I never saw myself as the breastfeeding type as I’m neither a Stepford wife or a hippie (In my mind those were the only types that breastfed their kids)…
The thought of someone drinking milk produced by my body just never appealed to me, it’s all rather weird and cow like I thought.
Why then am I so sad at the thought of giving it up?
We started the weaning process last week and I find myself feeling so sad about the whole thing.
Growing up I don’t remember seeing people breastfeed much….I know my mom didn’t (Only recently discovered that this was a medical decision not a personal one) and to be honest I can’t even remember if my aunts did.
I remember making bottles for my cousins though and sneaking a spoon of dry formula for myself…it tasted yummy (Nan I think it was) as I clearly didn’t understand the financial implications of my “taste testing” – formula does not come cheap.
I also remember being sent to the pharmacy on the corner to buy teats, nothing fancy like we have now, shaped like a breast and with special vents, just a run of the mill teat that you had to poke a hole into yourself at the risk of messing it up and having to buy another one.
The only breastfeeding I clearly remember was that of the young unwed mothers living in my grandmothers street.
I remember overhearing gossiping old ladies remark that they had to wash nappies and breastfeed because they were not smart enough to wait to have jobs or get guys who could afford kimbies (disposable nappies) or formula —- this was before cloth nappies became the “in thing” again.
So I think in the back of my mind breast feeding was classed as a last option , a go-to because you couldn’t afford anything else.
That view clearly changed. Hearing the health benefits I decided to breastfeed with Logan already (taking the I’ll try my best, but if I can’t I won’t hate myself approach) and by the time Aidan was here I had picked up pumps, special blankets, a feeding chair and a bunch of tips from my already breastfeeding friends.
I had a rocky start, as I just didn’t seem to produce enough. Aidy was in the NICU and I was allowed to stay with the sole purpose of feeding him, so it became increasingly important to “get milk” because if I couldn’t feed him I’d be sent home.
I wanted to stay, so I pumped like crazy (almost being reduced to tears when another new mom requested a second bottle while I could barely pump a tablespoons worth) I drank home remedies and had him practice suckling, I even took meds.
Maybe I was haunted by the fact that I could never feed Logan-he had to have donated milk (Later my friend donated milk on his behalf when she weaned her twins…heart warming to say the least)
By the time we got home I contemplated exclusively expressing because suddenly my milk was too much and feeding him was traumatic for both of us. Milk went everywhere as poor Aidy coughed and sputtered and promptly learned to BITE DOWN….Most mornings I woke up covered in milk despite breast pads and don’t get me started on the pain.
But soon things sorted themselves out and we got into a grove, he ended up having formula in the day (while I was at work) because I could not pump enough and because the specific (crazy pricey) formula was said to help with reflux.
But every morning and evening he would drink from me and it became “our thing”
Something only I could do for him-Our US TIME.
But I had always said I would stop breastfeeding when he turned one, a walking “talking” toddler with a mouth full of teeth was just never part of the deal (personal preference)
I’m hoping this will encourage him to eat more and help him get to sleep without me having to go and cuddle him at 3 in the morning.
So far so good, he is getting used to it, even if he tugs at me now and again asking for “juice” (weird I know-I say milk he says juice) but he seems to be “getting it”
As for me, I guess I will have to find another way to have “us time”
But all being said and done, I’m glad I gave this breastfeeding thing a go and I feel blessed that I could because I’m well aware that many woman are not as lucky.
HAPPY MONDAY ALL!