If you are a male, or I suppose even a female, that is unnerved or bothered by words like breastfeeding, weaning, pumping, or milk supply, you can stop reading now. Or if you are a grandparent who only checks the blog to see pictures of the little miss, know in advance that there are no pictures on this post. I am saving you disappointment, really. You're welcome.
I knew you really wouldn't stop. But don't say you weren't warned.
I have debated whether or not to blog about what may or may not be a sensitive topic to some readers but then decided that after a clearly posted warning and even a second chance to stop reading, ultimately it's my blog and I'll write about weaning if I want to. (Reference to 60's pop song clearly intended).
To wean or not to wean: this is my question. With Grace coming up on her one year birthday, I have some decisions to make on how our little miss will continue to be fed. I go back and forth on a daily basis. For starters, I don't want to be that mom; you know the one I'm talking about. The mom who has a talking, walking little one who can lift her shirt up and ask for it. Not to offend, but I don't want to be that mom.
I also don't want to be the mom who gives in to social pressure to quit nursing my baby when she turns one just because that is the "normal" thing to do. I love nursing. I will admit it. It is easy cheesey japan-eesy, convenient, free, and I love that it is something only I can do for my child. Especially with the winter months coming up and all of the sickness going around, a part of me wants to get her through this time with the healthiest option. Mostly, I know Grace isn't ready. I have tried the last few weeks to go from five feedings a day to three and I know she hates it. When she is around me, she claws at me and I know she is mad we have gone to three feedings a day. On weekends it is really more like four and a half but I digress...
But a big part of me is ready to stop for what I feel are selfish reasons. Mostly, I want my body back. I want my boobs to be my boobs again, you know what I mean? Feeling like a dairy cow on a daily basis gets old. I have also read and heard numerous times that when you stop nursing you have an easier time losing those last pesky five or ten pounds. That part sounds nice. I am also ready to quit pumping!! Can I get a what what? I have a love hate relationship with that machine and the freedom it affords me to not have Grace attached to my hip all day every day.
I know this can be a touchy topic, but talking it over with a few friends this week made me feel normal. I have friends who were never able to nurse, those who are still nursing their babies at 14 months, those who quit the day their baby turned one, those who have a "no talking or walking rule," and one who is still nursing her two year old baby.
I think mostly I am shocked to be the mom contemplating nursing past a year. I remember the first breastfeeding support group class I went to when Grace was a month old. Moms with babies of varying ages sat and shared about nursing- the good, the bad, and the ugly- and a woman with an 11 month old baby started talking about how she wasn't ready to give up nursing. I remember thinking, "dear Lord, just let me make it past three months. I won't feel like a failure if I can just make it to three months..." and that the woman was crazy. She must be one of those moms, who can't let go, the mother-earth, hippie chickie type that weans her child the day they start kindergarten. I am in her shoes right now and still haven't fully made my decision. I know EXACTLY where she is coming from.
I may change my mind next week, but as of the publish date of this post, I have decided to let Grace decide. (To a point. But don't ask me what that point is. I'm not sure yet. Clearly. Haven't you been reading this post?) To be honest, I am hoping that she makes the decision for me. A lot of my friends said you will know when she is done. Fingers crossed that happens to us. I hope she is before kindergarten...
Your thoughts? I was going to say that I forbade those without mammaries to comment, but if you have made it this far, comment until your heart is content. I am curious to hear what other moms are doing, have done, plan to do...