Tuesday, January 27, 2009

8 months

Just a quick blog to say that Cady is 8 months old. That means I've been breastfeeding for 8 months - yay! It's been very easy for us (as far as these things go), but that doesn't mean that it's always convenient. At times it feels like my body will never be my own again. I mean once you add the 10 months of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the 8 months of nursing, my body's been sustaining another life for 1.5 years now. It's exhausting sometimes. I wouldn't change it for the world, but sometimes I just want to hand Chad my boobs and let him have a go at the breastfeeding thing. "Here, you figure out how to schedule pumping 2-3 times a day into your work day...or when you're at a conference...or, well, whenever you're away from Cady for more than 3-4 hours." Sigh.

I do love breastfeeding though. Really, I do. I love that it lets me snuggle up with Cady. I love it when she looks up into my eyes and smiles (sometimes with my boob in her mouth, which makes it extra cute). I love that satisfied look she gets when she's finished. I love the health benefits that she's undoubtedly getting from it. I love how it's helped us bond. And, practically speaking, it's definitely the cheaper route!

BUT, breastfeeding also involves (among other things) having milk drip down your stomach and/or back when your daughter decides to take a break right as your milk lets down, boobs that increase and decrease in size throughout the day, and "leak" pads...yeah, I have to worry about leaking...ugh. And, sometimes if means that I'm the only one that can calm and comfort my child. BUT, I have a crazy-happy, healthy child who loves me (even if it's only because I'm the "family feedbag" as Chad's been known to joke) and that helps make it all seem worth it.

So, hopefully this blog doesn't offend any of my 12 readers, but I feel like these kinds of things really need to be talked about, or blogged about in this case. With that preface, I have a couple of questions for those of you who have breastfed and/or plan on breastfeeding your child(ren). How long did you breastfeed your child? How long did you plan to breastfeed? Did they self-wean or did you follow some kind of plan to help them stop? For those of you planning children in the future, do you plan to breastfeed? For how long? Why or why not?

My goal is to make it at least a year, but I imagine we'll go a little longer. But, for now, I'm over halfway there and, well, I just needed to celebrate that a little bit.


Rainey said...

Hey Mandy!
Well. I have been nursing Isaac for over 13 months now and he doesn't show any signs of slowing down. It has been nice, when he has had a stomach bug or other illnesses, to still be nursing him because that is what he wants to do for comfort and also it helps keep him hydrated when nothing else will. So for that alone, I am thankful we are still doing it.
I am not sure when we will wean. I had hoped for him to self-wean. But sometimes I think that will never happen. And because he still wakes up at night to nurse for comfort, I am beginning to wonder when that will ever end. I like sleep. At least, if I recall correctly, I used to... :)
Glad to hear you guys are doing well!

laurensmommy said...

Hey Mandy,
I have been nursing Lauren for 8 months as well and had planned to do so for at least a year....however, I was able to take a year off from teaching and stay at home...so pumping and leaking has not been a major issue for us!
I hope that Lauren will sort of "self-wean" after the year mark....but we will see. I agree wholeheartedly with all of the positives to breast feeding and can definately empathize with having a body that doesn't belong to you! (and when my baby is crying in the middle of the nigth and my husband is snoring LOUDLY next to me in bed, I have often contemplated a boobectomy only to have them reattached to him!)
I think this post was hilarious and for all moms who didn't breastfeed or moms to be who plan to, it's very eye-openingly (is that a word?) honest!

christy ross said...

:-) glad to read this. ryland self weaned at 14 months which is pretty early for self weaning and I know this pregnancy had something to do with it. I never really said, "I'll nurse her for X months." I just figured we'd stop when we stopped. I agree with you, I really loved that special time we got to share and I'm looking forward to it again. besides her diary sensitivity that she grew out of, it was really smooth sailing for us. and I feel lucky that I didn't have to pump much except for an emergency freezer stash. (when our fridge/freezer went out and we lost 60oz I cried)

Melissa Walker said...

Sorry I am no help in the breastfeeding arena. I have boobs, but I haven't had to use them yet. ;o) I think you're awesome, though. I knew you would be a great mommy.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you Mandy!! I'm not a mom yet but I am so glad you posted about this... this is something we should be able to talk about because it is a major part of motherhood! Thanks for writing about your experience! Cady is growing up so quickly!!

Rita and Nathan Bird said...

Congratulations!! I love to read a success story.I know that breastfeeding is no small feat. Unfortunately Jack was not able to latch on properly and I have had to pump to keep the little guy fed. Since I've been back at work, my milk has began to dry up and now I have to supplement with formula more than I like.
I admire your dedication, most moms I know won't even attempt to breastfeed. If I could have, I would have nursed Jack for at least a year.
From what my doc told me some babies wean themselves, but some you have to start to wean slowly. I guess Cady will help you decide on what's right for you.
Please keep me posted on how things go.

the hero formerly known as super said...

yeah for boobs! I don't breastfeed my 64 children. They've all got teeth and came to me practically weaned. They do spit up when they drink too much, but we try to keep that at a minimum.

phreethynker said...

Like many others have said (both current and possibly future moms), thanks for this post! It's not something that people talk about a whole lot, but is certainly an important and relevant topic. Even though I'm not a mom yet, I'd like to be someday, and these are things that need to be thought about and discussed. Congrats on the milestone! :)

Jennifer said...

I know I'm a little late, but here's my weaning experience. I had to have my wisdom teeth taken out and wasn't going to be able to nurse her when she was 9 months old and I had started this job where I work during the day, so I decided that if she didn't get upset, we would stop. I'm pretty sure she didn't even notice, which was sad for me, but a great way to have it done. I had originally thought we'd do it for a year and then see how things were, but it just worked itself out.

Congratulations on sticking with it! It won't be much longer and you won't have to put up with boobie pads and wet belly anymore. You'll feel much more sexy mommy and much less milk cow!

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