Friday, March 28, 2008

No More Nursing

About a week and a half ago, I stopped nursing Genevieve. She is 19 months old, and was nursed exclusively throughout her babyhood, as was her sister before her, until 16 months. I became pregnant with Genevieve just two months after weaning Julia, so it's pretty much been more than 4-1/2 years that my body has been busy nourishing and growing other human beings. I wasn't planning on weaning Genevieve when I did; she got really sick, too stuffed up to breathe while nursing, and then I got really sick, so sick that I didn't have the energy to keep trying anymore. I let it go.

I haven't really allowed myself to dwell too much on this major life change yet. We've been so busy, and so sick, and life in our household has been very chaotic lately, so that I haven't had time to muse on weaning, which maybe is a good thing. I love my girls, and I love them at every single age, and the thought of going back and suffering childbirth and all-night nursing again sends a shiver down my spine, but I am still wildly ambivalent about never again being a nursing mom. I really loved it, which is saying a lot because you really have to read between the lines there; when I gave birth to my first, she had so many newborn problems and minor crises, and I developed so many long-lasting breastfeeding infections, that nursing was an act of sheer will on my part, involving lots of physical pain that I simply fought through and overcame, because I knew in the end it would be worth it, which it was. Luckily, the second time around, despite colic and reflux and my caffeine-dairy-chocolate fast, nursing was a total breeze, with zero complications and an overabundance of milk. Easy as pie. Plus, by then I was a total pro and thought nothing of nursing that baby while running around the house one-armedly putting in laundry and stirring pasta sauce.

At any rate, nursing one's baby is a big job; for me it was hard and wonderful, exhausting but rewarding. To be done with it after three years, combined, of doing it feels like a milestone deserving of my respect and a solemn goodbye. I'm sad about it, but I've got to tell you, I am excited about two things I can now do that I could not before: wear a dress again (not that I have one, but that can be solved), and Crest-White-Strips my teeth. Have you ever used those things?! They are FANTASTIC. I used them once, during those two fleeting months. And I have been waiting ever since to do it again. Seriously, people: BLINDINGLY WHITE TEETH.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I tried to use them right before my wedding, but only used two strips because my teeth hurt so badly. It wasn't horrible pain, but really uncomfortable and I couldn't stop thinking about my teeth, so I just gave them to my sister. Yours don't hurt?

Shan said...

Wow, mine didn't hurt at all. If I remember correctly though, I used the Target brand (not actual Crest), which looked to be identical in terms of ingredients. They were cheaper, but Crest's are thinner and more manageable so I'll probably spring for the real deal this time. I figure I earned them. ;) Right? Hope they don't hurt! But since the other ones didn't hurt before, I doubt the Crest ones will. Mainly I was very impressed with the results, and the results were long-lasting, too.

Mnmom said...

My mantra: a happy Mom is a good Mom. Revel in your new freedoms, and enjoy this next phase of sippy cups and half-chewed crackers. When my daughters were little I thought I'd never have a hot cup of coffee again. And I used to watch sitcoms during late night feedings and cry like a psychotic because "those people get to go to bed and sleep until 6am!"

Rob Hardy said...

As I've read your blog recently, I've imagined it as written by George W. Bush: "Genevieve now has a sinus infection and screams all night. Clearly the situation has improved dramatically..."

Anonymous said...

rob, that's funny! Clearly, I'm at the right site :)

Shan said...

Cannot stop laughing at Rob's comment up there. My life takes on a whole new comic appeal if this blog is imagined to be written by George W. Bush! Sick, screaming, teething, miserable: amazing success! exactly as planned! victorious!

Christopher Tassava said...

In a related note, diaper bombers launched an unusually ferocious wave of attacks today. Security forces successfully repelled the attacks, but a number of olfactory nerves were lost, as were at least 30 diaper wipes. The most audacious assault came at the park. There, a single defender heroically used the back of the SUV, a roll of toilet paper and a pair of toddler training diapers (both left over from last summer's hard-fought campaign to install potty training), and a half-dozen Wet Ones to counter a surprise attack.

In a press conference just after this attack, the commander of the security forces reported that the insurgents were now almost fully exhausted, and that he expected conditions to stabilize in the next 30 to 90 minutes.

Mnmom said...

sinus infections all around and no one sleeping - Mission Accomplished!!

Shan said...

Exactly! (chuckle....)