Sunday, September 28, 2008

We Made It One Year

It is gone. It is gone and it's never coming back; not with out giving birth again anyway. My milk dried up yesterday and I'm left feeling very sad about it. From day one I knew I wanted to breastfeed Lauren. I felt very cheated because I was only able to nurse Hailey for five weeks. The medication I was on was too risky for a baby to ingest so I had to stop.

So when I found out I was pregnant with Lauren I vowed to do everything possible to nurse her. I feel so blessed that the dream became a reality. I fully embraced attachment parenting this go around and I am 100% convinced that it was a large reason why postpartum stayed so far away. I know it's not the case with every mom, but for me it worked and I feel that I finally got things right. I suppose my third time really was a charm. As a result I've decided that one day I want to be a lactation specialist and help other women along the way. It's something I'll look into when kids get older.

As Lauren approached one year, I began feeling dreadful about quitting. There was never a day during those months when I looked forward to weaning her. I enjoyed that time with her like I can't even describe. But that day did come and it was a very hard decision. Last Thursday evening Cody and I were talking about it and I asked him if he thought it would be weird if I nursed her past 12 months. He was totally supportive of whatever I chose to do. I felt like I needed to make a decision that day before my body decided for me that it was time to stop.

I nursed Lauren again during the night. I wish I'd known that it would be the last time. She didn't nurse at all on Friday; she only drank from a sippy. Then on Saturday morning I woke up and rather than feeling "full" and ready to go, I was empty. It was completely gone. I even used a pump to try to get it going, but there was nothing. I went downstairs to load the washing machine and Cody was down there. He asked me what was wrong and I lost it. I told him my milk was gone and he was so sweet to me. He gave me a huge hug and let me cry and told me how sorry he was. I think he really understood.

So I cried for a while and then decided to close that chapter in our lives. Lauren has adjusted fine and really loves the sippy and occasional bottle at night. It wasn't fun for her when I started introducing those, but she is okay with it now.

There is a first time and a last time for everything in life. We almost always know when we are experiencing something for the first time, but rarely do we known when something will be our last. If I'd known that our Thursday nursing session would be our last, perhaps I would have held her longer rather than be anxious to get her back to bed. I would have cherished that time for a moment longer. But the silver lining in this is that we have so much more to look forward to with this sweet girl of ours. The next chapter in her life has only begun!

This is Lauren at six months. I love the dribble coming out of her mouth. She had just finsihed eating and was stuffed at the seams. What a happy baby!

2 comments:

Jylaire said...

I totally feel your pain! I dreaded weaning both of my kids and they were 13 months. I cried and cried! If you're anything like me, you'll be sad for a week or two, and then be glad that there is a little more freedom with life after nursing, but still miss it like crazy! Good luck!

Chambers Family said...

I'm so glad that you could enjoy nursing. It is bittersweet when you wean. I'm excited to let them be more independent and not have to hide away for hours at a time, but I love the close bond you develop. I keep hoping that eventually my boobs will shrink after nursing. My mom said they did with Jeff, so I'll just keep crossing my fingers with each one!
That is hilarious about Ethan and the "Lonely Mommy" They say the funniest things. I absolutely LOVE being the pianist, because it's like a fly on the wall. We get to laugh behind the piano at all the cute things they do.
You are so brave to go to the circus. We went last year for Tina's birthday, and I think she was the only one who saw it the whole way through!

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