Why does it matter?

Now that Baby G is approaching a year old, the question of when I’m going to stop nursing him is becoming more and more prevalent. Sometimes it’s casually inserted into conversation like the answer is no big deal and other times it’s pointed and almost bordering on concern.

There are multiple “camps” concerning breastfeeding. There are the moms who have zero intention of breastfeeding at all ever (and some can’t fathom why anyone would want to), there are moms who feel guilted into it so they attempt it and then make excuses why it didn’t work, there are moms who plan to do the obligatory 6 weeks and then quit, others who put a date, age, or milestone expiration date on it, the actually small group of women who cannot physically breastfeed due to medical or physiological issues (and if you research nursing at all this percentage is actually very small) and then there are others (like myself) who actually enjoy BFing and plan to let our child wean when they are good and ready. Obviously there are variations within any group so don’t get your panties in a twist if you didn’t see your particular situation. This is about me anyway, not you.

Then you have the observers. Those who don’t have children or weren’t breastfed or are men or who are part of some of the alternate camps of breastfeeding thought. A lot of who think they can determine when and where and for how long it’s “okay” to breastfeed.

When did it become “weird” to nurse a toddler? Who decided that once a kid can say milk or boob or whatever then the child is too old? When did babies stop being babies at one year of age? When I think of a toddler I think 2. Not 12 months. And why does it matter if you’re nursing a toddler? Basically, what’s it to ya?

Why are people so obsessed with this subject. I can think of a LOT of things parents do that are WAY more distressing and detrimental to a child than nursing them when they are 3. Or even 4. Recently the Time Magazine cover with the toddler standing on a chair nursing freaked everyone out. The Pro-camp thought it groundbreaking and affirming and the Anti-camp called it vulgar and freaked out about it. Personally I thought the cover itself was intentionally inflammatory and a little distastful. But it caused a lot of strong feelings both ways. And honestly, the best reaction to it I’ve read so far is this one. Well said. Read some of his other stuff too. He’s pretty funny.

So back to my situation. I love breastfeeding. It’s not sexual, it’s not selfish, it’s just a wonderful time I get to spend with my son. It’s nutrition and comfort. It’s time spent just with momma and during that time everything is alright in the world. Plus I’m providing him the BEST nutrition out there. Believe what you will but even formula companies recommend breastfeeding first. I’m not saying if you give your kid formula he or she will grow up stunted, undernourished, and socially inept. Quit reading into things! I have strong opinions about breastfeeding and this is my blog, dang it!

Ok, sorry. This subject makes *people* get a little heated. I choose to breastfeed Baby G because I believe that is what is best for the both of us. It fits our lifestyle and his needs. And I will breastfeed him as long as he chooses. And if he’s 3 when he weans completely, well, so be it. But that’s my business. No one else’s.

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Little joys

Here I am, at 6:30am, nursing my sweet one before I have to work. His little forehead is imprinted with several of his tiny fingers because he insists on laying face down on his hands in the bed. I’d show you a picture but I can’t do that without showing you a little more of myself than I think we are friends for.

So the point is, I love this time. I love this sleepy little baby who cuddles up against me, softly reaching out to touch my face or chest. Whether I’m sitting and eating breakfast like today or cuddled up in bed with him, the morning nursings are some of my favorite. He isn’t trying to look over his shoulder and see what’s going on, he isn’t popping off every few minutes to see who just walked by, and he’s usually very calm and serene. And today he has perfect fingernail impressions in his forehead.

I love that this is time just for the two of us. Our morning nursings are warm and cuddly and sweet. It’s just us and I can forget for a second how big he is getting and that I have to go to work. I can revel in his tiny little body and his sweet little hands and know I am his source of comfort as well as food. I can provide what no one  else can and it’s so special to me.

A day in the life

5:45am: Sister brings a wiggly fussy Baby G to my room. It’s the second time he’s woken up and has (once again) bumped his head on the rails of the crib after he’s flipped himself over. Notice I didn’t say rolled. He doesn’t roll. He flings.

5:45am – 7am: Baby G sleep nurses, wakes up realizing he only got half his milks and wants the other side. I doze off and on as he’s nursing. {The morning sleep nursing cuddles are sweet and wonderful and some of my favorite times with him but they kill my back. His little hands dance as he nurses, touching my chest, neck or face, or playing with the covers. His movements are soft and fluttery and precious.}

7am: Transfer Baby G to his pack n play and go back to sleep. Hope Baby G sleeps in pack n play.

