Friday, October 21, 2011

Thoughts on breastfeeding and vineyards

Tonight I am flying to Canberra to help celebrate a friend's 40th birthday, we are having lunch at Lambert's vineyard tomorrow; just grown ups, just girls...

My wee girl still has one breastfeed a day; actually she pretty much demands that one and then tries out her luck a dozen or so more times during the day ~ assuming the 'position' during a cuddle or just asking straight up; almost always with a sly grin.

To be honest I am so over the morning thing. I have been greeted with "mummy I want boobie" since she learned how to talk (before it was a sentence it was just "boobie" screamed at me on waking, from down the hall). Every morning I rephrase it adding a please, sometimes clarifying "you would like some milk please?"; she agrees, adds please and then clamps down ferociously.

There is a moment of peace and I feel her little body relax and mine does too... sometimes I hold my breath hoping against hope that I might just slip back to sleep. The spell is broken, the acrobatics begin. It is seriously like I am some piece of trapeze equipment; she swivels, and jerks, stands on her head (and mine) her feet start kneading like cat...usually into her daddy's spine at which point he gets a little irritated too. Her fingers find my hair and start twisting it into dreads. The acts reaches some kinds of crescendo her head pops up and she announces "other one"
... back to act one.

Lately I am done well before she is and I say "finished!", she shakes her head and mutters - still sucking madly, I insist, she protests, teeth are bared and clamp down and I extract her from me by wedging my little finger between her back gums. She wails, her dad gives up on the idea of sleep and gets up, she looks at me and asks "breakfast now?"

It is horrible!

I accepted the invitation for a weekend away about a month ago with encouragement from my beloved; last week I stopped and thought "but what about breastfeeds?"... I have been sitting with it since, even occassionally bursting into tears and giving her some when she asks at random times during the day... the day time feeds don't involve gymnastics and I do cherish them.

BUT two nights and days away might just be the end of that particular relationship and in my heart I am not sure I am ready for the end. I will have no more babies; they are far too hard to make and pregnancy and I are not on speaking terms; breastfeeding and I however have always been pretty good friends and I will be very, very sad to see her go.


The Mama. said...


Made me cry my friend. I cried and cried when my forst baby gave up at 15 months.

The the wee girl and I made a deal that she would stop when she turned four. It was to a wonderful last feed that I would remember forever. But about three weeks before her fourth birthday (about a year ago!) she stopped asking for "boos". I still get sad. XX

The Mama. said...

Hmmm having issues with spelling and grammar, sorry!

Nadja said...

I would still be nursing my 2 1/2 year old if I could (my last baby of hard to say, "I'll never nurse again"), but all of mine have self-weaned quite early on, by 15 months at the latest. I suspect my production nearly goes to zero once they are on solids. It was so hard with the last one.

Don't think that a trip away will do it, however. She won't forget! Ginny at Small Things was nursing her toddler and infant tandem, but has had enough now, too, and is ready to wean the older one.

Best of luck. These milestones for our babies are always so bittersweet.

eidolons said...

Goodness. Are you me? I could have written that post almost word for word - except for the vacation part. (:

My three year old still nurses, as does my 1.5 year old. It's.. an interesting situation in the morning when the wailing of "nipple!" wakes the youngest who then begins with "bweeee!" (apparently young-toddler for "nipple" - who knew?).

I'm ready for my middle son to wean. But he isn't. So we won't. I can't find it in myself to deny him the simple comfort of it. Not yet. I do wonder, though, how I'll really feel about it when the time comes.

sharon said...

I loved your post and the comments. My baby who is II
now had "sleepy baby syndrome" and I had to stop trying to breastfeed him at 8 weeks. I was disappointed but grateful he was otherwise healthy.
Reading your experience gave me some insight into what it would have been like and guess what? In spite of the difficulties you make it sound delightful and breast feeding time sound very, very special and lovely.

Shannon said...

My last baby, youngest of four, who is now 3 years old performed what we laughingly referred to as 'breast-nastics'-sounds just like your wee one! As she aged her performances moved from only in bed to anytime/anywhere she nursed! I finally had to withhold nursing to get the breastnastics to end. It was bittersweet, we missed her fun activity but did not miss getting kicked in the head every minute or two! I was able to keep nursing her for another year or so after that as she slowly weaned herself.
Great Blog!

Amber said...

Sounds to me like you are done, Shannon. I know you will miss it. I weened my 2 1/2 year old about 2 months ago. I also did a weekend away which was a huge help. She is my last and I was very sad and nostalgic but it was the best thing for both of us in the long run. We have slowly worked on moving her into her own bed too as she sleeps so much better on her own. I did not think I would be doing that so soon! Follow what your heart says Shannon and then be strong! Goodluck!

Deb said...

Hilarious! So funny to know those 360 degree turns without even slightly releasing nipple are happening in other people's homes too!

All 3 of mine have been "boobie-mad". Eldest went for 3.5 years, my middley turned 5 this year and somehow we finally stopped boobie! I think we could have carried on forever! I'm wondering whether there is a world record, I've been breastfeeding non-stop for 8.5 years and the littlest is only 18 months so I'm going for the 10 years!

The Mama. said...

So how'd it go?

anna said...

Having no useful advice or thoughts at all (because I have never breast fed) I was just sending love to you and your beautiful family and wondering the same thing as The Mama!

Shannon said...

I had a lovely weekend, took loads of pictures and perhaps will do a belated post... for those who wondered aloud; the wee girl snuggled up to me a few hours after I got home and asked very politely if she could "please have some of mummy's milk" well she did bat her eyelids and smile too and I am quite the softy.

Allana said...

I feel for you. My wee one was still night feeding pretty full on at 4, and I had had enough of being touched and not sleeping comfortable etc dispite ultimately loving the experience. We ended up planning a little Goodbye to breasie party with a booby cake (a pink icing cake with little meringue boobies all over it)and it made it easier for her but she still misses it almost one year on.
PS. I hope your trip goes well for everyone and you enjoy your time. That photo is gorgeous btw :)

Amanda said...

This was a delightful post! I am so happy to have stumbled upon your blog here!

That is basically my 20 month old daughter's routine, pretty well any time she feels like nursing. If I sit down, she's there, digging in my shirt. Often when I'm in the middle of something, she'll demand a "cuggle" (cuddle, aw) and pull a nipple out with those pinchy baby fingers and go to town. I have been trying to cut down on her nursing, partly because she's my third baby and my boobies are getting ready to retire, and partly from the disapproving gestures from my family every time she nurses. So I have been thinking, am I insane for not wanting to completely give up? Despite the breastnastics and sore, tired nipples, I love nursing my baby. Thank you for making me feel that my decision is valid and I'm not the only one enduring roundhouse kicks to the head and face by a suckling toddler.

Amazing blog. You're my new favourite site!

Blessings to you and yours from Canada (in the wee hours),
Amanda :)