03 August, 2012

A memory to cherish

Hello world. 
I am writing this note to myself, a memory to keep as a moment has passed me by.
As you may know, I am a mum. 
I'm a mother to my beautiful, intelligent, creative, cheeky son Joe aka bubba. 
Bubba is now 19months old and I have been breastfeeding him right up to this point but today it ceases. Today, as of this morning, I no longer breastfeed my child. sob.
Yes, I have made the decision to cease booby feeding my son.

Why?  Well, after a nearly a week of nibbles, chews & giggles - I have discovered that he is using this 'booby' time as a game and the game is getting old.
Mumma, Dadda & bubba only hours old.

I remember that very first moment in the delivery ward at the hospital when he first latched on and I looked at my hubby with amazement in my eyes to see it reflected in his eyes too - not only had I nurtured a child through my pregnancy but I can also nurture & feed him via my breast - such a wonderful feeling that was!
Onto the maternity ward we went, all the midwives kept telling me that I was feeding my son wrong & I had to do it the right way, their way. They told me that I wouldn't be able to continue feeding him that way as it just wasn't a viable option.
Note:  I have big boobies & they wanted me to put him in a 'footy hold' under my arm and to let my breast drop into his mouth for a feed. I hated this position it was awful for me, so for the past 19 months I have been doing it 'wrong' & held him across my lap to my breast while I held my breast up to his mouth - yes sometimes my arm did ache from this but it was still best way for me to feed him.
The only photo I have of me feeding bubba is this tiny photo.
Joe is 4mths old here.
   
Then it was on too home to start our life as a family of three.   I attended a mothers group & was in awe at how everyone fed their baby differently.  There was even one mother who could breastfeed standing up whilst texting on her phone - totally awesome! 
It took me awhile to get the knack of breastfeeding in public, I kept asking my hubby to watch to see if I flashed him at all and when I didn't & he didn't even notice that I was b/feeding I felt confident enough to do it outside of home!!  
Oh, and speaking of hubby, he was/is an absolute saint when it comes to feeding time. Hubby was my 'lactation consultant', he was there to help me in those early days/weeks when bubba was a newborn to help me get bubba to latch on - if it hadn't of been for hubby's patience & help with this then I would have given up long ago amidst a flood of tears!    I even managed to express some milk for those nightly feeds - so hubby would get up & feed bubba and then I would get up extra early before the first feed of the day & express the milk out for the next night (told you my hubby was a saint!).

Eventually we settled into a nice routine and then one day it was down to only two feeds a day - bubba chose this himself!  The weekend after his 1st bday he refused to have two naps (he was having a breast feed at 7am, after his 1st & 2nd nap & before bed) so that in itself cut out two breastfeeds! 

Then about a month ago, we cut it down to only one breastfeed a day, to in the morning when he woke up. We stopped the breastfeed before bed as he was not eating his dinner & saving himself for the booby - talk about painful booby feeds then!

And then that leads us to yesterday, no more morning feeds. Today is the first day of no morning booby. sigh. My lil boy is growing up!

Whilst I'm here, let me just tell you about some of the pro's & cons of breast feeding for me.
Pro's ... 
~ it's free.
~ it's transportable, anywhere I am there is milk.
~ it's great for when he sick, as booby milk is the best medicine.

~ it's me & my bubs 
time.

~ I can feed my child from MY body.

Con's...
~ Where-ever I am the milk is with me, so if I'm running late & bubba is with Dadda and it's milk time ... he has to wait.
~ I lug those breastfeeding boobies to bed, to the shops, to the beach, to the garden, every-bloody-where.
~ I'm top-heavy, I can't lean forward without my back aching.
~ I can't take anything stronger than paracetamol if I get sick.

~ I can't enjoy a nice cold beer with hubby at night.  (I tried once, but bubba was affected by the alcohol).
~ I can't enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.
~ I have to breastfeed in public if we are out at milk-time - this really didn't bother me but sometimes it was awkward).
~ I still got my period!  How annoying - what happened to that perfect world where you breastfeed & therefore don't get your period again until after you stop - I wanted that world. I wanted to be period free as a 'reward' for booby feeding but no, a month after bubba was born I got my period again - so yes, this is considered a con!

~ Then there was that awful day in hospital when my 'milk in came' - I had two basketballs on my chest - yes, seriously! My boobies were huge, full, sore & I could hardly move..ouch.~ All that milk was taking the calcium from my fingernails - I have the WORST fingernails ever, in the history of fingernails - I hate them with a passion.
~ When I ceased breastfeeding, I still produced milk and I have been told it can take up to a year for the milk to stop producing... WHAT!!!    And...  the first week after ceasing breastfeeding, I was moody, cranky, teary, sore and had the sniffles too!

And a funny memory to end this all.... Last night after a discussion about ceasing bubba's boobyfeeds, I said to my hubby... "Remember to beat me up in the morning".  He goes all quiet, sits back in his chair & finally looks at me and asks .. "Remind me why you want me to hit you tomorrow??"  I laugh saying "Remember to beat me out of bed tomorrow morning not BEAT ME, remember you have to get bubba up before he sees me, feed him breaky otherwise he'll want booby!"  "Oh, that makes more sense than you wanting me to hit you" replies my hubby!!!!
Dadda, bubba & Mumma 19months later.
Please note that in no way am I saying that breastfeeding is best nor am I saying anything negative about those who bottlefeed their child.  I chose to breastfeed because I could & because it worked for both bubba & myself. 
A mother can take many forms, whether it be by natural childbirth, c-section delivery, adoption, surrogacy, fostering or guardianship - how you feed birth or feed your child does not make you a mother, it's how you love & tend to your child that makes you a mother.  
Also, please note, that although I mention booby a lot in the post it refers to breast-feeding and nothing sexual so get your mind out of the gutter!

5 comments:

  1. It is the end of this part of your relationship, but they are always your baby aren't they. :)

    I found weaning was such an emotional time. My thyroid specialist made me wean Cohen in order to commence taking my medication when I was first diagnosed with Graves Disease. Cohen was around 18 months old and took it in his stride. It was me who was upset! Be prepared for a possible flood of hormones. If you feel a bit down and your not sure why it can be the hormones getting back in to balance.

    Breastfeeding the second time around was so much easier for me. I can walk around feeding and playing with Cohen at the same time. There are way more pro's than con's for me, in my experience, for which I feel so lucky. And you'll hate me, but I didn't get my period until I weaned. :)

    (If you hit any bumps in the road, the Australian Breast Feeding Association is awesome and have always helped me.)

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  2. Rie, thank you for sharing your experience. If you don't mind I think I will share your story with a few new moms to be. What you said at the end about being a mother is so true. In fact in your post you tell of giving up medication and any recreational drinking for almost two years. Some mothers don't seem to realize what you put in you goes into the child! What a great testament for breast feeding.

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  3. i can´t believe it´s been 19 months already! i´m loving the family shots of your happy family. you cracked me up about the woman standing and texting at the same time. (but then again, we are women- we always end up doing 5 things at once;))
    x jane
    give bubba a kiss for me!

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  4. thanks for sharing this Rie, such an emotional time weaning.
    I am pretty sure I got my period pretty quickly too, don't think it works for every woman like that.
    Aidan breastfed until he was 2 years old, I hung onto that because I needed it aswell as he did.
    with Amelie I stopped at about 13mths because I was pregnant with Aidan & it was getting painful. I felt like I cheated her out of her breastfeeding time.
    I also went to lactation clinics both times even though I should have known how to breastfeed the 2nd time round. all babies are different and attach differently.
    glad you ceased the moment and posted this.

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