Breast feeding Now. 1 year. And Beyond.

Topic : Breastfeeding

Today CBJ made the sign for “milk” for the 1st time.

And she MEANT it.

And then she did it again for her afternoon snack.

Sweet.

That was just a great moment from today, not the focus of the post. 😉

So, I wanted to write a post just about the breast feeding cause there’s been lots happening and I know that when I did the birthday/12 month post there would be people that didn’t really want an update on the boobs.

Which I get.

I’ll be honest here, the past weeks have been a struggle, and I think that’s a REALLY good thing for other moms to know and realize.
CBJ is still breast feeding and if I look at the overall pictures, she’s wanting to breast feed often and is happy to nurse.
When I want her to be 6 months old and eating every 3-4 hours again I think she’s totally over nursing and I get real worked up.

Clearly this benefits no one.
Not me.
Not her.
Not poor Travis who gets to hear about it.
🙂

I write in this post about the changes that had been going on with our breast feeding relationship.

And it was and is emotional still.

A few weeks ago she cut her 1st molar and was biting me.
I was going to throw in the towel.
And then…she stopped biting.

Then she decided she wanted to only nap on the boob.
Newborn style.
SO we nap-nursed.
For HOURS.
I was exhausted.
Felt like I had no “me” time.
And then felt guilty that I was wanting “me” time.

Then one day…she stopped wanting to nap nurse after about a week of it and only wanted to “snack”.
This made for huge boobs and a confused me.
Then I felt sad that she DIDN”T want to nap-nurse!

This is what breast feeding is.
Ever changing.
Daily changing.
I struggle with this.

Why?
I think physically it’s difficult to have big boobs and be afraid of plugged ducts (those HURT and I would wish them on no one ever).
I also have the joy of being so low in estrogen because we’ve been breast feeding for some time that I get hot flashes.
Like menopause…
Not cool (no pun intended).
The flashes suck and they tend to come on at night when the boobs aren’t drained.
Please believe this doesn’t happen to everyone, I think it’s a body chemistry thing but it’s happening to me.
And I can deal but it makes the skipped nighttime feedings more uncomfortable and hot…which is goo.

For me emotionally I think it’s hard to have it not feel like rejection when she doesn’t want to nurse.
Or I’ll also think I’m not providing for my child, although if she was hungry…she would eat.

I keep thinking that today will be the same as yesterday.
And it’s not.
It’s not even close.

Some days I have a quick let-down.
Other days…it seems to be non-existent.

Some days she nurses to sleep all day.
Other days she nurses to sleep on the boobs, then she’s not napping, then she nurses, plays, then wants more…then sleep.

Some days I want a break.
Other days she doesn’t want to hang out and nurse and I would love to not have a break for 2 years.

I write these posts because I didn’t think that I would have more questions or emotion about nursing at one year than I did with a newborn.

I have had to stick with it, if I had not had support I would’ve thought her biting was a sign of her wanting to wean.
I would’ve thought her not wanting to nurse when she “usually” did was her being done.

And one day she might bite and it’s because she IS done.
And one day she will not want to nurse to sleep at all.
I’ve gotten a glimpse of that.
And it’s hard.

I also know as we came to the year mark and we keep on, being flexible it the name of the game.

If my let-down is slow, she’ll stay on and nurse if she’s hungry.
If not, she wasn’t wanting a “meal”.

My let down will come.
And if it doesn’t, there’s still milk there and she’s getting it.

I can always offer her a boob again.
And if she wants to nurse, she will.
If she doesn’t want to nurse, go on with the day.
I REPEAT. GO ON WITH THE DAY.
(I tend to want to cry or get frustrated- don’t like to admit it but I do).

The transition of nursing a newborn to a 8 month old to a 1 year old has been different than I thought, no one ever told me.

I’m here to tell you…it’s going to be a disaster some days.
Other days it will make you smile and it’s the best part of what is a very shitty day.
But for me, the dance/process/journey continues.

Some days it’s a real joy.
Other days it’s love that gets me through it (for her and for me).
Some days I want to be done.

And then like today, after a sleepless night of a big feeding and a seemingly non-existent let-down…your child signs “milk”.
Because that’s what she REALLY wants.

Ask for help.
I ask for help a lot.
Know you can be frustrated.
Breast feeding isn’t about staring at your child with love for hours at a time (that does happen) but if it’s a time for you to check in on facebook…um, do it!

Be kind to yourselves.
Be kind to your child.

IF you’re struggling like I do on more than one day, KNOW tomorrow is a NEW day.

And that NEW day is the NEW normal.
And it’s just NORMAL for that ONE day.
🙂

Emma
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Comments

  • Meghann Parson August 27, 2014

    Emma, I have the same problem with Tess who is not quite 22 months. Still nursing and sometimes refuses to eat. We add raw sprouted protein to her smoothies. Not a huge amount but just a little. She will almost always eat eggs, pancakes and bacon (I'd very easily be ovolactovegetarian but Daddy is a meat eater) or eggs, guacamole, Brown rice and black beans. Or avocado. Those are my only two "go to" meals. And carbs. She'll eat cookies or crackers for days. Glad the doctor was supportive, I've been thinking about going there as well. I'm sick of the weaning conversation.

    • ReplyEmma August 27, 2014

      Scrambled eggs are a hit so I'm going to keep offering, avocado too.. I was impressed by Little Flower, it is so refreshing to be in a place that supports breastfeeding. Not a formula pamphlet in the place. And applause for continuing to breastfeed? Makes me want to go daily! It's far by driving standards (least from our house) but worth it to be able to not get hassled about parenting choices.

  • Bethany May 14, 2014

    Good job, mama!

    • ReplyEmma May 15, 2014

      :) thank you friend!

  • Lara October 18, 2013

    Wow, I'm so glad we aren't the only ones who have gone through all these ups and downs with nursing. G is still nursing strong at 14.5 months. There were times when I swore he was weaning himself (8/9 months, and I cried and cried), and nowadays lately he nurses like a newborn. Some days I have so much milk that I'm still spurting and needing nursing pads, other days I think he looks at me like, "Turn it on, mama!" I think the lesson after we have put all this time in it should be: our babies and our bodies know what to do! :)

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