I have wanted to post about my experiences with breastfeeding over this past year, and so I'm going to. As of January 11th, I made my g...

Breastfeeding 2009 and Beyond!

I have wanted to post about my experiences with breastfeeding over this past year, and so I'm going to. As of January 11th, I made my goal of breastfeeding for a year! It was something else to celebrate on Addie's birthday, but I didn't get a cake or anything.

I have learned so much and changed so much in the past 10 years or so. I'm so thankful for a God who loves me but is completely unsatisfied to let me ferment in my own ignorance and hypocrisy. Oh I am still obnoxious a lot of times, but I used to develop an opinion about everything just so I could justify talking about it. I still do, and later when I actually experience something for myself, it turns out that my opinion was completely wrong or I feel totally different than I did before. Sometimes God does that for me, oh, sweet Kristina, the times she has listened as I struggled through some Biblical concept or another that I just refused to accept. Gasp three years later as I was reading "The Politically Incorrect Wife" and "Liberated through Submission" before I got married! Do you know how much harder it is to change your opinion or grow as a person when everybody and their cousin knows your previous one, because you felt it your personal goal in life to share it all the time whether asked to do so or not??? Point is, breastfeeding was one of those things that I had opinions about but had no business doing until it pertained to me.

I knew it was good for the baby, always heard it was very "natural," had heard statistics about smarter more sensitive children as a result of breastfeeding, la la la. Sure, I'd do that for a few months, maybe 6, but EEEWW, those nasty people who breastfeed toddlers. ICK, GROSS, how could anybody nurse a 25 pound kid that's bouncing all over their lap. AAARRGGG, if a kid can ask for neenees it's time to wean, blah! Yes, this was me. I even skipped most of the chapter in my breastfeeding book on "nursing your toddler."

I also skipped the one on returning to work because it made me cry. (That was another thing I developed useless opinions about..."oh I never want to give up my career to stay home with kids, I think they would respect me less and I may end up resenting them if I did that," yes seriously, I thought that before. What was wrong with me?? Gosh I had a chip on my shoulder and I still do about so many things! Oh, here's the difference though, I now know that some people do feel that way and I can respect that thought while smugly sitting back like an old granny thinking to myself, "Oh, she'll change her mind when she has a little bitty baby in her arms...hee hee hee." This is still completely ridiculous and self-involved so I haven't grown as much as I'd hoped, aaahhh!)

Where was I, yes nursing toddlers. Well, Addie is one now and although she isn't walking/toddling yet, she is quite the gymnast! I got my book out and read through the nursing your toddler chapter and natural weaning. Addie isn't any different to me because she's one. She is still my sweet baby, and I feel this urge to comfort her, nourish her, hold her close, and cherish my time with her. Other people look at her and see this big girl feeding herself cheerios and gettin' down with her favorite jam, but I see baby Addie Belle and she needs me. I don't know when she'll be ready to wean or when I'll be ready, but I also don't know if I have a line drawn in the sand anymore. I've already started trying to think of a code word, just in case she picks up this whole talking thing before I'm ready!

So, here's a quick review of what I've learned for myself about breastfeeding.
1) It is wicked hard.
2) It hurts, like bloody cracked, scabby nipples hurts...for awhile until you and baby figure it all out.
3) Lanolin is nice, but freezer gel pads are lovely
4) It may be "natural" but it doesn't come naturally. Mom and baby have to learn how to do it, how to get them latched properly, how to do the lip flip (Addie tucked her bottom lip under relentlessly for months which hurt like poo stank!), how to position so your back doesn't hurt, etc.
5) It is very time consuming and bottles are so tempting
6) Pacifiers and bottles when necessary will not scar baby for life and prevent breastfeeding from "working"
7) Sometimes, it just doesn't work, and when mom and baby are both unhappy, there's no failure in letting go!
8) Breastfeeding in public is for skinny women with no love handles and belly rolls to try and hide with a nursing cover the size of a dish towel. It is also only intended for a certain age group, after baby can find your nipple by themselves but before they can rip the nursing cover off of themselves and you at exactly the right moment to reveal all your goods.
9) Uggh, nipple shields are difficult to work with, especially with the whole nursing cover thing, and they are a delicacy for Jack Russell Terriers, Rimshot ate seven of them.
10) Night nursing/co-sleeping is not just for weirdos, it saved my sanity!
11) Babies grow out of the Boppy, sad day!
12) It is necessary to have a dad or helping hand nearby because you will always forget something you need when you sit down to nurse, your water, your phone, the burp cloth, etc. It may be only a few inches from you, but nothing could make you move once you get that baby latched. Props to you ladies who can nurse in a sling or carry your baby around nursing. My experience is that it's hard to carry a baby around that low!! ;)
13) Babies bite, but it isn't the end of the world, or of breastfeeding, and it's possible to actually feel bad that you yelped. I scared Addie so bad and she just cried and cried, poor thing. Who cares that I was bleeding?
14) The pump, love/hate, love/hate, hate hate hate, love, HATE HATE HATE, love,
15) Dry weather affects boobs like it does your elbows
16) Nursing makes for some resentment towards dad, who seems to have it easy at 1, 3, & 5 am.
17) Baby's face covered in milk with a fat hog look on it equals pride and joy!
18) I would one day miss having to wear breast pads, no more leaking, awww.
19) I would have to FIGHT Addie in the FACE to get her to nurse, nursing strikes make moms cry, but mom can win!!! Yes, at one point I withheld solid foods for 2 days in order to win a fight with a 10 month old.
20) That someday a baby would jump up and down on my knee while latched on and only come off to laugh hysterically and clap for herself.
21) Spit up = sad, liquid gold sopped up in burp cloth
22) People are rude, petty, jealous, ignorant, and downright awful sometimes about breastfeeding.
23) People are supportive, encouraging, loving, and downright wonderful sometimes about breastfeeding.
24) Babies get a lot faster at nursing, what used to take 45 minutes, takes 15 at MOST now. Most of the time a 5 minute snack is all she has time for.
25) I have a new appreciation for these things I have to carry around. They are now my friends rather than my enemy.

Okay, there are a lot more, especially good ones about how fulfilling it is and how much time and love I feel I've shared with Addie. I think this post is way too long though. Maybe I'll do a prequel and a sequel and so on and so forth someday!


ainmemphis said...

awesome post, I look forward to sharing one of my own in the future! I know exactly what you mean though about a lot of things

Can said...

I'm so proud of you :o)

Pediddlepie said...

Thanks, ladies!

Miss W said...

I so get you on having loud opinions and having to backtrack on them. I've been through that a few times. :) If I could stop having loud opinions that might help, but it's hard for me to stop talking once I get going.

Anonymous said...

Sooo, I actually read this post last night which gives me every right to blame you for the creepy breastfeeding dream I had last night. You'll have to call me to find out the details because it's too weird to post on here. Lets just say that even though I'm about to have my second the journey that is breastfeeding posed several new obstacles that I certainly did not face with Eva. Just thought you should know :)