Well, the Boy is off the boob.
I can’t lie and say I was not excited for this day. I have been counting down the days, to be honest.
I have spoken with so many women who say that nursing is “wonderful”, an “amazing bonding experience,” but I never really got that.
First of all, he wouldn’t do it very well to begin with. Because my milk didn’t come in, the nurse had our baby suckle Dallas’s pinky finger while we fished a small tube with a syringe of formula into his mouth. They told us he would never breastfeed if we gave him a bottle. So, for about a week, I pumped and Dallas would feed him. I was told to attempt to breastfeed for at least 10 minutes for each feeding.
Each and every feeding (every two hours, round the clock) ended up with a screaming baby, and me, crying out of frustration. I knew in my heart I could never be a good mom as I handed over my child to anyone nearby and retreated to some dark corner to pump him a meal.
After several weeks of pumping and bottle feeding, and with the help of a wonderful and gifted lactation specialist, I was finally able to get him to eat.
But the damage was done. I hated it. I. Hated. It.
Feedings would give me stomachaches, because I had that dread tattooed on my emotional brain.
I told myself I would do it for six month and then give him formula.
Well, my little Stinker wouldn’t take formula. He spat it out and gave me a face like I was trying to poison him.
Who could blame him, though, honestly. Have you tried that stuff? Blech. It tastes like an Iron milkshake, sans milk or anything remotely tasty. I tried it the last time I tried to force it down his gullet, and then decided I guess I could make it six more months.
So the day came. He turned a year. I was finished! But then…
…I couldn’t do it. I was only nursing at night, but the thought actually made me sad.
I decided tonight that I would put him down with a sippy cup. As I was rocking him, I had this strange feeling of guilt and regret. For a second, I almost changed my mind.
I know what you’re thinking, why quit if you want to keep nursing him?
Here are my reasons:
1. In my religious beliefs, we fast each month for any cause that we feel warrants it (a sick friend, a family member dealing with issues, etc) and I can’t while I am nursing.
2. We are ready for him to have a sleep over with grandma, and he can’t sleep over if he needs to be nursed.
3. I need to be my own person, be able to take medications (I have chronic headaches), eat what I want!
I know these reasons aren’t super solid, but they are important to me and I have been excited! I never expected that I would be miss it.
So there I sat, rocking him, my eyes wet and my heart full. I said a silent prayer of gratitude, thanking my God for giving me this wonderful infant, for blessing me with the opportunity to raise my own child, to be a mom. And begged forgiveness for all the sleepless nights and postpartum emotional breakdowns when I wanted to send him back, when I regretted getting pregnant, when I knew I made a mistake and I couldn’t do this.
Because it wasn’t true.
Who couldn’t love this mug?