Wednesday, September 4, 2013

//Still Breastfeeding//





Asher turned one on the 22nd and August and I've been meaning to write this post since then.  I've been thinking about this milestone and what it means for breastfeeding.  I know so many people who have said they will nurse till their child is at least one.  I've head it so often that I've felt like it would be this magic number.  I'd wake up on that day and all of a sudden id be nursing a (gasp!) toddler!  But honestly, and I think we all realize this, nothing changed.  It doesn't feel any different.  Asher still nurses consistently for food, comfort and sleep.  If anything upsets him he will then make his way over to me (immediately) and grab at my shirt if he can reach or basically bang his head against my leg until I pick him up and feed him.  It's hard, sure.  But honestly, I love that I can comfort him this way.  I don't feel like him turning one all of a sudden means he's so grown up that he should be calming himself.  He's still a baby, even if we call him a toddler now.  Actually, I still see the "baby" in my two year old too.  No matter how "big" they are, we are still a source of comfort to them.  I take that role seriously.

I remember when Asher was first born.  He was absolutely gigantic looking and when they handed him to me I was in shock.  I couldn't believe I birthed that big of a baby!  I placed him at the breast without any instruction- I was that eager to start breastfeeding.  Since I had gotten pregnant with Asher when Elliot was only six months I had decided to stop nursing Elliot when he was only 9 months.  I still cringe as I write that- I'm sad about it.  Elliot has asthma and chronic breathing issues and I wish I had just waited.  He ended up in the hospital for the first time one month after I stopped nursing.  I seriously feel like there is a correlation but I do know I did the best I could.  

So, when I began nursing Asher I knew I would go for "at least a year."  The closer I got to that magical day I knew it didn't matter.  I'd go for as long as it worked for our family or more importantly, as long as Asher needed.  Asher needs way more comfort than Elliot did and I don't want to mess with what works.  I couldn't imagine weaning him right now!  He'd be a basketcase, poor little love.  I'm lucky that my husband supports breastfeeding so much, because I would not have made it this long without his support.  Asher had a few months- from around two- four months where breastfeeding was so difficult.  They told me he had reflux because well, they couldn't figure out why he was so fussy. Yet, at four months out popped two teeth!  He didn't have reflux- no, he was teething!  He had 8 teeth by 6.5 months!  But as soon as those teeth popped out, breastfeeding became easy again.  

I do feel pride over this because honestly, it has not been easy!  It's been f#@%ing hard! Sleep deprivation (thank god for embracing cosleeping!) sore boobs, endless nursing, nursing strikes.... But for me, and let me repeat this is my experience, I have embraced my womenhood and my identity as a strong women.  I am not weak, but my body has been made well.  I have pushed through and in areas with I thought I would be weak, I have felt strong.  






2 comments:

  1. though i highly doubt elliot's breathing issues/ending up sick had much, if anything, to do with your stopping nursing, i think it's beautiful that you're still nursing asher. (that's to encourage you that you don't have to blame yourself!! you didn't do that! so much guilt in mothering and i wanna encourage you that i don't believe that had anything to do with it so hopefully you can breathe a sigh of relief! haha) most people don't nurse the full year or longer and it IS a testament to your desire and commitment. i also totally agree that he's still a baby. i can see the 'baby' in jane and she's 3! we will ALWAYS be their source of comfort- for a LONG, LONG time to come. that's one of the most beautiful parts of parenting. love it!

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    1. <3 you are the best encourager. Thanks for that. :)

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