Monday, November 10, 2008

Read At Your Own Risk!

So it’s official. My boys will turn one in 17 days and as of today, I am no longer breastfeeding them. I started slowly weaning them about a month ago. It hasn’t been too difficult. I mean, I have those bittersweet feelings about it, but they’ve done just fine. They LOVE their bottles which has made it a super smooth transition. It’s just hard to believe that I’m really done. I really thought this day would never come…I mean NEVER come! I have so many thoughts about this past year and I wanted to get some of them out.

As I’ve mentioned before, my boys didn’t nurse well when they were born. Their sucking refluxes hadn’t quite fully developed so we were doing the whole, feed them through a syringe thing. Then we moved onto bottles. While I still had help, I would try to nurse them during the day and would do bottles for the night time feedings just because it was so much faster. It was during that time that my pump became my best friend! It seriously saved me! I felt reassured that my boys were getting what they needed through my milk. It put my mind at ease with the fact that I wasn’t physically nursing them all of the time. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not trying to preach about it or anything. I was just struggling with a lot of different emotions at the time and I ended up doing what I felt best about.

So, back to the pumping thing. We were a package deal, joined at the hip you might say. Those who spent any time with me during that time know what I’m talking about. Christmas last year comes to mind. I’m with all of this family, trying to enjoy the season even though I felt like I’d been hit over the head with a 2-ton brick. I was pumping so often that I just did it out in the open. I covered up of course, but you just couldn’t ignore the blissful beep from that pump! Certain thoughts come to mind. “Oh hi Wynn. (my sister’s husband who had recently joined the family) So good to see you. Don’t know you super well, but I’m just going to pump while we catch up…is that okay?!?? We’re family, so it’s all good, right?!??” “Tommy! (Shane’s Dad) How are you? You don’t mind if I pump while we open gifts do you???” My visiting teachers got more than they bargained for when they would come to see me. Luckily, they have been my visiting teachers for almost 5 years now and know me really well. I’m completely comfortable with them…so why not pump during the spiritual message for the month?!?? With all of the thoughts going through my own head, I can’t imagine what everyone else was really thinking. Everyone just let me do my thing, for which I am very grateful. Not to say that some jokes weren’t thrown out there. “Jersey Cow this…Milk Maid that…” I recall my brother Aaron opening the fridge & freezer and saying something like, “Don’t we have anything else besides human milk in this fridge?” (Some women have problems producing enough milk for their babies. Let’s just say, that was never even kind of a problem for me!) Someone else started singing the oh so famous “Pump Up The Jam” song. We all had some good laughs. My younger brother Luke was the only one who said, “I can’t believe you’re making light of something so special and sacred.” For me, it helped to have a sense of humor. It really was a stressful time for me and I needed to stay light-hearted about it all.

Eventually, I retired the pump. GLORIOUS DAY…for all involved! After 5 months of pumping, I was not sad to put that thing into storage. In fact, I’m pretty sure I never want to see that pump ever again! From that time on, I was able to solely nurse, something I thought would never happened.

The last 6 months have been awesome. In the beginning, there were so many times that I almost quite. I told myself that I would give myself 6 months and then re-evaluate. I can’t count the number of times I called my Mom to tell her that I was done and couldn’t do it any longer. Shane heard it even more. I had everyone’s support with whatever I wanted to do but for some reason, I kept at it. So glad I did. It got so much easier. Wasn’t even a big deal anymore. I’m not quite sure when it all changed, but it did. What had once been, by far, my biggest challenge was no longer an issue. Such a blessing.

And now it’s all over. Like I said before, bittersweet.

15 comments:

Lara said...

You're my hero. For reals!

I am going to have a hard time weaning. Bittersweet for sure!!

amanda said...

amy you are sooooooooooo strong. you worked so hard to do what you thought was best for your boys. and now you can look back and be proud of yourself. they had better be able to appreciate this someday:) i am a big baby...i will cry so hard when i decide to stop nursing chloe. alexa was 2 and i even cryed then. you are so great!

Danielle Prince (Mingo) said...

Wow, I can't believe the boys are that old. I'm sure that feeling is bittersweet. I do have a question though. I am going to have to pump a lot since I wlll be going back to work after 6 weeks, but I still can't seem to settle on a pump to buy. What would you recommend? I don't know much about them, but want one thats comfortable and easy to use since I will be using it so often. Any help would be great!

melinda! said...

The notion of having to nurse two kiddos blows my mind! Caring for twins would definitely take a special spirit. What handsome boys you've been raising up! One of these days we'll have to get together so I can mug on them a bit. :)

Mel Cleland said...

Amy - I can't believe how big your boys are getting! They are so stinkin cute!

julie said...

Yay! You get a little bit more freedom! And maybe even some sex drive back perhaps? Let me know. :) I know how you feel, I quit a couple weeks ago and I'm still bittersweet..and full of milk! I'm tempted to go nurse him still, but I must be strong. You will help me.

The McGary's said...

I agree it really is a bittersweet experience. Your whole ordeal with it though is way different than mine but weaning is always bittersweet. I can't believe they're going to be 1, unbelieveable.

Jason, Amanda & Brayden said...

Yeah Amy! It's weird how it's starts out so hard and then all of the sudden it's like you've been doing it forever....easy shmeasy :)!! It is AWESOME that they'll be one. Are you doing a big bday bash for them?! You really are amazing, I'm so glad that Carson and Cade (and Shane :)) have you!!!!

Emily said...

I agree as well. I just weaned Edison a few weeks ago and it was hard for me. I kept saying I was going to do it and then I'd wait a few more weeks. The only thing that finally made me do it was that Edison was ready and too busy for nursing. So bittersweet.

Tangible Designs said...

it was a great read. It made me laugh too- your family and you, are funny. Great sence of humor. I admire that in you guys.
Do you have tips for the weening...comin up on it fast!
des

Kyle and Cara said...

Weened already, aren't you suppose to wait until they can talk and ask for their "num num snack" at night? I think that is what I will do with Milo. No not really, I am just joking if anyone was wondering.
I am so proud of you for sticking with it. Sometimes nursing is so convenient - cheap, available. But how can something be so convenient and inconvenient all at the same time? Props to you Amy.

miss diddly said...

way to go momma. I was way done by the time Claire was 10 mos...mentally and physically and you had two!!!!

CHELZERS said...

Great job!! I totally know how you feel. I called it my 'love/hate' relationship with the pump. Day and night for 5 looooong months.
So, go you!!
I'm working on weaning the last one. She's a comfort nurser so it's gonna be sooo hard. Wish me luck!!
Have a great week!
-chels

CHELZERS said...

sorry--double post. I didn't read your comment first. Smilebox had it all laid out. I just input the pics and captions. You can sort of customize it and for like 3 dollars you can print it out or whatever you want (basically, you would own the rights). Cool huh? They have TONS of different things to chose from cards, scrapbooks, etc. Check it out!

Cheri said...

I can really relate to this blog. I had serious issues with breast feeding after Ethan was born and ended up having to pump for his entire first year. I went through 3 pumps and pumped for the last time on his first birthday. Horray! That was a fantastic day. After that I went to LLL meetings once I found out I was having Lauren so I could address all the issues and prevent the same things from happenig that happened with Ethan. Lily was no big deal at all to nurse, and we're still going strong. I'll probably nurse her until around 18 months like I did with Lauren.
I'm glad to hear the weaning process has gone well for you. I have been relieved each time to be done.