Tuesday, May 13, 2014

the close of a chapter

Before I got pregnant if you asked me about nursing, I would have told you that I was completely uncomfortable with it even though I understood that babies had to eat. I guess it kind of grossed me out. If you asked me about nursing when I was pregnant I would have told you that I was going to give it a try, and if it didn't work out? No problem! Formula is just as good as breast milk these days. Heck, I was formula fed and I'm pretty great ;) If you asked me about nursing the first two weeks of Mia's life I would have started bawling uncontrollably. I was making more than enough milk but the actual nursing part? I've never experienced so much physical pain in my life, and the emotional roller coaster it set me on was insane in the worst way. I didn't think I would make it past week 2 of Mia's life. (You can read my thoughts on the early days of nursing here.) If you asked me about nursing now I would tell you that at 16 months and 1 week I finally stopped nursing Mia. I made it 15 months and 3 weeks longer than I thought I would! You know what? It wasn't gross (but it is intimate. I know so many woman are pushing to "normalize" it, but in today's society I personally would rather keep it between my baby and my husband.), it wasn't painful (after the first 2 weeks), in fact, it was easy! As this chapter was coming to a close in Mia's life, I was actually a little worried I would miss it.
Over two weeks into being finished, I can tell you that I don't miss it! I love that I don't have a schedule to keep to. I love that I don't have to worry about remembering my pump (and all of it's parts, I've forgotten some before and trust me, it wasn't a pleasant experience) if I'm going to work. I love that I have freedom and that I know Mia will be okay if I don't get back to her in time for meal time! BUT... I am so grateful for sticking it out! Since I made more than enough milk, it saved us the hundreds it would have cost for formula. Once the pain disappeared nursing was fast and easy, and it kept getting faster and easier the older she got! Around Mia's first birthday I decided to keep nursing until spring time, just in case it helped her immune system fight the nasty sicknesses that are awful during the winter. I'm not sure if it really benefited Mia, but Eric got the flu, strep and pink eye and we caught nothing! Most of all, I'm just really proud of sticking it out because in the beginning, I didn't see an end in sight. I didn't know how I was going to make it! I wanted to quit every hour of every day. But it was something that brought Mia great comfort and I was able to nourish her with everything she needed! I did my best for Mia and it turns out that it was exactly what she needed and loved! Nursing was just plain sucky in the beginning, but now that we are done and I think back on it, I would do it all over for her again.
Photos from Mia's 3 month photo shoot because I'm feeling nostalgic.

32 comments:

Laurie @ Disney 'n Diapers said...

I felt the same way about BF before I got pregnant, I didn't produce enough milk so I had to stop after only "trying" for 2 weeks, I was pretty upset actually, I think those women that push to normalize BF make it hard on us Moms who aren't able too. I believe it is something very intimate. How proud you must be that you made it this far!! Great job momma!

hello erin said...

i'm SO glad im not the only one who was totally grossed out by it. even while pregnant i just couldn't wrap my head around how my child would be eating from my boobs. lex and i didn't make it past 6 months thanks to some major supply struggles, BUT while we did it i agree- intimate and sweet and hard. awesome job for making it so far! and congrats for being free of the pump!

tina bumblebee said...

Congrats! Such an amazing accomplishment to make it that far!!!! Strong mama!

Chrissy@SimpleJoysBlog said...

Congrats on sticking with it through all that!! It is not an easy thing at all!

Deanna H said...

Congrats mama!! I felt the same way when I was pregnant - we'd try it and if it worked great & if not, no big deal. Almost 12 months later we're still nursing and it's been such a great experience. I also feel the same way as you about the "breast is best" movement. I feel that it is something between me & Kimber. It has worked for us and it's our story. Enjoy your freedom from the pump!!

Sara {Rhapsody and Chaos} said...

