Monday, February 02, 2009

More on breastfeeding, etc.

Thanks, friends. Your encouragement means a lot as does your solidarity. Instead of responding to all of your comments with multiple ones, I decided I'd just write another post. My original post started as a way to celebrate the fact that I'd successfully breastfed my little bundle for 8 months and to talk honestly about what that means for me. I hope that it wasn't too terribly negative. I don't really worry about leaking or hate pumping (in fact, pumping gives me an excuse to check my e-mail or post a blog...uh-um). But, breastfeeding is a big commitment. And, I do have to wear breast pads when I leave the house (just in case) and carry bottles of milk home from school everyday. I was warned about how painful it would be and how you need to be patient with yourself and your baby and how your baby would nurse every 2 hours at the beginning, etc., but I failed to put two and two together. So, thanks for letting me "talk it out."

Sometimes motherhood is just so isolating, at least the stressful and/or frustrating parts of it can be. I often feel compelled to only share the good stuff as if by sharing something that I struggle with I'm being a bad mother. Or, that I'm a failure or selfish or whatever. I was talking with a fellow mother on Friday and we concluded that these feelings often come with the territory, but we're hoping they're not inevitable. We discovered that talking about our experiences, both exciting and challenging, was incredibly life giving. It means a lot to know you're not alone. Plus, it's easier not to be self-deprecating when someone you consider a wonderful mother, sister, friend, and minister is experiencing the same things. So, thanks for letting me share (and for sharing yourselves).

I love being a mother, but I'm realizing more and more that it's a commitment much like marriage. I love Cady, but sometimes that love is not a mushy-gushy thing, but a commitment thing. Breastfeeding in the middle of the night is rarely our greatest bonding moment; I do it because I love her - because I'm committed to her. And, that, I'm learning, is okay.

Oh, and Christy, if I'd lost 60 ounces, I think I would have cried too. I had to pour out about 3 that I found in the fridge last night and that was painful enough!

P.S. Susie, I'm certainly glad that you don't breastfeed your 64 children (though that would be impressive and I wouldn't judge your motherly intuition)!


Melissa Walker said...

Have I mentioned how proud of you I am, and that I am blessed to call you my best friend? I appreciate your candid insight into the world of motherhood. It is great preparation for me. I can't wait to talk motherhood with you when it's more "real" for me.

Mama said...

Somehow I missed that initial post! I would whole-heartedly agree with your asessment of breastfeeding. I nursed Ya-Ya for a year. That is what I planned on from the beginning. But going back to work when she was 8 weeks old definately left alot of pumping to do! Luckily I'm allowed two breaks and a lunch each day so that is when I pumped. I considered it work and I mainly did it because of the nutritional/weight loss value. :) I do miss it occasionally but I didn't have a hard time giving it up. I dropped a feeding a week starting about a month prior to her first birthday. At the time we were feeding four to five times a day. I replaced the dropped feeding with organic whole milk and she didn't seem to notice a bit. Also, I never got engorged or experienced any painful side effects. My cousin (who nursed 3 babies for 1 year each) suggested that routine and it worked for us! I did nurse her first thing in the morning until she was about 13 mos. mainly because that was my favorite "bonding" time of day with her. She weened very easily though. All in all I feel pretty awesome about sticking with it for a IS a MAJOR commitment. Oh and as far as still feeding in the middle of the night, Ya-Ya was about 9 mos or a little older before she was going without her 3am feeding. So hang in there!!! I'm trying to gear myself up for another year of pumping/leaking/feeding in awkward places and posistions when the next one arrives!

ps-I know what ya'll mean about pouring out breastmilk!!!! That stuff is like LIQUID GOLD. I had to pour out an entire 6oz bottle after I had a few drinks the night before and thought I might cry!

pps-could you do a post about cloth diapering. I'd love to pick your brain on the subject. That is something I'm considering with baby #2. I just don't know all the pros and cons and haven't talked with someone that actually did it.

ashlynn310 said...

Oh Friend! I love you! I love hearing both sides of your parenting experience...the good and the not so good. Thank you for being willing to share what real life with a child is like.

Sheri said...

I didn't get a chance to comment on your last post, but THANK YOU for your transparency about breastfeeding. When I nursed my babies, I didn't know ANYONE else who was nursing. And I didn't know anyone who ever had. It was really scary and I didn't know what to do several times. Once I (and Rachael) got the hang of it, I loved it...most of the time! :) Though, I do have to agree with the "boobectomy" comment also! There were several times I would just give ANYTHING for Steven to have to nurse for just one day! But, in hindsight, it's one of the best things I did for my children...and for me (the memories of those "alone" times are just so precious as they've gotten older). My two are only 14 months apart. I had to stop nursing Rachael because I got Salmonella or E. Coli and after 2 weeks of not being able to eat or drink, everything dried up. I was SOOOOO sad. It was way too soon. I only got to nurse Thomas for 5 or 6 months before I injured my back...the meds I had to take to keep it from becoming inflammed were too strong for him, so I had to pump and dump for a couple of weeks...heartbreaking...on several levels! And by the time I was able to nurse again, he was weaned. It happened way more quickly than I thought it would and with little fuss. I was sad to say the least, but it was probably good that it happened as it did for my sanity...keeping up with two under two is hard work. And on the rare occasion when someone else got to feed him, it truly was a welcome respite. But I promise you, you will always, always be glad for this time you've shared with Cady! They grow up way too quickly! My little girl will be 6 in May...doesn't seem possible, but true! And I still remember so clearly those sweet smiles and giggles we shared when she was nursing. For what it's worth, I'm really proud of you!
p.s. I can't wait for you guys to get down here!!!

phreethynker said...

Thanks once again for sharing, Mandy :) Your thoughts on love definitely resonated with me. Marriage has taught/reminded me that love is a choice, and it seems as though I'll have more learning moments ahead if I am blessed with a child someday. I am quite happily married, but it's not always "mushy-gushy," like you said. I guess all of our relationships, from marriage to motherhood can serve as lessons from God that love is more than just a warm, fuzzy feeling. I suppose it's all part of growing as a person and as a Christian as we continue to be sanctified and daily reflect Him and His love more fully.

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