Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Adventures in Breastfeeding: Extended Nursing and Me

Why is it that as soon as your little one turns a year old, those that were patting you on the back for nursing suddenly have a hellacious death grip, and begin berating you for not giving the baby cow's milk? We undermine our 'Normalize Breastfeeding' campaign by putting boundaries on it. We give formula moms more crap about keeping their kid on formula (stage 2 for toddlers, yeah!) instead of giving them cow milk. 
When I see articles about extended nursing, and moms that do so , I get a little flutter in my heart. It's something I want, but we get that crazy eye when Monster pulls my shirt for 'Yums'!

Her favorite position at nap time.
First of all, my milk will be far more nutritious than any cow's milk. Period.
End of story.
Second of all, Beans has a lactose sensitivity, and always has had this. She isn't fully lactose intolerant, but we have to watch how much yogurt, cheese, and milk she gets so we don't have any issues. Do I want to watch Monster Girl go through the same nightmare that we had with Beans? Certainly not.

Currently, I am struggling to keep my supply up. I don't know if my body is done, or if it's just done pumping, but I can't get out more than 4 ounces per pump session. Monster seems content enough when I get home, so I'm thinking of light weaning- Nurse in the morning before the alarm goes off, nurse when I get home, nurse at bedtime, and any time she needs it during the night.
(I dunno what I'm going to do about nap time on my days off; we'll burn that bridge when we come to it, I guess)

Monster Girl at the big kid table!
While at daycare, she has been turning away from the bottle, refusing to drink any more than an ounce or so. She settles fairly well into a nap on her own, and I am finding that this is the same at night. We nurse, she pulls off after ten minutes, and then I can put her to bed with no incident.

Now, here's the kicker: I'm not ready. I thought I was! I could've swore that I accepted my fate a few months back, when my supply started to dip again. I thought I could handle the fact that my little Monster Girl is growing up, and seems to want to pull away for independence. With Beans, it was different. We didn't really bond until she was a very sweet, but sassy, two year old. I didn't feel this milestone hit me like a ton of bricks.
Maybe I'm selfish. Maybe -I'm- the needy one. I've been pretty hard on myself about things, guilt tripping myself a lot with 'if you stayed at home, you could nurse her as long as you want! You don't have issues with supply when she's latched. You could watch every moment, every smile, every tantrum, and be able to cuddle and comfort with that boob.'

At this point, I'm not sure which is worse: The guilt, or the longing.
Love ya, Mamas!