8:45am: Drag self out of bed and shower. Get dressed and wake up Baby G. {I love waking him up. It takes him a minute to come around but then he’ll just smile and look at me like I’m the best thing he’s ever seen. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, that face is worth everything.}

9:00am: Take Baby G upstairs to get ready. Clean up the barf he just puked on the floor on the way up. Turn on the hot water, lay him in his crib, and wait approximately 37 years for the hot water to come from China. Wet washcloth and lay Baby G on changing pad. Wipe down his sweet happy little face and pull off his PJs. Change an incredibly boodgy diaper and sing “Good Morning to You” and “The Good Morning Song” as he gets dressed. Give him a million kisses because he’s so dang cute you can’t help yourself. {I also love this part of the day. He loves it when we sing and he gets so happy and his little legs and arms just have to jump all around because he’s so excited. This morning he was “talking” to me which is soooo sweet and just melts my heart.}

9:20am: Nurse Baby G while putting on makeup. Try not to poke self in eye while he does his best to dislodge the makeup tray from my hand. Relatch him 14 times because he’s being too nosy to nurse. Remove my shirt from his mouth as he has decided since he managed to get a handful of it he must eat it. Switch him to the left side where he nurses without interruption. {Apparently the right side is more of an appetizer of sorts because he nurses much better on the left side. Which is funny because generally the right side produces more. }

9:45am: Give Baby G one last kiss before he is whisked off to church, leaving me alone in the house to finish getting ready.

10:30am: Arrive at the job.

10:30am – 12:30pm: Twiddle thumbs. Look busy. Check phone for texts. Help customer find something they are either already looking at or are on the opposite side of the store from. Miss Baby G.

12:30pm: Pump. Bleah.

12:30-3:00pm: Pretty much a repeat of 10:30-12:30. Throw in someone’s bratty kid who keeps messing with the stuff on my desk. Help customers in every department but mine.

3:00pm: Eat lunch and pump. Go to Michaels and buy stuff.

5:30pm: Pump again.

5:30pm – 7:30pm: Twiddle thumbs. Look busy. Check phone every 10 minutes to see if it’s 7:30 yet.

7:28pm: Clock out and go home. {Yay!} Try not to speed.

7:45pm: Run inside, change into comfy pants and shirt, settle into couch corner and feed Baby G. Relatch him 32 times because he keeps pulling off to smile at me. Can’t get frustrated with him because he’s too dang cute and he is so happy to see me {heart sings with joy}. Burp him and get barfed on at least once because he always turns his head away from the burp cloth at the last minute.

8:00pm: Eat dinner while holding Baby G because he is allergic to the floor and cannot be put down. Stop eating and stand up because the couch is still apparently too close to the floor (which is lava) and try to sneak sitting down because I’m starving and my food is getting cold. Finally get to eat properly once Auntie Nanny (also known as Sister) is done eating and gets up to walk with him.

9:00: Bath time! Take Baby G upstairs, turn on water, and go to changing pad to get undressed. Pick out jammies and get diaper ready for when he gets out. Auntie Nanny fills tub for us once the hot water has arrived from Timbuktu. Quickly take naked baby from room to tub so we don’t get peed (or pooped) on. Bathtime commences with lots of splashing and flailing of arms and legs. {Bathtime is a magical wonderful time and supercedes all other ailments. Hungry? Doesn’t matter, it’s bathtime! Tired? Doesn’t matter, it’s bathtime! Got an upset tummy? Doesn’t matter, just poop in the tub!} Let cutest naked baby on the planet play for a bit then wash him up, avoiding letting him eat the soapy washcloth or flail himself under the water. Lastly wash and rinse his fuzzy bird hair and load him into one of several adorable towels. Run to bedroom to dry off and get dressed in jammies. Reposition diaper 12 times as he is doing he best impression of an octopus and then fight to get his arms in his sleeves as he is intent on eating them. Zip/snap him up and it’s milky time! {Side note: Bathtime is always followed by milky time. If he had milk immediately prior to bathtime, milky time still immediately follows. This is the event succession people and it cannot be messed with. He knows. So we try to do bathtime as close to the next milky time so that he doesn’t nurse for two minutes then pass out without getting a full feeding. Because then he’ll just wake up 45 minutes later and want to eat.}

9:30pm: Milky time!! Nurse Baby G and then attempt to burp him. Read him a bedtime story (this is a new thing) and then get bedtime kisses and head up to bed. Turn on music thing (it belongs to his pack n play and does not make beautiful music but he likes it) and lay him in bed. Pat his bottom until he settles.

10:30pm: Baby G wakes up crying (screaming). Wait 3 minutes to see if he will settle. If not, go upstairs and pat his bottom (and turn music back on if it’s shut off) until he settles. Hope he stays asleep this time.

1:00am: Head to bed, overtired, because I stayed up playing on the computer and watching Netflix too long.

2:40am: Wake up to Baby G crying through the monitor. Husband gets up to go pat him back to sleep.

