nondescript blog post title so the dudes will still read it

Hi!

So even though zero of you have asked me to write a post about breastfeeding, I’m going to do it anyway because maybe someone out there in blogland is getting ready to go on a trip and leave their baby for the first time and will find this encouraging and helpful. Also, I don’t write letters to my children on the blog or take those monthly photos with the age stickers and the carefully curated outfits and backdrops, so someday when my kids are on the internet and come across this blog, at least they’ll know how much I loved them when they each read their own personalized TMI breastfeeding post. (And also how much I cursed and drank.)

01

What’s a blog?

My goal for breastfeeding was always to “make it” to a year or whenever the baby called it quits. (Kenzie was done at around 11 months.) I (naively, perhaps) never assumed I’d HAVE to breastfeed past the year mark.

1

HEY, I CAN STOP WHENEVER I WANT.

But here I am, breastfeeding a practically-toddler and flinching a little every time I read or hear things like, when the child can walk over to you and ASK for milk, maybe it’s time to stop. (Honestly though, I haven’t personally encountered much negativity about breastfeeding at all.)

2

Breastfeeding is so metal.

I said in my last post that I thought it would be safe to take an adults-only vacation when Codie was 15 months old. Oopsie! But the kids actually both did really well with my parents and Codie didn’t have nearly as much trouble falling asleep without her boob fix as I thought she would.

I had the BEST PEOPLE ON EARTH babysitting my kids. They never let the baby cry, and they were willing to sit up and rock her for hours and hours if that’s what it took. (Though I don’t think it actually took hours and hours.)

3

FEED ME.

I’m in a breastfeeding support group on Facebook (Kellymom, highly recommend!) and I asked for advice on whether I should try to wean her before the trip, or just hope things would be okay for three days while I was gone. Everyone recommended NOT weaning, as long as our caregivers were willing to take extra measures (rocking, babywearing, snuggling at all hours of the night, etc.) to comfort and soothe her and help her get to sleep without crying. I knew she’d be in good hands, so I didn’t even try to stop nursing before we left. (I knew there was a chance she’d self-wean while I was gone, but that didn’t happen. She asked to nurse as soon as I walked in the door.)

4

Green smoothies or else you don’t love your children.

I was a little nervous about having to pump for three days, especially since Codie hasn’t had a bottle in ages and pumping has never worked that well for me. (For instance with that fucking machine, I’d pump for half an hour and just get drops.) But I decided to just be relaxed about it. I’d only pump for 10 minutes at a time, and only when it was reasonably convenient– I didn’t want to have to throw down my fork in the middle of dinner and run off to the nearest bathroom because OH SHIT 7 P.M. PUMPING TIME! Sometimes I was able to pump out 3-4 ounces, sometimes I got less than an ounce. But I pumped enough to keep a decent supply and now that I’m home, I haven’t had any issues.

5

I mean, issues related to breastfeeding.

Things that helped me:

  • Obviously, my kid being 15 months old and already a pro at solids and sippy cups. I didn’t need to leave milk for her caregivers or SAVE the milk I was pumping to bring back. (It would have been alcohol milk anyway.)
  • I only nurse from one side now. Yeah, funny story. So I completely lost my supply on the right side a while back when I injured my rotator cuff. I inadvertently favored the left one for several days because it hurt my shoulder to hold the baby on my right arm. Then one morning the milk was just kind of gone. I briefly freaked out about it and tried to pump to get the milk back (didn’t work) before I realized she was getting plenty from the one side anyway. Now I have one big boob and one little boob, but otherwise it hasn’t caused any problems.
  • I wasn’t REALLY worried about losing my supply. Like I said, the kid is 15 months old. She’s not on a feeding schedule that requires I pump XX ounces each day, so I could afford to keep things casual.
6

The expression “sleeps like a baby” is the biggest load of horseshit ever.

I used the manual pump, carried it around in my purse and dumped the milk when I was done. And again, only having to worry about one side was a real time saver. I never felt completely emptied, but I never got painfully engorged or plugged up either.

7

Aw, look at that. She thinks she’s people.

There was one time I had trouble pumping because I was in a public restroom and just as I was getting a good pump going, a lady entered the stall next to mine and started throwing up and just like that: no more milk. But for the most part I didn’t find it that much of a hassle.

