Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Almost to the finish line

Before I even write, just want to throw out a big "sorry, awkward" to my dad or any other male relative who is going to blush at just the thought of this topic. 

Breastfeeding

I am afraid that the days of Avery and my boobs having up-close and personal bonding time are drawing to a close. She will be turning a year old in another five or so weeks and lately she has very little interest in hanging out near my chest to gain nourishment. She eats well in the morning and usually one other time, but other than that, she is way too busy to remain still and eat from her mother.

The thought of being done leaves me feeling sad and ecstatic at the same time. Breastfeeding is definitely a love/hate relationship. (although much much much less hate than exclusively pumping. Don't even get me started on that.)

I love that breastfeeding provided her with the best food possible. I love that it has allowed us to have lots of quiet moments together. {Ya know, those precious moments that Pampers wants you to think exist all the time? Yeah those. They really do happen every once in a while, and especially while nursing.} I love that nursing helped me lose all the baby weight, plus the extra 10-plus pounds I had left from Bailey, too. It might have taken 10 months, but it happened! And I really really love how much money we saved from never having to buy formula. Love that.

But as wonderful as those things are, one thing is for certain:
breastfeeding is hard work.
It's definitely not like the rosy picture you have in your head, expecting moms. That one of you and your brand-new baby settling into a nursery chair made out of clouds and rainbows while you lovingly smile down at baby as she eats with ease.
Yeah, it's soooo not that.

Breastfeeding takes patience and perseverance. There are basically hundreds of things you can use to convince yourself to stop in the beginning, with bleeding nipples ranking high on the list.  {Sorry Dad!}

And I am not going to sugarcoat it, the first 2 weeks were just plain awful. Week 3 was better, but still not good. And Week 4 was finally getting to the tolerable stage. I remember Fe looking over at me as I braced myself with a grimace, waiting for Avery to latch on and she was horrified. Why would anyone want to do that?! (Let's just blame the hormones, they are responsible for everything else anyway.) But really, it's worth it. It might not feel like it when you are out buying your 10th bottle of nipple cream that week... but in the end (or at least after the healing), you will be glad you stuck with it.

I didn't really know how it would go, so my realistic goal from the start was 6 months. When I met that goal, I set a new one. A full year. We're at 11 months now, and I will be damned if I quit a month short! :)  I am stubborn like that, and I want to be able to say with pride that I breastfed her for a full year. And maybe this post sounded like I was patting myself on the back, and I am a little. It might sound stupid to some, but I am proud of myself. It was hard work and I stuck with it.

So over the next month or so, I am going to feel it out and start dropping some feedings. I am sure Avery probably won't even notice since she is content eating anything and everything else in sight. It's probably going to be a little bit sad when we are done. Being done means acknowledging that my little baby is getting so big.  I will miss those quiet moments with her...

But on the other hand-
I can't wait to retire every faded, stretched, over-used nursing bra and tank top.
 Hallelujah!

2 comments:

  1. I love everything about this post! I can totally relate. Connor turns 1 on Sunday and we finished up last week. My goal was 1 year after I stopped at 9 months with Kaden. We are done now, on sippy cups of cows milk and I LOVE the extra time I have seemed to gain in my life. (And especially not having to take time to pump at work!)

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  2. Thank you! I cherish those special moments with each of my girls. Breastfeeding my babies was by far the best decision I ever made. I still remember the soft touch of their hands on my bare skin!

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