I love nourishing my baby with breast milk. It’s amazing really. I see my daughter grow knowing my body produces the milk that feeds her development. I’ve actually stared at my bottles of liquid gold in awe. “Those five ounces came from me!” I kid you not. My plan has always been to nurse for one year. Plan. Ha! Do you hear God laughing? I guess what I hadn’t planned on, are the feelings of sacrifice that come with nursing.
I always knew I would breastfeed. I never thought otherwise. Forget the advice of ‘La Lechers’ or Jack Newman or anyone else. For me, it just seemed the natural thing God designed our bodies to do. Fortunately, it’s all gone pretty smoothly: problem-free, easy and cost-effective. So why now, am I giving my milk a new expiry date?
It’s a bit hard to admit. I find myself now, at four months postpartum, with self-serving reasons for wanting to stop short of a year. 10 months, I started to think. 10 months is good. Then I could shed those last milk-making pounds and get back to some serious body-building business.
But before long, even that August end-date started to feel like forever. I want to run. I need these heavy, food-filled boobies done with. I want my rock-hard body back. I need to load up on protein to rebuild muscle. I want to go out spontaneously. That means without prepensely pumping or navigating around public feedings. I want intimacy without off-limit areas…enough said. Then there’s the unpleasant prospect of sweaty nursing sessions in the height of the summer season. One word – Ew!
Baby books and magazines are filled with images of women joyfully holding babe to breast. Guaranteed by April I will paint a picture of a woman grown weary of it all. Ah, but the scale of reason tips one way then the other. What baby needs; what mama wants.
I hear the voice of my midwife in my head. She tells me about the mighty immune system of her son who drank breast milk for two years. I love that. Then I hear the voice of a fellow mother. She tells me about her feelings of freedom and boundless energy having recently weaned her boy. Heavenly. If I could, I would pump enough milk to last twelve more months. Problem solved. Alas, I would need a genie to grant that wish.
Okay June. That’s what I’m thinking. Start weaning in June and wrap up this boob fest by July. My babe spent nine months growing in utero so nine months nursing sounds good. That’s my reasoning.
There you have it. The Dairy Queen closes this summer. I’ll gladly be celebrating independence day on July 11th this year! Funny enough, I don’t think I’m alone in this. I detect a certain streak of independence in my daughter. It won’t be long before she’s done with nursing, onto solids, and booking her own table at Chiado!
What motivated you to start/stop nursing?