Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Dilemma

So, I have this dilemma. It might not seem like a major dilemma to some but to me it is very big. I have this baby. She's attached to me. Literally and figuratively. I have her down to one nursing a day-at bedtime only. And it's for the snuggle/nurture factor. It's no longer nutritional and I totally get that. I'm also not one for long term nursing. It just isn't "me". For the most part (98%) I have enjoyed my nursing relationship with each of my 3 children. All so different in personality but all very enjoyable to breastfeed.
Lindsay was so easy to feed. She had reflux and vomited constantly so we nursed a lot (she wasn't "sick" just threw up, so then we had to "re-fill"). She was a very peaceful, lingering nurser. Meaning she was content to just lay there and nurse peacefully for long periods of time during which time I could either stare at her with smooshiness or I could read or watch tv. Because she was my first and only child it was easy to enjoy that type of nursing. I weaned her-very naturally and peacefully at 13 mos. We just switched to story at bedtime. No problem.
Jared was a champ of a nurser from the beginning. He loved it! I guess he was a boob man from day one. Prob'ly comes partly from being a fairly big baby-8 lbs 14 oz at birth. He was loud and voracious about it. Lots of grunting and smacking and snorting and grabbing. All boy! He was less likely to peacefully linger and relax. But, that was ok, because I was also chasing and potty training a 2 year old at the time. It worked. When he got older (past 1 year) I banished Lindsay from the room at bedtime. Harold was out of state working and that was my only alone time with Jared-nursing him at bedtime. (Lest you think I slighted Lindsay-after Jared was put to bed I spent equal time with her little 3 year old self). about 17-18 mos I made the transition-again, easily-to story time rather than nursing time. Same routine, just sweet time in the rocking chair in his room. No problem
Then, with Haley...for the first time ever I had thoughts of bottle feeding in the deep dark nighttime when I was up constantly feeding and trying to put her to sleep. It was not easy. Sure, she nursed wonderfully and she flourished physically on my milk. But that's where the "ease" ceased. Unfortunately everything has been more difficult with Haley. Weaning (even to this point) has been hard won. Nothing gradual or easy about it. I realized when she was around 13 or 14 mos that I was still nursing her about every 2 hours all day long. Ummmm, no. So, the day I realized that was what was happening, I cut it down to twice a day. It was not easy but we did it. (The down-side to that is gaining back 10 lbs that I lost just by nursing a lot)So, here we are. She is almost 19 mos old now and if I let her lead we'll still be nursing at 12 years. Or at least that's how it feels...So, where do I draw the line? I don't think I'm really, truly enjoying it anymore...I just hate to give it up because she is the last baby I will have. Also, she is truly relaxed only when we are nursing. That is the time that I can look at her and see her calm and peaceful and I love that. I will never again experience this relationship that is part of who I am now. I am a nursing mom. That is me.
For today, I will nurse her again. I guess this is something I will decide when the time is right and that will be it. I will move on to a different phase in my life.


Kendra plus 2 said...

I can just see Haley walking down the aisle at her wedding and stopping to take a swig from your boob on her way down. LOL, it truly won't last forever, so I say enjoy it while you can. Yay for boobs!

Tamara said...

My neighbor bought Cooper a tee shirt is says "I love boobs" you he is my last..he only does it when I sit down and in the middle of the night....thats my only complaint with this I guess I will just do it and eventually I will wean him..last night he slept almost all night so during the day I have to put my foot down...but its easier to whip it out sometimes...I know bad bad mommy

Carrie said...

This isn't easy... I had the same situation with my youngest of three. When she was sixteen months old, I shipped her to my Mom's house for the weekend. I broke out the Ace bandage and some Camphor oil. Tough love...

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