One day old, 15 months old.
In honor of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, I’d like to write a little post on our nursing story. I’m definitely passionate about nursing and try to encourage new mothers to breastfeed. Unfortunately (like with any parenting choice), there is much drama surrounding nursing. Everyone seems to have something to say about another parent’s ways. Nursing too much, too little, too long, weaning too soon, in public, not in public, etc. It seems to me that if we were all to mind our own business a little more and accept each other’s choices, then we, as mothers, could support one another more readily. Not to say that there aren’t specific points of view that annoy me. Recently, a friend had a baby and when reading through her Instagram comments I read that she chose not to breastfeed because she thought it was “creepy.” This sort of uneducated decision makes my stomach turn and makes me feel a little sad for the state of humanity. We’re so far from our roots that some women consider breastfeeding to be creepy. That truly frightens me.
As a mother who is passionate about nursing and doing what’s best, I try to educate as I learn of a friend’s pregnancy but at that point it is the other mother’s choice to act on the information I’ve shared. It’s the other mother’s choice to do some research of their own. Some of my mumma friends truly tried to nurse and things didn’t quite work out. I sympathize with that and wish that I had maybe done more to help. Many times I feel that a breastfeeding relationship falls through because of the support system around that mother. My mom was a LLL leader when I was a little and I remember nursing my dolls. I had a 2 inch wide binder filled with bits of paper and brochures on nursing when I was about 5. I was formula fed because of things the hospital did beyond my mother’s consent after I was born, but as a young girl I knew I wanted to breastfeed because my mother became so passionate about it.
When Odin was born, I said I would nurse for the first year. Odin turned one 3 months ago and he’s actually nursing as I type this. I’m not sure how much longer we will go, but I know we’ll both stop when we’re ready. We’ll keep nursing until it is no longer working for our family or until Odin decides he’s through. I love breastfeeding and I love the relationship it’s created. Don’t get me wrong, there are weak moments. Often. Sometimes I’d like to be able to go out on the town with Zak, but Odin nurses to sleep and through the night. That drives me pretty crazy, honestly. The work it would take to transition him away from that seems to be more trouble than it’s worth. For every frustrated night I have, there are twenty nights where there’s no other place I’d rather be.
Odin was born ten pounds, was an eager nurser, and had gained two pounds by his one week check up. I am very fortunate in the fact that I have never had an issue with breastfeeding. Teething was a breeze because we nursed right through it. He bit once or twice and that was that. Odin and I seem to have a very gentle breastfeeding relationship and I’m very grateful. This is what we chose and I am very happy with that choice.