I’m feeling a little sad today. I don’t know if sad is the most appropriate word, but for being an English major, my vocabulary fails me when I really need it.
When I was pregnant, there was no question in my mind that I was going to breastfeed. I was breastfed and it was just engrained in my head that that was what you did. I didn’t really think about. Of course, there is tons of research to support it and a million benefits.
When Isaac was born he latched pretty good. I remember being frustrated those first few days. But we were doing just fine…until jaundice set in and the doc wanted to supplement formula. We compiled, but Isaac threw it up immediately and we never returned. My milk came in and that was the end of that.
I spent weeks soaking wet from leaking. I spent weeks in pain due to cracked nipples. Isaac relied solely on me for nourishment. I worried if he got enough. I tried to pump to provide a safe guard in case it was needed. I remember wanting to quit – to give up. Somehow we made it through. Eventually, I wasn’t always wet. My nipples healed. I learned that pumping was overrated because it would go bad before we ever used it.
Before we started nursing I tried to determine at what age nursing should end. Some fancy organization says something like until it is “undesirable” for mother or baby. Every time we saw the pediatrician he asked what my plan was. I said I was going to nurse him until he was done.
It seems like that time has come. Almost 16 months…he asks to nurse, but will look at my boob, laugh, stick his thumb in his mouth and rest his head on my boob. Sometimes he’ll suckle, but not for the past two days.
I know this is a good thing. I mean really, do I want to be in public with my talking child yelling that he wants to nurse? Not really. Do I now get to enjoy my evening cocktail without thinking about extra milk or if he’ll go to sleep without nursing tonight? Absolutely. Is it easier to go on an evening date because anyone can put him to bed? Sure.
It’s just that somewhere, deep inside me, I’m sad – irrationally sad.