The Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy #22

September 10th, 2010 by Dionna | 4 Comments
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Carnival and Special Series, Compassionate Advocacy, Feed with Love and Respect, Guest Posts, Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting

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Today I am happy to host a guest post by Dana.  Dana is a 33 year old married mother of 4 great kids, 3 girls ages 12, 10, and 7 months, and a boy that is soon to be 3. She works part time as a restaurant server 3 nights a week and spends the rest of her time loving on her babies. Here is her breastfeeding guest post:
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I would like to share with you how breastfeeding has changed my life.

Three years ago I was mother to two school-aged girls, and I worked 50 hours a week while pregnant with my son, Will. I regret that I did not make a huge effort to breastfeed my first two babies – token efforts at best – so I was determined that I would nurse Will. To my dismay, I found out I was not going to be allowed to pump at work, so I quit my job.

At the time it seemed like I was giving up everything, but I soon found out that I gave up nothing and gained so much in return, for losing the job was what set me on the road to where I am now – a proud tandem nursing stay at home mom of four.

I can barely talk about my nursing toddler son without getting all teary-eyed. It means that much to me! He was an eager nurser from day one, and I had no specific time line for weaning; I simply committed to following his lead. He nursed through an entire pregnancy, even though there was very little milk. I never envisioned myself nursing two, but here we are, a happy nursing threesome.

The gratitude and love in a child’s eyes is so evident while they are nursing, but if anything can possibly top that, it has to be the toddler’s ability to vocalize how he or she feels about nursing. When my son says “It’s Will’s turn to nurse!” my heart absolutely melts.  When he says “I love your nursies Mommy”, why that has got to be the most flattering thing I have ever been told!

Another one of my joys is his emerging sense of humor. He is constantly telling me that my milk is chocolate, juice, or even coffee, and then he will just giggle and latch right back on. He will nurse one side and then say “Okay, it’s time to nurse other, this milk is all gone.” All these moments are incredibly endearing and I treasure them.

I really thought the arrival of little Kacie would change everything, but it did not. If anything it has deepened the bond between us, as he has been able to take an active role in helping Kacie learn to nurse, holding her hand, patting her head, giving her love. And what better place to learn how to share than at mother’s breast? It’s an important life lesson for both of them.

My own life lesson is not lost on me either: Time is short. Treasure every moment of those identical sets of beautiful brown eyes gazing up at you while they receive the best gift you can possibly give them. They will grow up, they will wean, but for now, all they want is you.

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Breastfeeding past infancy is full of laughter, joys, and heartbreaking tenderness. I am publishing a series of posts dedicated to the beauty of nursing toddlers in an effort to normalize this healthy and beneficial nursing relationship. But this isn’t just about me – I want to hear YOUR joys. If you are nursing a child who is older than one year, please contact me and tell me about your favorite moments. I will include them in the series and credit you, your site, or post it anonymously if you so desire. (This series was formerly called “The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler.” I changed the name to reflect the fact that we are celebrating women who breastfeed past infancy, regardless of the age of the nursling.)

4 Responses to:
"The Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy #22"

  1. mamabear

    awww… this made me tear up.

  2. Tracy

    Beautiful, Dana! I tandem nurse my 20 month old twin girls (and also treasure it, of course). Your sharing comment reminded me that one of them has recently started a game, where she’ll look up at me and say, “switch?” – and then she and her sister will run (or roll) around each other and change sides! :-) Occasionally she will just use it as a chance to try to commandeer BOTH sides before her sister can get there, but more often than not it’s a nice way to expand the sharing.

  3. aw… you’re gonna make me cry.

  4. Great story about quitting and finding yourself happier than ever. Amazing how life turns out for the better in unexpected ways when we are willing to take risks and put forth what is better for our higher selves. What a valuable example you set for your children, too. Way to go mama!

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