant with my daughter when he weaned completely from his last remaining nursing session happening at bedtime, but let me tell you this. I had extreme nausea/all-day sickness from my daughter’s pregnancy and the ONLY relief I got was when I was nursing my son. I would feel blissfully un-nauseated during that 30 minutes. It was heaven. I guess it was the hormones?
I ended up exclusively nursing my daughter for 2 years, as she absolutely refused to eat baby food. She hated it…gagged it up. And to this day, she doesn’t like things with a soft/pureed texture. I worried so much during that time that she was missing out, but her pediatrician always assured me that she was doing fine without solids, hovering around the 98% on the growth chart! Now that she is older, my daughter appears to have a slightly sensitive digestive system. I can only think that my extended nursing period gave her little system more time to develop, and I am so grateful for this.
Good for you Sherry, for giving your daughter this beautiful gift. You will treasure it always.
Nicole Lindquist says
14 months = amazing! I wish my little gal would’ve gotten the hang of it (maybe I wasn’t patient enough) but she just fell asleep every time we tried and wasn’t a strong sucker.
I wanted her to have breastmilk so badly I pumped exclusively for 6 months straight and kept pumping until she was about 9 months though we were supplementing by then. I laughed when I saw your numbers as I too did the math. I figured out I had pumped 511 times before she was even 4 months old! Crazyness.
The things mothers do for their children. Congrats on 14 months.
I’ve heard there’s a big hormone shift when you wean so you can totally still blame the hormones!
What a wonderful post that was. I enjoyed reading it.
Man, I’m sad for you! I don’t even have a baby… Yet!
My son sounds like Clara. He would never take a bottle or pacifier either. I had to wean him at 14 months b/c my husband and I were going to be gone for a week. I think it was harder on me than him. It was very bittersweet to stop nursing. It felt nice to have freedom but I was sad to not have that closeness anymore. Now I just get my snuggles in reading stories before bed.
Congratulations! Clara is such a lucky girl. I’m with you on the morning feedings. My son will turn one next week and my absolute favorite time of day is bringing him into bed with me in the morning and nursing on my side. Just staring at that sweet little face. Okay, now I’m crying too.
Thanks for sharing! You’re an inspiration. I’m pregnant with our first and definitely want to breastfeed, so this post is very timely for me and I really appreciate hearing positive perspectives on the experience!!
Wow, this is a great record of your breastfeeding experience — so happy that it worked out so well for you! Our Clara is 13 1/2 months, and our nursing experience was, alas, the polar opposite end of the spectrum. I had terrible supply problems, and despite attending a breastfeeding support group with great women who were like the MacGyver of nursing, getting extensive help from a lacataion consultant and trying a million different tips from her and our pediatricians (including spending an ENTIRE WEEK when she was about three weeks old laying in bed all day doing nothing but nursing — hardest week of my life!), she still hadn’t regained her birthweight by a month old. It felt like every day was a new science experiment that didn’t work, and so we gave up the ghost at 6 weeks. I wish that someone would have taken me by the shoulders and told me that my baby needed to GROW, and that formula was a perfectly fine way for her to do it, but I felt like the medical establishment was actually TOO permissive about her not gaining weight and continuing new experiments to see if that would boost my supply, and with the post-partum hormone situation being what it was, I was in no position to come to that decision on my own. And although my associations with nursing (horror and fear that my baby was so skinny, and exhaustion) aren’t positive, I’m pretty much at peace with how things turned out because I now am able to look back and see that the time I would have spent nursing her even if it would have worked out would ultimately have been such a small part of her life (yet at the time it seemed like the ONLY THING I WOULD EVER DO FOR HER). I now LOVE — and obsess over — the planning, shopping and prepping of her meals, and she’s such a terrific eater who adores all healthy big-people foods that I feel like this is where my child-feeding joy and reward has kicked in. (Sorry for the novel! I could talk about this for days!)
I was so relieved to finally find a lactation consultant that recommended I keep upp supplementing until 6 weeks and then it was reasonable for me to switch to just formula. All the others were only concerned with increasing my supply, no matter what kind of other questions I had. I called the nurses line to ask how many ounces of formula my son should be drinking and they transferred me to the lactation consultant who tried to get me to take more pills. My son’s pediatrician even prescribed Reglan to me even though I had PPD and it causes depression (I didn’t take it). After all that I had another mom tell me that my son didn’t need breastmilk as much as he needed a happy mom! I totally know where you’re coming from!
