Breastfeeding

2 Oct

I miss it! I may be looking forward to buying new bras (I wonder when I can do that?) and enjoying reading in the bath; as well as quite liking the fact that now the little turtle comes to check in with me, just to see how I’m doing, and maybe give me a hug if he’s not too busy. Still though. I miss his “satiated with milk” look, the one where he looked like a little drunken man; the closeness; the co-dependency of it (neither of us were happy when feeds were missed!); his soft little hands, busy all of the time; and most importantly, the knowledge that he was getting a good chunk of all of the vitamins and minerals he needed. Now I can’t be sure. Nor can I justify that extra piece of chocolate with the old “I’m breastfeeding” line.

My baby is growing up. A confident, headstrong, independent little boy is emerging. One with a love for music, animals, trains, water and of course, turtles. A chatterbox in the making. Sometimes I want to shout “Look what I made!” One of these days I will. Just as soon as he stops eating muck and stones. We’re civilized people, you know 😉

Eating muck

Edited to add: How jealous am I of this woman. Indeed it seems I should be jealous of ALL Mongolian women too. Jealous of women allowed to do what comes naturally to them, without being pestered about how often their child feeds, for how long, how much, or worrying about where to feed when you leave the house. No worries about them settling themselves or sleeping through the night. Imagine a world like that? Where no one would bat an eyelid at the fact that your son had turned a year and you were still breastfeeding him. Not just breastfeeding him, but feeding him to sleep, for comfort (and sometimes even, for a peaceful life).  Now, I have to find new ways of comforting him. He likes being rocked to sleep while I sing “Twinkle Twinkle” a million times, well as many times as it will fit into ten minutes, as that’s how long it takes him to nod off. I’m waiting now for the comments about the new rod I’m making for my own back. As if he’ll be 16 and driving around trying to impress girls, yet still coming home to climb into Mammy’s lap to be rocked to sleep!

Doing what comes naturally to us should be celebrated. You can bet your bottom dollar that if men breastfed there’d be a parade and a marching band every time one of them managed to latch an infant successfully.

I successfully breastfed my son for fourteen months, stopping only when he was ready and I’m beating myself up a bit that I didn’t keep going that bit longer. “The WHO recommends you keep feeding them until they are two years old” that was my standard response when people asked me if I was STILL breastfeeding. Now that’s what’s going around in my head when he cries or is tired, when my breasts vaguely ache producing milk that my son refuses to take. Yet we did well. 47% of Irish women breastfeed their newborn babies, according to a recent national paper by Roslyn Tarrant. However, in the weeks after birth, that rate falls off precipitously to a miserable 24%. About 3% of women in Ireland are meeting the minimum health standard of breastfeeding exclusively for six months. I don’t know how I did it. My aim was to go for a few weeks. Here I am 14 months after our breastfeeding journey began, wailing that I can’t go on because of an unwilling cohort rather than pain, discomfort or time constraints on my part. I was sure I’d give up first. It would seem that the little turtle didn’t lick his bull headedness off of the wall!

Hurray for bull headedness!

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2 Responses to “Breastfeeding”

  1. Charlotte October 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    I totally agree with you. So many people have asked me how long I plan to BF for – my little one is just 20 days old! I think it is formula companies using subliminal messaging in adverts or something.

    • turtleturtleturtle October 9, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

      Just wait. That question will keep coming and coming.
      I never had an answer. I only “planned” to BF for 6 weeks. But once I got to that point it was just easier to keep going. I thought teeth would stop me, but they didn’t. I’d still be going if it were up to me. But we’re baby-led. Even if he isn’t really a “baby” anymore.

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