So I didn’t make August. Oopsie. If you didn’t make it either, but still wanted to share, please, please do. You can post in the comments, email me at momseyeviewnyc at gmail dot com, message me on Facebook, or whatever. I’d love to hear from you and share your story.
Now for me. I am two people and almost exactly 36 months into my breastfeeding story. I nursed Brady for 23 months and 4 days. I wrote his story way back when he weaned and you can read it here. Declan will be 13 months old a week from today and I nursed him to sleep about an hour ago.
When I was pregnant with Declan, I did have a bit of anxiety about breastfeeding. Brady never had any problems, so would this baby be the one who wouldn’t latch, or wouldn’t grow, would my plugged ducts come back and how would I deal with two children while I was in that pain? I had a bunch of dreams about a baby who refused the breast, and one dream where I was nursing a goat and then a tiger in the passenger seat of a car. But despite my worries, Declan was a good eater like his brother. He latched on without a problem. My plugged ducts have not come back, but I did get mastitis this time around, which royally sucked ass.
At first, Declan was a fairly good sleeper and so I have lovely memories of lying in bed at night nursing a hungry little baby, listening to his soft sucking and stroking his soft baby hair, just able to make out his tiny baby profile in the dim light. Later, Declan was a TERRIBLE sleeper and so I have awful memories of a baby who would not let go of my boob and just let me sleep.
At this stage, Declan nurses more than Brady did at his age. But he can’t have raw milk products for at least another 5 months, so that may last a bit. I’m going to try introducing soy milk and see what happens with that. I’m torn because in one way, I’d like my freedom. I’d like to be able to be away from him a bit longer. Maybe send him up to the in-laws’ for the day with his brother and have some time with my husband. But then, he is most likely my last baby and in one way I don’t want our nursing relationship to end. At 13 months, I don’t think it’s a worry I have quite yet. To me, he is still a baby, and nursing him is totally normal.
Breastfeeding my kids has been one of the most special, spiritual, humanizing, humbling, amazing experiences of my life. I’ll take the pain that came with it, the stares in public, the loss of freedom, the long nights, and gladly do it all again. I know it’s not for everyone. I’m a firm believer that you have to do what is right to keep your family going. I think I was lucky to grow up in a family where breastfeeding was normal, to grow up to be a mother who never had a second thought about nursing her babies, to never have that “I’ll try” feeling. But I know that that is not what happened to everyone. I didn’t have to go back to work, so I never had to worry about pumping multiple times per day. For me it was the right thing.
I just want every mother who feels that it could be the right thing for her to have the same chance. I don’t want anyone to be kicked out of church or a department store or a restaurant for feeding their child. I don’t want people to tell me how gross or immodest my feeding my baby is. I don’t want to hear how if my baby has teeth or can talk it’s time to get him off the boob. I certainly don’t want to know if you think I get some sexual kick out of nursing. I just want moms who nurse to be able to leave the house, with their babies, and not worry about the what-ifs. What if the baby is hungry? What if somebody says something? What if he moves the nursing cover and people see my nipple and they freak out? What if I’m that person that other people write about on the internet? I know this is a lofty goal, but I’m going to do my part.