Krista D. says
Good for you, $herdog! I breastfed my daughter for 12 months, 2 weeks (only stopped because I got pregnant with my son and it bothered me) and my son for 14 months, 1 week. All while working 40 hours per week outside of the home. I pumped while at work and fed them straight from the tap the rest of the time. Never ONCE did either child drink a drop of formula – something I’m very proud of to this day. It takes dedication and determination to go that long. Clara will thank you for it in the long run!
Thanks for sharing this!! It is vital that people learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding. World Breastfeeding week is in August! http://www.lllusa.org/wbw/ I breastfed my first daughter for two years exactly and am currently breastfeeding my second daughter who is eight months.
Breastfeeding is NOT always easy so PLEASE moms, find your support system from other moms, nurses, and your local LLL leader.
sweet. i was one of those that was unsuccessful at nursing. it sucked. no pun intended!
Thank you so much for sharing your story. As a newly pregnant lady myself, I have been getting stories from lots of my mommy friends and hearing this from a relative stranger makes me feel better about my decision to breastfeed as long as possible.
Good for you!
I also nursed my kids and I totally know what you are talking about when you said you feel sad. Even though I found the nursing exhausting (my daughter woke up every two hours all night for the first 7 months of her life), it was also peaceful and relaxing. Like getting a hug for 30 minutes, every two hours, every day. /grin
My son weaned himself at 6 months. My production was low, and he was a BIG eater. As soon as he saw how fast he could get milk from a bottle he was done with me.
My daughter has been a completely different experience. She is 20 months old and still insisting on nursing whenever she can. And I have almost completely stopped producing, so it is definietly an emotional thing. Since it is an emotional thing we have been trying to wean her and… OMG! The drama!
When I tell her ‘no more nursing’ she tries the self-service route. I have learned to only wear shirts that are well anchored. If the ‘pull down the shirt and help yourself’ method doesn’t work she bangs her open mouth against my chest and cries in despair. It is both funny and sad (and horribly embarassing in public) at the same time.
Congratulations! Such a great experience you had. You will remember it forever. And I’m pretty sure you will get used to all your free time, with and without Clara nearby. And the best part of being done with nursing? Wearing regular bras again! Enjoy your grown up little girl. It’s a sweet time for sure.
I am definitely giddy about getting into a normal bra again. So strange. But seriously, I’m like geeky excited about it.
Thats what I thought too- hooray for regular bras!!!
OH! I just read your response about wooden toys and I wanted to tell you that I found the BEST toy maker ever! He’s in Columbus, OH and makes huge wooden dominoe sets- your babe obviously can’t use them now but they’d be great in the future. Just tried to Google this guy but to no avail… rats! I will find him one day and will pin with a link to you!
Sounds like fun! We’d love that info whenever you find it!
Thank you so much for this post. It’s such a personal thing, breastfeeding. Thank you for sharing your experience, what it meant to you and hwo you got through it all. I’m not a mom yet, but will be some day and I know this post will come in handy.
Tristin @ Two Girls Being Crafty says
Oh, and I meant to say kudos to John, too. I think a supportive spouse is imperative for a successful breastfeeding experience.
I’ve always been so thankful for my husband’s support and his “you can do this!” encouragement at the beginning when it was difficult.
I absolutely think John had a lot to do with it too- he was so supportive and sweet the whole time. He even understands why I’m a little sad now, which is nice so I don’t feel like such an alien for actually missing those feedings!
Good job!! I just finished breastfeeding our son and lasted 14 months and 1 week! I had the exact same feelings as you!! It is a bit sad now…the morning feeding was our last to go and I really enjoyed that one because it was cuddle time. He is now finally drinking organic whole milk and loving it. They grow up way too fast! Thanks for sharing. Makes me feel like I’m not too crazy for feeding for 14 months (even though some family members thought I should cut him off!)…just wanted him to make that decision, not me!!
Sarah Mc says
This totally made me tear up and summed up my feelings about exclusively breastfeeding my twins for 1 full year. It was the hard, most emotional, most enjoyable baby/mom thing I did. It was a huge sacrifice and I had my ups and downs, but oh how I miss that time cuddling my sweet ducks. You are amazing for giving it your all and that’s all that matters. I completely understand when other mom’s aren’t able to do it though for whatever reason, I too think it’s a personal choice and you can only do what works for you.