Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Selfish

Harper is barreling full speed ahead to age two. I cannot believe how fast time has gone. We have had a very solid breastfeeding relationship. I was determined to do everything I could to make sure she didn't get anything but breast milk for as long as possible. I'm very proud that I was able to meet that goal for myself. Knowing I still have milk in the freezer and that I was able to donate milk to those who needed it in addition to feeding my baby was a blessing.

Now? She's mere months away from her second birthday and she shows no signs of wanting to stop nursing. I almost feel like she nurses as much if not more than she did at one. (She is in fact right now asking for 'na' and even saying please while she does it.)

I love that she's gone this long and that she still depends on me. I love snuggling with her and watching her be silly while she's latched on. We have this game where I make her giggle and she tries to laugh and not unlatch and she is flat out adorable.

*pausing for nursing break as she fell down*

Where was I? Oh yes. The World Health Organization issued a statement in January 2011 that "recommends mothers worldwide to exclusively breastfeed infants for the child's first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, they should be given nutritious complementary foods and continue breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond."

...or BEYOND??

The American Academy of Pediatrics in February 2012   reaffirmed it's recommendation of "exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant".

I told myself in the beginning that I would nurse Harper until she was ready to stop. I said the same thing about Jamie and he stopped on his own when I got pregnant with Harper when he was about 16 months old. Harper is at 21 months and has no interest in stopping any time soon.

"As mutually desired by mother and infant"

What does this even mean? If I don't want to anymore I should just make her suffer through weaning? That seems horribly unfair to her. Sitting here typing, I told her no when she asked to nurse. She started crying and saying "pweeeese" in this sad little voice. How can I do this to her? I don't know if my heart can take it.

 Sad face because Mama said no

She's not ready and just thinking about stopping makes me feel incredibly selfish. Part of me doesn't want to stop but another part of me just wants my body back. Some days I'm just done with little people being all over me and Harper feels a real sense of ownership to her "na" and isn't afraid to just help herself. (We are working on her...ahem..."table" manners.)

My goal was always 'self weaning' but it would appear that Harper has her own ideas.

Happy face because Mama said yes

I'm not sure what I am going to do yet. I want to do what's best for Harper but take care of myself too. Please feel free to offer advice in the comments and thanks for letting me vent.

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P.S. Usual disclaimer: Please don't take my words in any way as a judgment of formula feeding moms because I was one at one time. You do what's best for you and your baby. Thanks!

3 comments:

Anya said...

I went through almost the exact same thing with Emma. Haidie self weaned at 14 months so I had no idea what to do with Em. I night weaned her first. She didn't wake up to nurse anymore but I didn't want her to get dependent on that last feeding before bed. We talked to her a lot about how she was getting bigger and mommas milk was only for babies... One day she was having a meltdown and said angrily "My not big! My small." we laughed so hard. it didn't happen overnight, she'd go a day or two without, and then have a "relapse". Eventually I realized it had been a few weeks and she was doing fine. She staggered it out to 26 months. I'm proud of having done it, and thankful my time is finished. I was pregnant or nursing, or nursing pregnant for almost 5 years straight. I needed to just be me again.

ebe6cbae-fd09-11e1-9537-000bcdcb8a73 said...

You are still a really good mom, even if you decide to wean her...don't get hung up on that in any way!! I find the stories of the moms who nurse their 7 year old kid unsettling, to say the least. I know you will find a solution here...there is neither a right or a wrong to any decision that you make...it is only a decision to change....

Barb said...

No advice or suggestions. Just had to say that I think it's awesome that you've nursed this long! Kudos. I would also say that no matter you do, she's not going to be traumatized. She knows she is loved and you're a good mom, and just like any other transition in life, your kids will make it through fine because you are their mom and they have security and love. I don't know how you wal away from that adorabley sad face either, but I know that I'm stronger than I thought I could be when my almost-2-year-old tugs at my heart strings when I say no to anything. I'm no longer nursing, but I can empathize with that desire to not have them hanging on you all the time any more. Good luck with whatever you decide. You sound like a great mom.