Friday, April 3, 2009

The Post That Will Make the Male Readers Uncomfortable

As you could tell from the pictures in my last post, I kind of have some trouble letting go of things. I still need to post a picture of my garage because it certainly illustrates what I mean. I have New Kids on the Block stuff from the 80s. I have school papers from 4th grade. I even have letters that my friends in Illinois mailed me when I moved to Texas. I have the binder we used to plan our wedding right next to a box of old sheets and comforters from our guest room that we had before Avery was born.

I have issues.

So you can understand that weaning Jack, most likely my last baby, from breast milk hasn't been as quick and easy as I expected. For me, not him. 

I quit nursing him 2 days after his first birthday. We planned our trip to Vegas and I knew that would be the perfect time for him to get used to going to bed with a bottle since I was going to be away. It worked for him just fine. He hasn't seemed to be bothered by the bottle at bedtime or when he wakes up in the morning. In fact, we have quickly moved on to a sippy cup since he is transitioning so well. 

I, on the other hand, am having trouble letting go. Not so much of nursing (anymore) since he is so over it. But I am still pumping each night and sending a bottle with him to daycare every day. It started simple enough--my body didn't automatically QUIT producing milk so I had to pump for comfort and I haven't stopped yet. It is naturally getting to be less and less each time and THAT is making me sad all over again. In a matter of a few weeks it will be over for good.

I think it is hard to give it up because nursing was so incredibly hard for me with both kids. I have friends who have absolutely no problems with it at all. No supply issues, no pain, no infections. That just wasn't the case for me. I can recall in the first 6-8 weeks with both kids that it would hurt so bad that my toes would curl. (And I won't even mention the bleeding) (or the infections--multiple) (or the embarrassment of airport closets) (or the exhaustion) (or the leaking. my God the leaking) (or the multiple trips a day to the Mother's Room at work when there were meetings and deadlines to hit) (or that my male boss liked to tease me about it--in a funny way, but still) (ha! see how I did that? Not bringing any of that up? ahem) Nursing was probably the hardest thing that I ever did and it feels like such an amazing accomplishment that I was able to keep it up for a year with both kids. With Jack I didn't even have to buy formula until he was more than 11 months old (thanks to a business trip).

Which is why watching it slowly come to an end is difficult. For so long I was the sole source of nutrition for my kids and now they don't need me at all for it. I liked that I was able to give them everything they needed. I worked damn hard to give them that and now I am having trouble letting that part of the parenting experience go.

Mother Nature is helping things along and pretty soon I won't have a choice in the matter. I get that. It is that looming invisible date that is kind of breaking my heart.

Of course, I am looking forward to wearing a real bra again! It's been 3.5 years. Women still wear those, right? :-)

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I read that there are hormones in your body that make it emotionally hard to stop nursing. As if you need that added crazy. Congrats on making it one year, that is awesome!