Thursday, September 3, 2015

Normalise it

Blogging has taken a bit of a backseat lately as I've just been kicking back and enjoying the summer with my boys, but now that we are back into some form of routine with school, I'm looking forward to finding my voice once again. This post today has been on my heart for awhile however as I've hit the end of an era yet again. My sweet baby Austin is weaned. The milk bar is closed and I feel like my baby has just grown up overnight. We made it to almost 15 months; a little shorter than I had been hoping but still a decent effort. Stress caused my supply to go from low to virtually non existent - poor kid was essentially sucking on air, so I made the decision to end our breastfeeding journey. It wasn't easy. We both shed some tears. For the first week, he persistently pointed to his former milk supply exclaiming buh buh and trying to lift up my shirt while we snuggled over a bedtime story.

It didn't take long before he was happily taking a cup of cows milk instead, but still - this mamas heart has been sad. I had felt the end was nearing anyway as he was getting more and more distracted, but not having it end mutually is something I wish didn't happen. I had been hoping that as he got older, it would just naturally fade out as it did with Ollie. Oh, how I miss those milky snuggles. The way his chunky little fingers would comb through my hair as he fed. The satisfied milk drunk, sleepy smiles. I still get my snuggles but my baby just seems to have grown so quickly these past couple of months. He runs, he has words, he drinks cows milk. He still needs his mama, just like his big bro, but he's getting to be more and more toddler (including lovely tantrums) every day.

With our breastfeeding journey now ended, I've been reflecting on the past year. Trying to breastfeed a baby with a busy toddler underfoot wasn't always easy, especially in those early weeks and months where he was eating every two hours. With a one bad bout of mastitis and a few instances of blocked ducts in the early stages, we had a couple of little challenges but persevered and I'm so thankful we did. While I truly believe the most important thing is just feeding your baby - bottle OR breast - I'm really thankful that Austin and I had a really positive breastfeeding relationship that lasted as long as it did. While breastfeeding did come easier second time around because I wasn't as completely and utterly clueless, Austin still had to learn and we had to find our rhythm together. Breastfeeding is natural but it does not come naturally - it's a learned skill, for both of us.

Between two kids and all our travels, I've breastfed in a lot of strange places and it's been an interesting experience discovering the different attitudes towards breastfeeding in the USA. I've been mulling over my thoughts on it for some time but haven't been able to find the right words. This photograph I saw online today just summed it up for me.

I feel like the USA still has a long way to go in terms of attitudes towards and perceptions of breastfeeding. It's normal. Natural. Healthy. It's just feeding a baby. Nothing more.

Lets normalise it.

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1 comment:

  1. I feel sad to think back on those milk drunk days too... such a special part of parenting.


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