It’s World Breastfeeding Week and it seeing all these posts on Facebook and Instagram leave me feeling all sentimental about my nursing relationship with Penelope and a little sad about the surprise weaning with Connor. Now, you guys know I went into my first pregnancy with every intentional of nursing Connor until he was ready to wean but I just wasn’t ready for that to be at 7 months and I just wasn’t educated enough to know we could have worked through his nursing strike. Instead I pumped like a crazy woman to make sure he had breastmilk to drink in his bottles until he was 18 months but that just doesn’t compare to the connection that forms while breastfeeding.
You live and you learn. When you know better you do better, right? Blah. Whatever. It makes me sad.
So once I become pregnant with Penelope I put the pump away for a few months and crossed my fingers in between
morning all day sickness for a positive, successful breastfeeding relationship with the sweet little peanut growing quickly inside of me. November 26th rolled around and there she was healthy, happy and nursing immediately but not for long… it was a roller coaster in the beginning – nipple shields, feeding syringes, lactation consultants and tears were involved throughout the first 6 weeks. Many, many tears. My poor husband – he handled me well. I was so sad that nothing about our nursing relationship was natural.
Weeks of struggle and a lot of weeping came and went and then suddenly it happened – she latched again and then again and again! WITHOUT the shield. All was right in the world – and has been ever since.
I schedule nothing. We nurse whenever she needs. I soak it all in knowing this will probably be my last little nursling. Knowing I’m so fortunate to be home with my babies nursing whenever is needed – for nutrition, for comfort. Fortunate to have overcome our obstacles. Fortunate to have found support in all of you…
We nurse in the sling, in the ergo, in the park, in the store. We nurse whenever, wherever. My confidence level with nursing in public is so much better than it was with Connor. I now have a feeling of pride while I’m nursing my daughter – knowing all that we have conquered together.
Connor sneaks in a few sips here and there from my breast these days. He giggles and squeals and tells me he’s drinking Penelope’s milk. I tell him it’s his milk too, if he wants it. (He drinks it out of a cup still but I’m not sure if he’s made the connection yet that it’s the same) He doesn’t commit to any length of time nursing. Just a bit here and there. It makes him feel included and that’s all I want for him.
Penelope and I have come a long way. We used to only be able to nurse using the My Breast Friend nursing pillow (and it was totally my best friend those first few months) only in the football hold. These days she’s become a bit more creative – she’ll nurse sitting up, she’ll throw her whole body over me if necessary to find my breast. She’ll give my shirt a little bite to let me know she wants in. She becomes completely distracted by her brother and pops on and off all day if he’s around. When we can find a quiet moment together she lays content, warm in my arms, her hand in my mouth always, nursing herself to sleep. During the night, not yet fully awake, she roots around my body in search for her place of comfort and settles in nursing until feeling satisfied that I am close by only to roll over a few minutes later to continue dreaming.
I see no signs of this little girl giving up her time nursing anytime soon. As far as I’m in concerned now – I’ll be happy to keep up this relationship for as long as she needs.