9

Need a palate cleanser after that last visual?

I think my supply did drop a little bit, but Codie is sleeping through the night now (KNOCK, KNOCK) and she still gets plenty of milk. And I guess I’m really not in a hurry to quit. I’m sort of trying to keep her a baby for as long as possible. Codie is definitely, definitely our last child and sometimes that’s a difficult reality for me.

10

Contemplating her own mortality.

As a sidenote\tangent\postscript, I don’t think marathon training has had any affect on my supply at all. I take a ton of water and calories during my runs and I really don’t need any help in the “refueling” department if you know what I mean. Right before I stopped breastfeeding Kenzie, my supply plummeted when I was violently ill and didn’t eat for almost 24 hours, but I don’t think exercise makes much of a difference.

8

They read quietly together for exactly 30 seconds.

That’s all! Tell me: did you read this whole thing or just scroll and look at the pictures? I’ll understand.

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8 thoughts on “nondescript blog post title so the dudes will still read it

  1. I read the whole thing! Am also still breastfeeding my 18-month-old and was fascinated. So far, no interest in stopping here either, but we’ll see. Last baby here as well, so I’m not in a huge hurry 🙂

  2. Wall of text coming!

    I’m seconding everything except the anniversary get away. I’m just jealous. We don’t even know a sitter in the area so we didn’t even go out for our anniversary.

    Anyway, X is almost 26 months old and shows absolutely no interest in self-weaning. I went back to work full-time when he was just shy of three months old. I pumped at work and supplemented with formula . We dropped formula and switched to whole milk at the 1 year mark. I stopped pumping at 13-14 months. Now it’s reserved for naps or bed times. He’s never been a good sleeper so we just kept going with what worked.

    Way back when X was a newborn I remember reading about the woman whose toddler asked to be nursed and being totally weirded out. Around the same time, I went out with some friends for brunch. Somehow we got to talking about nursing and I said I was going to breastfeed as long as I could but was worried it wouldn’t be long because I’d be going back to work and would deal with the dreaded supply drop thanks to pumping. Another mom told me she worked and pumped but even after she stopped, she was still able to continue nursing at bedtime well into toddlerhood.

    I’m sure if X had the words to say, “mamá, chichita?” he would. Instead he just paws at me or leads me to the bed. My husband is jealous that it’s much easier for me to get him down for a nap, but it’s his fault he never learned to breastfeed.

    Only a few people know I still nurse him. It’s not really a big deal around our families. I don’t really nurse in public, because he’s not interested and because I prefer to lie down with him. We nurse on flights, but I figure my neighbors would rather see a little boob than hear a screaming toddler.

    Oh! I’ve been away from X overnight twice after quitting the pump. Both times I brought the pump with me and pumped once/day. No issues, but my husband did have to work harder to get him to sleep.

    TL;DR: Kid is 2+ and still nurses for nap times and bedtime. Other times I try and distract him with snacks or water. In those first few weeks when it hurt so much, I would’ve been shocked if you told me I’d still be doing it 2+ years later.

  3. I breastfed my daughter until she was 17 months old. We stopped because we were trying to get pregnant and things weren’t really working. (First month of no breastfeeding, instantly pregnant.) We did only nurse and night and I didn’t really tell anyone I was still nursing her just because. I NEVER thought I would nurse past a year, but it didn’t feel weird or awkward at all. Plus, it was super easy to get her to fall asleep in 2 seconds. It always helped whenever she fell when she started walking or felt sad or sick. Now that we are dealing with an emotional 2 year old, I sometimes wish I was still nursing so I could calm her down.

    We went on a trip for the first time when patsy was 13 months old. I pumped and dumped the milk (for the same reason, it was just straight white russian milk anyways) and she did great. I pumped maybe 2-3x per day and she went right back to nursing when I got home so I totally get it!

    Anyways, this comment is very long but I say more power to you. Breastfeeding past 1 is very normal in many other parts of the world. It just hasn’t yet caught on in the US for some reason.

    • Thanks for your comment and sorry it took so long to approve! For some reason it went to spam and I didn’t see it. I feel like it’s a weird thing in the US because of the wide availability of formula and whole milk and baby solids (which is a GOOD thing, obviously). Moms here don’t HAVE to rely on breastfeeding long-term whereas in some countries, breastfeeding is all they’ve got.

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