Happy Wednesday everyone! I have to admit, as much as I love weekends, there is something nice about the weekday. It feels more scheduled and runs more smoothly. The only downfall is that I don’t get to spend as much time with Sam throughout the week.
I know that all things breastfeeding are only of interest to very few people but for my memories sake, I wanted to jot some things done.
As of April 15, I am 100% done with nursing Sam. I sat down with my boy for the last time on that Wednesday morning. As per our new usual, he was more interested in what was going on around him then actually eating and staring into my chest. I thought that saying “good-bye” to breastfeeding that day would make me emotional, but I wasn’t bad.
I had prepared so diligently for birth but what I didn’t really prepare for was how I was going to feed my child. I assumed that it would come natural to me being that it was a very “natural” thing to do. In reality, it is not so natural at all! At the beginning it hurt, it felt awkward and for the most part, I had NO idea what the heck I was doing.
When I was day 2 in the hospital, about to be discharged and I was on the verge of tears. Not one nurse came in to show me how to even hold a baby properly when nursing. I was doing my best but as it turns out, I was doing it completely wrong! A new nurse came in for the first time about 1 hour before we were leaving and finally, someone showed me how to position a baby to feed. Suddenly, I felt like it was going right.
Don’t let that smile fool you, I was terrified I was doing it all wrong!
For something that is suppose to be so natural, it requires a lot of guidance along the way. My milk took a little longer to come in, I had blisters and pain, I had a slow let down, Sam went through a period of not latching correctly, constant supply worries, I hated pumping…I can go on and on! Truthfully, breastfeeding can be a huge pain in the ass!
I had this lofty goal in my head of breastfeeding Sam until he was at least 1 years old. Mostly, only because that is what the doctors recommend (side note: they actually recommend upwards to age 2. I knew that was not for me!). Truthfully, I never thought we would make it. I had a couple of great examples of women in my life who breastfed. One of them was my mother. One day we were talking about it and somehow she mentioned that she didn’t nurse my brother and I for a full year. I was shocked. I had always assumed that it was that way. When it fact, for me, she was done at 8 months.
Being that I was already at 9 months at this point, and assumed that the worse was over, I thought that I could make it a year. In reality, those last few months were the hardest! All the sudden I had this curious little boy who wants to just eat enough to not feel hungry. Every day became a struggle to get him to eat enough to satisfy him so that I didn’t have to nurse him every hour. He hit a growth spurt around 9 months as well and was getting up multiple times a night.
To say that I was ready to be done around the time that Sam turned a year old would be an understatement. For almost 2 years I had given my body to nourish my baby. First while he was in the womb and then for the next year of his life through supplying him with milk. I was ready to toss away my ugly nursing bras, not have anymore feedings in the car before we go into a store, and not think about supply issues.
I was ready to celebrate the freedom that comes with not having to breastfeed. However, that morning, I still did feel a little ping of emotion. The bond that Sam and I shared was about to be over. The fact that he needed and relied on me for his milk gave me pride and purpose. That morning he quickly nursed before heading off to daycare. I stared down at him eating the entire time and then gladly said goodbye.
It has been an easier adjustment that I thought. I think that is because not only did I feel ready to be done, but I got to do it on my own terms. I would have hated to have a supply issue and be forced to stop or give Sam another milk supply. I had about a week of uncomfortably full breasts but nothing that was overly painful. Sam has easily switched to drinking whole milk. I instantly (that first week) dropped 5 pounds of nursing weight and now I am focusing on losing a little extra to be well below my pre-pregnancy weight.
The freedom has been wonderful and I’ve enjoyed being able to do something and not having to worry about nursing. Sam is a very independent little guy and likes to happily sip on his milk as he plays after naps (or watch TV).
It was been an amazing year being able to watch my boy grow and thrive and know that part of the reason was because of my body. It’s an amazing thing that I could feed my child for the last year of his life and I am happy that I continued to push through all of the difficult nursing times to reach my goal of breastfeeding for at least a year.