Wednesday, September 4

Thoughts On Breastfeeding

If you can remember breastfeeding did not come easy for me.  In fact, it was really really hard.  But, I persisted on because that is what I felt was best for Penelope.  There were many days, if not every day, that were frustrating and difficult.  My let down didn't happen when Penelope would be hungry.  She would have to suck and suck to finally get it to happen.  I felt so sorry that my body couldn't feed her at times quick enough.  

When my let down finally did happen, things were pure bliss.  I savored those moments where she would nurse like a champ.  She would play with my P necklace and try and put her fingers in my mouth.  She would even rest her chubby little leg up on my shoulder.  Oh how I lived for these moments.  I cherished every night I got to nurse her to sleep.  It calmed her down for the night and did the same for me in return.  I didn't mind waking up in the middle of the night to feed her, because that was the one sure time breastfeeding was not a battle.  Nellie was too delirious to realize she had to work for her food.  It was awesome. 

I am proud of both of us for getting to where we are.  Nellie was able to keep breastfeeding, even through the tough times.  She stuck with it through her RSV stay at Primary Childrens and through her open heart surgery.  I did a lot of pumping, but was able to keep my milk supply up for her.  

In the past I had always said I wanted to nurse her till six months, but once six months came, I wasn't ready to be done.  My next goal was to make it to a year.  This past week changed those plans.  Penelope has always been such an easy going baby.  I would hear that this was just not normal.  She loved her car seat, her binkie, sleeping on her back and was simply pretty close to the perfect baby.  Nursing aside, I felt like this motherhood thing was pretty easy.  Last week really through me for a loop.  She decided she didn't want her binkie, she screamed and screamed every time I put her in her car seat, she got her first ear infection, didn't want to be put down for bed and the icing on the cake, she decided she didn't want to nurse anymore.  

This broke my heart.  I tried throughout the week on and off.  I would wait till she was really hungry and try again.  She was just not having it.  She would shake her head and scream.  Because nursing was so difficult for me, I thought I would be shouting from the roof tops once I had made it to the one year mark.  I wasn't going to miss the mastitis, the engorged feeling, the battle to get my let down to happen, and carrying around those few extra pounds.  She decided she was done and not me.  I didn't know it was going to be so hard.  Maybe it was a mix of emotions with everything else that had been going on throughout the week.  But honestly, I think I really enjoyed nursing my baby.  It was the one thing that I could give her that nobody else could.  My milk got her nice and plumpy and gave her each and every one of her luscious rolls.  I feel like it gave her strength to make it through her surgery and helped teach me so much about patience and persistence.  

I let a few tears fall and still have a hard time thinking this special time with Penelope is over with.  She still wakes up once in the middle of the night to eat, still too delirious to realize she is nursing.  I'm not sure how much longer I can handle not sleeping through the night and how much longer it is going to be before I dry up completely.  Is it this hard for everyone to let go of nursing or just me?

Sometimes I want to cry, but I have to tell myself I did it.  I stuck with it as long as I possibly could.  I will still have those bonding moments with Penelope, they will just happen in other ways.  I have truly cherished this season of my life.  My love and respect for other women has grown so much.  I am a stronger person and now know my body can work, it just is a little harder for me than most.  

I love my baby so much and want what is best for her.  Right now that is the bottle and some formula.  I hate paying the money but am so grateful she will take it.  I still love that she snuggles up to me close while I feed her the bottle.  I know she can do it on her own, but I enjoy seeing that chubby face of hers rest on her chest, while her big eyes stare into mine.

I cherish these moments and love that I get to be Penelope's mom.  I hope one day she will realize, that there isn't anything I wouldn't do for her.
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  1. What a sweet post, I love this! I can totally relate too! I remember how hard it was nursing my first two! I only made it a month with them because I had so many problems. Then my third baby I was determined to tough it out and do it, and I did! And I was able to nurse him til he was about 1 :) I remember it was bittersweet when I stopped nursing. I was excited to have my body back, but not too thrilled at losing that special bond I felt we made. But ours seemed to just happen, he already started weaning himself getting closer to a year, then he ended up getting sick and wasn't able to nurse because his nose was too stuffy and couldn't breathe. So it just seemed to fall into place that he was being weaned. I think every mother who nurses for that long has a bit of sadness when they stop nursing, I just think a lot of it has to do with our certain experiences we have through it all. So don't feel silly being so sad about it, it's totally normal and I think most moms can relate! Just know that you are way beyond blessed that you have made it this long, most mothers have a hard time and can't go that long. That's how I felt when I made it to a year! :) xoxo!!

  2. I can relate. It was hard for me to give up nursing too! I think it's hard to give-up any of the familiar infant routines...and don't even get me started on putting away the clothes that no longer fit! It breaks my heart every time to say goodbye to each season in my little Chloe's life but I cherish every moment and look forward with anticipation for future milestones. :) Bless your heart!

  3. What a sweet post!!! I remember all those feelings too well, your first one is soo hard because its all new and you don't really know what you are doing! Each kid nursing gets easier and easier I promise😀but when it's time to stop at least for me I go through depression That part never gets easier knowing that that stage is over! There is nothing better than nursing your babe, the random side pinches, bites and feelings of being WAY to full are all totally worth it!

  4. Love this post Janessa! Nursing has been mine and Radcliff's very favorite thing since he was born and at 14 months, I don't think either of us can fathom giving it up. But at some point we will have to and I'm praying (as sad as it will be!) that he just isn't interested anymore like Penelope. Can you imagine being so engorged, sad you have to stop already, you're baby begging for it, and not being able to give it to them? I think it's better when they're done on their own. Bonus for you? You can use bleaching cream on your face! LOL, not that you need it but I do from the dark spots I got while I was pregnant and can't use it till I'm done breast feeding.

  5. Nursing was the hardest thing to give up for me! Hang in there momma! You are amazing and Penelope is so lucky yo have you!