It was painful for me for four damn months. I tooootally would have quit if my sister hadn't just had a baby, too -- so I knew I'd regret it because she was sticking it out. Now? I've just passed the year mark and there's a part of me that could do this FOREVER. :) I love BFing. Love the intimacy and the ease and how I can instantly soothe my daughter... (Okay, I won't do it forever, but still.) Though major fist bump to you for sticking with it while working -- pumping is my enemy and if I wasn't home with K, I think I would have quit a long time ago.

Ashley said...

Congrats girl! That's awesome! We didn't make it past 4 months, simply because I wasn't making enough.
I LOVE that picture of you and Mia, so beautiful.

Ashley Z. said...

cute photos!

Lauren said...

While i certainly enjoyed the time I nursed Elyse, it was so liberating when I could put my pump away for good and never see it again! ha! And it was so nice to be back in completely normal clothes again that didn't include a thoughtful process of "will this be easy to nurse in?" good for you momma, 16 months is definitely a proud accomplishment!

Lauren said...

While i certainly enjoyed the time I nursed Elyse, it was so liberating when I could put my pump away for good and never see it again! ha! And it was so nice to be back in completely normal clothes again that didn't include a thoughtful process of "will this be easy to nurse in?" good for you momma, 16 months is definitely a proud accomplishment!

Oh how Lovely said...

I love your last few posts. Just getting caught back up after my computer crashed! But...my hubby got me a little surprise for mothers day so I'm back on board now! :)

You're probably sick of me telling you what an amazing mama you are, but I will tell you over and over, because you are, and it's always nice to hear, right?

I hope Mia is feeling better! Was it just something she ate, or does she have a bug? Poor little thang. It's the worst when their sick.

Hope your Mothers Day turned around for the better though! You deserved a great one!

Katie said...

yeah for making it so far! i'm nervous about weaning and how to even start once addilyn is one. especially because she still eats once in the night :( there are lots of things i'm looking forward to about being done. but a few things i'm sad about!

luke and kourt said...

I finally weened Mack too. I was a bit emotionally when I finally decided it was time but once we were done I didn't miss it much either! I loved breast feeding and feel blessed to of been able to do it for so long too.

Katie said...

I had the same thoughts about breastfeeding as you did before getting pregnant (not for me) and now while being pregnant (I will give it a shot, but I'm not forcing it). So if it works for me and baby boy than that is what we will do. Yes, I'm a bit terrified of the pain that I have heard about, but I'm still going to give it a shot. I may need some encouraging words during those first couple of weeks from a mom that recently went through it.

~Dawn~ said...

I knew I always wanted to breastfeed my kids, but I didn't realize how hard and painful it would be in the beginning. Cracked and bleeding nipples are GROSS! But, I stuck with it for my babies and made it 10 months with my first daughter before I lost my milk supply. But, I am proud to say I made it 2 complete years nursing my second daughter. The bonding experience with my babies during those times are so priceless.

Danielle said...

YAY!!! So awesome. I LOVED nursing Milo and I was so devastated when he self weaned. He would only nurse at night but I wasn't ready to give it up, so I'd pump all day. I was such a wreck about quitting! But about 2 weeks after, when all the hormones had gotten a little more back to normal and I wasn't constantly worried about the state of my boobs, I was at peace with it. And I stopped crying every time I saw my boppy or nursing bras. (serious. I've had a lot of ridiculous mom moments.) Way to go momma!!!

Hannah said...

Those were my thoughts exactly when it came to breastfeeding before I was pregnant and during the pregnancy. I knew I wanted to, but it grossed me out. We had a pretty rough start, but I am so glad I stuck with it. And as it turns out, it's not gross, just intimate -like you said. Congrats for making it this long, that's quite the accomplishment! Enjoy the freedom that comes with being done with nursing too! :)

Sarah said...

I seriously hope I can make it longer this time like you. You are an inspiration! :)

Kimberly said...

Yeah I was totally grossed out by the thought of ME nursing a baby, but being around my mom nursing babies as a kid didn't bother me. I couldn't nurse Olivia and she did great on formula! I did nurse Axel and it was hard at first but I was determined not to spend that money on formula! A few weeks ago I was out with Olivia and Axel was home with Adam and I realized that I didn't have to hurry home to nurse Axel and I almost cried with joy. I felt so robbed not being able to nurse Olivia, but I got plenty of time (13 months) with Axel.