4:30a: Wake up to Baby G crying through the monitor. Stagger upstairs and attempt to pat him back to sleep. Stifle laughter as his little legs kick the mattress as if he’s throwing a temper tantrum. Pick him up and bounce him, sing to him, pat him. Nothing. Sit down on floor and nurse him as last resort. {Requires no energy, thought process, or coordination.} Put him back in bed and turn on white noise.

5:00am: Stagger back into bed.

8:30am: Husband brings a wiggly fussy Baby G to me to nurse.

 

Obviously this is just a guideline of some of our days. A lot depends on what shift I work and how fussy G is through the night. Some things don’t change though. I always nurse him in bed in the mornings. I always pump three times a day at work. I always clock out 2 minutes or so before my shift ends because I’m chomping at the bit to get home. I almost always go to Michaels on lunch. Sometimes Target. Bathtime is always followed by milky time. At some point in every day G realizes he is going to get eaten by the floor and screams until you stand up with him. It’s really just the times that change.

A Letter of Love

Dear Son,
I love nursing you. I love watching you wag your head back and forth in order to find the milks. I love how excited you get when you realize the milks are getting close. I love how, when you finally latch on and get your first draw of milk, your little body relaxes and your eyes roll back in your head. I love when I can see your tiny tongue at the corner of your mouth. I love the little sounds you make while nursing; sweet little sighs and hums. The growls, grunts, and honks are pretty cute too. I love your sweet hands as they slowly open and close; such a graceful and gentle movement. I love when you turn to look at me with your bright eyes as though you just need to see my face. I love to cuddle your tiny little body up to me as you nurse, knowing you won’t be so tiny or dependent for long. My sweet one, I love that I can do this for you; providing comfort and nourishment only the way a mother can. This is our special time together that no one else can match. I love you my sweet.
Your momma

Don’t press the snooze – You might get an eye-full.

I miss sleep. I haven’t had a great night’s sleep since before Baby G was born. In the last few weeks I was pregnant, not only did I wake up every 2-2½ hours to pee, I had also developed a snoring habit. Which kept ME awake. Husband’s snoring keeps me awake. Not him. It wasn’t fair I couldn’t even sleep through my own snoring. Then Baby G was born and it was pumping ever 3-5 hours at night. Then he came home and it was feeding him every 2-3 hours. Now that he has started to sleep a little longer I’ve been able to get anywhere from 4-5 hours at a stretch. Sometimes Husband wakes me up when he heads off to work and sometimes Baby G will wake me up and then go back to sleep before I can get to him. Last night none of those things happened. Last night Baby G slept NINE hours. That is the longest he’s ever slept! But no, not me. I only got to sleep 6½. Know why?

I have alarm clock boobs.

Yup, you read that right. My boobs woke me up. Milk production is a supply and demand situation. My body will make milk based on what Baby G eats. Normally during the day he eats every 2-2½ hours. If he goes too long, say he’s in the Moby for an extended period of time, the milk will build up causing discomfort. The more milk that is there, the less I’ll make. So it’s important to feed him pretty regularly during the day. He demands, I supply. At night things work a little differently. The hormones slow while I’m sleeping so that the milk comes in slower. But since Baby G doesn’t have a set routine at night yet, my body has to produce milk for the eventuality that he will wake up sooner than later. Nine hours between feeds is a lot when his average is 4-6. Hence the alarm clock boobs.

I did ignore the first alert. It wasn’t very loud yet so I woke up, acknowledged the alarm, and then went back to sleep. But an hour later the snooze went off and I could not ignore it again. To do so would have been detrimental to my health.

I’ll try to explain the feeling the best I can. For those of you without boobs it might be a little hard for you to really understand. Actually, for those who have boobs it might be hard to understand. Unless you’ve been there. Then you know my pain. Hmmm… how to describe it… Ok. Imagine there are two… boulders… on your chest. Hard and lumpy boulders. Which are so full of… water… that if you bump them they will spring a leak. And the boulders are painful. Like big hard bruises. They ache. Now try sleeping on those boulders. Or do pretty much anything else. Exactly. Soooo even though my sweet one was sleeping (and I wasn’t going to wake him, are you mad??) I got up and expressed enough milk so my boobs wouldn’t explode. We will discuss milk expression later. Or never.

Don’t worry. I kept the milk for a rainy day. We don’t waste the stuff. It’s liquid gold.

Then I went back to sleep. I managed to get another hour in before Baby G woke up. I ended up having to express a little more so that he could latch a little easier (super hard boobs = very little flexability = shallow latch and screaming nipples). Plus, when they are overfull they leak if you look at them funny. Don’t even think about touching them. You might end up with milk in your eye. Gavin’s had that more than once. But it’s sterile so it’s ok. Also I’ve heard it can clear eye infections.