Thursday, January 26, 2006

B is for.....


I have been breastfeeding my PumpkinBoy for over 2.5 years now. It is has been a huge part of my life since he arrived, and no one could be more surprised about this than me. I never thought I would be what the breastfeeding community calls an "extended nurser". It was all I could do to make it though the first few days and weeks. I am proud of myself that I stuck with it. I am proud of myself that an average-sized 7+ pound baby turned into an off-the-charts hulk of a infant and toddler, gaining all those pounds and inches his first 6 months on nothing but mother's milk. I am proud that I found the energy and courage to pump breastmilk at work 3x a day for the first year of his life so that he could have it at daycare. I am proud that I am still able to give him that comfort and connection today, even though I am so ready to have my body back to myself.

I think it is sad that our culture has turned breastfeeding into something political, and that it is not readily accepted as just feeding your baby. I hate that moms use nursing or not as yet another stick to poke each other with when comparing and competing our mothering "credentials".

I just went through all of the photos we have taken since PumpkinBoy arrived in June of 2003, and I cannot find one photo of me nursing him. This amazes and saddens me - it is practically ALL I DID for the first months of his life. Man, I can't believe that!

Anway, I leave you with another photo from ProjectBreastmilk, courtesty of Amber Parmley, that kind of reminds me of my little dude.


Blogger Carole said...

You are so right and I agree completely. I nursed Hannah for about 14 months and then she weaned herself. I wasn't ready and that surprised me! Once I got the hang of it (about 2-3 weeks), I found nursing to be the easiest thing in the world! Always the right temperature, always available, and the best food, too. Hats off to you for your extended nursing!

10:18 AM  
Blogger Sandysknitting said...

That is a beautiful story!
Looks like this is B day!

10:18 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

Wow, that is a long time! Both my boys weaned themselves around twelve months. I loved it and missed it once it was over. It's such a special time together.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Good for you, breastfeeding Pumpkinboy fo so long. Even though it was difficult at first, I'm so glad I stuck with it. Breastfeeding is such a special bond between mother and baby.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Ramona said...

I completely agree with. 40 years ago when my Mother-in-law decided to breastfeed my husband. Her "friends" would ask her to please not do it at their houses because they thought it would be a bad influence on their children. I am now weaning my second child, she is 18-months old and I feel a little sad knowing I will not be breastfeeding anymore children. I am usually just a "lurker" on your blog but this issue is close to my heart.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

Wonderful B post! I also nursed my babies for over 1.5 years. The first weaned during the pregnancy with the second and the second weaned on his own. Weaning was so easy with both of them.

They are now 11 and 13 and I'm so glad I had that special time with them. I wouldn't have traded it for anything.

BTW, with my first, on her 2 week checkup the doctor said she wasn't gaining enough and I needed to start bottle feeding. I was adamant that I would not do that so I got a bf consultant to help with the pain and cracking I was having. By the time she was 6 months old she had tripled her weight! HA, I sure showed him!

12:42 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Great post. I breastfed all three, and wouldn't have it any other way.

I was once told that I couldn't nurse my Eldest while sitting on a couch in corner on the second floor of the Field Museum in Chicago, because there was "no eating in the museum". The guard insisted that I would have to take the boy down to the food court areas (in the basement). Happily for us, my son finished nursing just about then. Sadly for everyone, attitudes like that are still out there.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

Good for you! I wish I had someone like you around to encourage me when I got frustrated in my first weeks of breastfeeding. I gave it up at 8 weeks.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Cassie said...

I breastfed my daughter for 3 years, and I've never regretted any of it in spite of a lot of criticism at the time (I suspect that it might be more acceptable now).

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Great job! Little Geek was 13 months old when he stopped. I was a little sad, but glad for some new freedom. I would do it again in a heart beat. I like you pumped my milk at work. I am glad they had a nice spot for me to do this in. I would hear a few wraps on the door and a few moo's but I took it in stride! My boobs were huge! I never knew that bras could go up to a size "E" Great Post!

Beth (big geek)

12:12 PM  
Blogger CarryFairie said...

Great post! I, too, was a breastfeeding mama. Both my boys weaned themselves shortly before their first birthdays though, so I didn't get to do the extended breastfeeding.

I sure do miss those days! Thanks for the memories...

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Julia said...

Hey there, I'm still breastfeeding as well, my daughter is 15 months now. While we're both still enjoying the closeness and special bond it creates, I get a lot of bewildered looks when I tell someone I'm still breastfeeding- pretty much since Johanna was about 9 months old. It's amazing how many people have very little knowledge on breastfeeding... I'm somewhat ready to wean her, but it's just such a positive thing over all...

2:11 PM  
Blogger vanessa said...

i also nursed my son for 2 1/2 years, that was 26 years ago! when he was 16 and at the pediatrician for the last time, the doctor said to me, " i can count on one hand the number of times your son has been to see me."
nursed my dd for 2 years. back then people thought it was freakish ;-)

7:30 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Wow, I could have written this exact post! Good for you! I feel like we're some sort of club :)

10:52 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

this is my favorite "B" post yet - for many reasons. My brothers and I were extended nursers and it's something I hope I can do when I have kids of my own. I might return to work after I have kids, and knowing that someone else pumped (successfullly!) is a wonderful tidbit to stow away for future reference.

(I'm just now catching up - your fleece are beautiful...the crimp...the colors...oh how I wish there were a "touch and feel" aspect to the interent.)

10:04 AM  

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