14 Sweet Months . . . So Far!

August 6th, 2011 by Dionna | 9 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 Amy. Amy writes about the things she holds close to her heart: family, delicious food, and many aspects of natural parenting. She is passionate about natural childbirth, breastfeeding, gentle, intuitive parenting, and respecting all people, no matter how small. She’s figuring it all out as she goes, following her instincts with her son as her guide. Amy writes at Anktangle. Here is her breastfeeding guest post, number 37 in our “Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy” series:
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I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my nursing relationship this week, particularly on the ways it has changed throughout the fourteen months it has lasted so far. Ever since Daniel night weaned himself (at around eleven months old) I’ve been keenly aware that this part of my mothering journey is gradually coming to a close. I have a sadness about this transition that I can’t even really put into words. I just know I’m not ready for it to be over yet, and I’m glad that Daniel is not quite ready yet, either.

I like some of the ways that our nursing relationship has changed, like:

  • the way Daniel signs “nurse” by patting me (sometimes quite vigorously) on the chest
  • the way he gets distracted while nursing and pops off the breast, and then when I ask if he still wants to nurse, he eagerly attacks me with his open mouth as if I was the one who unlatched him in the first place
  • the way he smiles up at me while still latched on when I talk, sing, smile, or laugh while we’re nursing
  • the way he latches on and then flops his head down to one side, trusting that I’ll be there to catch it and support it
  • the way he sometimes wants to nurse sitting up and looking away from me, so he won’t miss any of the action
  • the way he can latch on perfectly while sleeping as I lie there dozing, too.

I also appreciate the ways it has stayed the same:

  • Daniel’s searching mouth when he’s half-asleep
  • the sleepy, blissed-out post-milk daze
  • the cuddles, hugs, and little yummy noises
  • the way he still looks up at me like I’m the most important person in his world.

I guess that’s the thing about it: the weaning process is yet another reminder that he’s growing up, and he won’t be my baby forever. It’s hard, but it’s wonderful.

I’m finding that that’s the bittersweet thing about parenting—we spend all our time helping our kids to grow up . . . and then they do.

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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 children past infancy 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.)

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I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!

You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected here and on Natural Parents Network.

(Visit NPN for the code to place on your blog.)

9 Responses to:
"14 Sweet Months . . . So Far!"

  1. Sharon

    This is lovely and very apt for me at the moment, as my son is now 14 months old and we’re still nursing, thankfully!! I found myself nodding and smiling at the ‘things that have changed’ and ‘stayed the same’ …my boy has just started choosing which side he fancies by tapping my chest and nodding. So cute!

  2. Jenn @ Monkey Butt Junction   MBJunction

    Aw, jeez. I was smiling and nodding all the way through, and then you threw in this line:
    “I’m finding that that’s the bittersweet thing about parenting—we spend all our time helping our kids to grow up . . . and then they do.”
    And now I’m crying. Perfectly said.

  3. Sheila   aLivingFamily

    This is so sweet. I just wrote my post about pregnant nursing starting at 17 months that changed everything, but at 14 months (as I wrote about) things were just so dreamy. I am happy for you that you are reveling in the time and moments you have. Such joy……thank you for sharing. :)

  4. Aww, I can SO relate. Sasha taps “at” my chest, which is kind of hard to explain. She’d pat my chest if she could reach it. lol It never occurred to her to pat her own chest to sign for Mommy Milk.

    and the sleepy searching… oh so adorable and funny! Sasha often does this when I pry her mouth off my nipple in the night!

    and this might sound silly, but the way she always winds up with 1 drop of milk smeared across her cheek when she unlatches during the day to switch sides. :D

    Yes, the thought of weaning makes me very melancholy. I’m absolutely paranoid about drying up during my pregnancy!

  5. Sarah   Sarah_the_doula

    Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful journey so far! I am in love with his sign for mama milkies – too funny! And you totally are the most important person in his world. It’s so wonderful/intimidating! :)
    Daniel is so blessed, you’re such a wonderful mother. And a great inspiration to me!

  6. Shannon @ The Artful Mama   The_ArtsyMama

    Those are some really beautiful moments that you describe. I love those types of moments with Little Man. I never even thought to consider shirt tapping as a “sign” for nursing. All I thought was how disappointed I was that he never learned to sign for nursing and he had poor nursing manners by tapping my shirt – thank you for pointing out to me that it can be considered a sign. At around Daniel’s age I thought Little Man was going to wean soon too. Especially because he wanted to watch other things and would pop-off too. I was very saddened at that time as well, but we kept right on nursing through it all and we are still going with no end in sight (bittersweet). Any how – I just wanted you to know how I felt like I was right there with you when I read your words living every beautiful moment. Hearing about Daniel’s nursing was so special through your eyes. Thank you for sharing this intimate time in your mother/son relationship.

  7. Rebekah   liberatedfamily

    What beautiful eyes gazing up into the camera. Breastfeeding is such a special and often sweet time. And yes, bittersweet. :)

  8. Janine @ Alternative Housewife   thejaninefowler

    Aww, I love this! My favorite is when I make my 10 month old laugh at the breast and I see his smile as he remains latched.

    I love that nursing is now a CHOICE. My son gets lots of solids and he decides when to come up to me and nurse. It means a lot more now than when he was smaller and nursed completely for survival.

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