Mrs. Miller said...

Great job... I'm at three and a half months of nursing, and I love it... but it is tiring, and a constant project. I'm hoping to make it over a year, and appreciate all it took for you to breastfeed that long.

Courtney [Sweet Turtle Soup] said...

Breastfeeding made me uncomfortable pre-baby too. But, it turned out to be one of my favourite bonding experiences with Aria. Although it did suck a lot for weeks, probably 2ish months...not pain but annoyingly difficult. Glad you stuck with it! Congrats on going for so long =)We made it 14 months maybe. Feels great to be done though!

KelseyB said...

I was the same way before I had my first! I thought there is no way I will breastfeed...but sure enough three kids later and I nursed them all. I am in the process of weaning Avalon and I am way more sad about it than she is. I really enjoy breastfeeding. But I do like the freedom it provides when they no longer "need" it. Good job mama for sticking it out, it is hard, and totally demanding.

C.Curley said...

Love this!! I've been all about BFing lately, and supporting women who may be struggling with it. Good for you for giving Mia the best for so long! Grayson will be 1 in October, so I def plan to nurse through winter as well. especially since he'll be moving up to a new room in daycare. Lots of germies!!!

Andrea said...

I weaned my son at 18 months and it is such a bittersweet feeling. We fought really, really hard to be able to breastfeed and I think it's a huge accomplishment! On the other hand, it's really nice to have them weaned! :) Enjoy your new freedom! Ha!

Hilary said...

I wanted to quit so bad for the first five weeks. Breastfeeding is just plain awful in the beginning - I don't care what anyone tries to say to argue! Now, we're ten weeks in and it's 100x easier. It still isn't without it's hiccups here and there and good Lord I hate that pump, but I'm glad I stuck it out. Is Mia drinking cow's milk now?

Jenny said...

what a sweet story! I totally thought it was weird but was at the same time adamant that I do it. It was sweet but personal and I'm so glad I was able to do it. We made it almost a year and like you was SO glad to be done! It was just time. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad you got over your early struggles :)

Schnelle said...

I love this post! I can relate to every single thing you said here. I started weaning and stopped pumping after Aubrey's first birthday and I'm now just nursing in the morning when she wakes up and before bed. I'm planning to be completely done by 18 months. Have you been pumping the whole way through? Congrats on sticking with it through thick and thin!

The Contented Wife said...

I 100% agree with your thoughts on nursing! In the beginning I was only doing it because it was free and better for baby, but now that I'm almost eight months in I'm SO thankful I stuck it out! I'm also considering nursing him past his first birthday because of the winter time sicknesses, and I always said I would NEVER nurse past a year. Funny how these kiddos change our minds, isn't it?

17 Perth said...

As a current breast feeding mama....I totally get this. Love it. And so glad you were able to nurse so long!

Elizabeth said...

So glad you got to nurse for so long! I was also formula feed and I agree on us being great! haha But I also wonder how my life would have been different. And I agree about the "breast feeding in public...

Love Always,
Elizabeth
thejourneycreatingme.blogspot.com

J and A said...

You are amazing. Good job mama ok keeping at it. I want to make it to 1 year. That's my goal!!

Megan said...

This post is SO inspiring!!! Just what I needed!! I'm 8 weeks in and will have to start pumping when I go back to work and am so stressed out just thinking about it! Will I make enough? Will she still want to nurse? My goal is to
Make it to at least 6m. With Olivia we couldn't bf so I pumped and after 4m my supply was so low it wasn't worth pumping anymore. (The time spent pumping just wasn't worth the amount I was getting) I felt awful having to give my baby formula but now I know (like you said) that formula isn't bad. It is very empowering knowing that the milk your body produces is what helps your baby grow!

Thanks for sharing your experience!! :)

Post a Comment

i admit it. i LOVE hearing from you!