I wrote this in November of 2011 and it’s still very fresh to me. As my baby turns 6 at the end of this week, all the feels came rushing back.
I came down my first cold tonight. For the last two years, I’ve either been pregnant or breastfeeding, so it didn’t even occur to me I could take medicine for it. I had to ask my husband what I should take! And it made me miss breastfeeding even more. My baby boy is 15 months old now and we stopped breastfeeding around a month and a half ago. And I miss it like crazy. I wasn’t the one who wanted to wean. It was him.
This is the first child I was really successful with (it didn’t work with my first child and it worked 1/2 the time with my middle child, until a cold derailed things at 7 months with her).
I miss breastfeeding my little guy, sending all that healthy milk into his system – full of antibodies and nutrition. I watched what I ate and didn’t take medications (other than Metformin, which I was on because I make too much insulin and had gestational diabetes this pregnancy).
I miss nursing. We’d sit on our ancient recliner and I’d nurse him as I hung out with my family. I’d nurse him in public — funnily enough, people were very supportive on the NYC Subway. I’d nurse him at blogger events and at playdates and play spaces. I’d nurse him at friend’s houses and at my parents’ house. This is what we did and it wasn’t anyone’s business to make a comment.
I loved the way he would latch on — and I would get giddy, because unlike my other kids, he latched on much easier and successfully fed. This was my chance to get breastfeeding right and I did it for 13 and a half months– but why am I sad? Probably because I had secretly hoped to make it until 18 months (or even longer). Skylar started getting teeth at almost 11 months and it started going downhill from there. We will nursed, but he also got very active and started cruising. My energetic little boy wanted to be up and around. So, after he turned 13 months, I had to admit it was over. I had waffled over the decision for a while, but he wasn’t interested anymore and I finally had to accept that.
So we stopped and I doubled my metformin dose (Safely, I could only take a 1000 mg a day). Once I did that, my milk was toxic to and I couldn’t go back on my decision. While I still miss it terribly, little man has not asked or tried to nurse at all — which saddened me. But it was baby-led weaning — even if Mama could have happily continued nursing. He was fine, I’ll just have to get over it.
If you’re a mama who’s having breastfeeding problems, seek help from a lactation consultant. It does get better and you can feed your babe. I’m living proof.
It’s not my place to judge anyone who either can’t or is not going to breastfeed, but if you need information or encouragement, I’m happy to lend an ear.