Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Missy and the Girls

Or I guess another apt title would be: you reap what you sow.

I live in a region of the U.S. that has one of the highest rates of American breast-fed babies. It is just as common to breast feed in public as it is to shake up a bottle of formula. No one bats an eye. Until your kid can walk up to you and nurse, that is. That still seems to skeeve people out. Even if they do sport a "Keep Portland Weird" bumper sticker on their Prius.

At 1 year, Missy doesn’t seem close to walking. Which is great. Because she is so not close to weaning either.

I don’t mean to suggest that I would raise my child based on what I perceive are the perceptions from total strangers – or even good friends. But after 1 year of age, it seems like the scale goes quickly from "my, what a healthy thing for your baby," to "good lord, when is that kid going to get off the boob."

Don’t get me wrong. I really, really, really wanted breast feeding to go well for us. So much so that I forbade the nurses in L&D to give Missy a pacifier in her early days for fear that she wouldn’t develop a good latch.

Where my body failed me with pregnancies, my girls made up for it in spades. Nursing was easy as pie for Missy and me. Now it has gone so well that I fear that Missy won’t be inclined to give it up too soon.

She still insists on nursing to sleep for naps and night-night. We are working slowly at dropping the nursing session for her morning nap. But she also nurses in the night a few times. I can count on one hand the number of times she has slept through the night since her birth. Over a year ago. Sigh.

When we go out – which is almost never because we spent all of our money on day care at the mountain – I leave a sippy cup of expressed milk for the sitter and Missy won’t touch it. She goes to sleep for Cowboy and the sitter with no milk and only a little fussing before putting her head down on their shoulders. But for me, she literally shoves her way down to the girls and gets seriously pissed off if I don’t oblige. Which I resent. Just a tiny, tiny bit.

During the day, I comfort her with hugs, kisses and distractions -– thank goodness it is so easy to distract a toddler. At night, however, it is just easier for everyone to let her have a little nursing sesh and we all go right back to sleep. Besides, I can see my refusal becoming a battle of wills. And with a mother-daughter Taurus combo, I don’t anticipate a fabulous outcome in that scenario.

But – and this is so Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret – but I really want my period to come. I am seriously jealous when I hear about other new moms getting AF. Nursing - specifically the night nursing - is preventing my auntie from returning for a visit.

On the other hand, I want to have my cake and eat it, too. Because I don’t want to force-wean Missy when she (I?) is clearly not ready. What if I wean her and give up the close bonding we have and then I piss her off and she needs years of therapy as a teen? Only so that we can try again before my eggs dry up (and, trust me, that window is getting very, very small). Yeah, because all that timed sex and thermometer-induced rage was super positive for our marriage. Maybe we won’t even have another successful outcome.

Gosh, I sound like such a chicken shit.

But at least I have a great looking rack.


Lavender Luz said...

I just start with the assumption that the children will end up on a therapist's couch, with me as the root of all their problems. Now I can relax :-).

So jealous of that rack, though.

Sticky Bun said...

Okay, so first, we also have the mother-daughter Taurus combo and got a taste of the contests of wills I KNOW we're headed for. The feeding-related ones were particularly tough. First, at three months old when I tried to introduce the bottle when I went back to work. Then a few weeks ago withe the whole bottle/sippy thing. Yup, I saw already what a strong and fiesty little lady I've got. Sounds like you too!

Leaving that aside, for what it's worth, the contest may not last as long as you think, if that's a direction you decide to go. And the good news is, there is no wrong answer here. I was super conflicted about weaning...and definitely found it bittersweetbut was ultimately glad I did.

Good lord! Sorry to be a comment hog! I think I just missed you. Glad you're back. :-)

Geohde said...

I have no rack. jealous :)


Fertilized said...

I just go with whatever works best and has the least resistance ... If you aren't ready and there are no signs she is, why stop, Even if she decides she is going to walk tomorrow.

I missed ya!

Caro said...

I've been taking the path of least resistance up until now too. But my other half is one of the people that is commenting more and more frequently about weaning so I'm under a bit of pressure.

Currently I'm sticking with feeding him at bedtime and have dropped the other feeds one by one as a slow weaning process. The most recent one to go is the middle of the night one.

Anonymous said...

One thing my DH has said is that he loves my "rack" since I've been breastfeeding...

It is truly a personal decision to decide when to stop. I'm sure that no matter what you decide it will be the best decision for you and your family.

L said...

Baby S went on a nursing strike in month 10 and never wanted the boob again. Every once in a while I offer it to him, and he looks at me like I am crazy woman.

I got AF at month 6 and honestly, I was disappointed. I was told she would go away for a year. Funny how different we all are in this process.

You are a source of absolute comfort, which may be annoying at times, but is ultimately very cool.


Kim said...

It was harder for me than L when I started to wean. I wasn't ready. I thought I could BF and still be pregnant. My supply dropped big time and I knew I had to supplement. It broke my heart but she was fine. I just smothered her with more hugs and kisses, which I'm sure will have her on a therapist's couch someday, too! Hang in there. It IS tough!