Tuesday, June 20, 2017

17 Months and Done

I feel so fortunate that I was able to nurse all 4 of my babies without too much of a struggle. I know there are women who fight for every single ounce they make. I produced enough milk to exclusively breast feed two babies at a time. We didn't have latch issues, never dealt with mastitis, rarely had a clogged duct. I know how lucky we are to have had a smooth journey both times, and now that journey is over, again.

S & C's first tandem nursing snooze fest

I have slowly been weaning Scarlett and Clark by dropping nursing sessions. They were becoming distracted while nursing and completely lost interest in some feedings, so it was time to cut back. When we planned our vacation, we knew that would be the end of nursing Scarlett and Clark. I hated pumping this time around, and my output reflected that. I had zero interest in taking the pump along just to keep my supply up, so we opted to be done. I nursed them to sleep before we left for the airport, and that was it. I knew it was their last time nursing, and as it turned out, they really didn't seem to care.

They haven't once asked for milk or stuck their hands in my shirt since we've been back. I'm not 100% sure that I would have said no if they would have asked, so it's kind of a relief that they haven't.

It's also sad to know that they've moved on. They don't need me to comfort them in that way anymore, and they never will again. I felt ready to be done, but I'm not sure I was actually ready to be done. I think letting go of the nursing relationship is such a big deal because it makes them seem instantly more grown up. They still need me for almost everything, but not for nutrition. At one point I was their sole source of food, but not anymore. I can leave for a whole week, and they are absolutely fine without me.

In the grand scheme of things, it was the right time to be done. Rob and I definitely benefited from time away from the kiddos, and I think the babies benefited too. 17+ months is a great duration for a nursing relationship, and it's definitely more than I hoped for when I first started nursing their big brother and sister. I will never forget the nurse who told me on day 2 of nursing Harrison and Brooke that I should just give up and give them formula because most women can't exclusively breast feed twins. It made my emotional, postpartum, new mom self sob hysterically, but it also made me determined to prove her wrong.  It made me push through the 6 week haze of constantly having a newborn at my breast. It kept me going to 6 months, then a year, and then beyond. The journey with H and B definitely helped shape how I handled nursing S and C.

Their last tandem nursing snooze fest

It's sad to know that I will more than likely never nurse another baby again, but I am so blessed to have had this wonderful relationship with all of my children. I won't remember most of the time we spent snuggled up with our twin nursing pillow, but the last time was special, and it will stay with me forever.

1 comment:

  1. That last picture gives me allllll of the feels!

    Congratulations, Mama. On a huge milestone, on taking care of those babies, and trusting your gut on knowing the right time to move on! You did amazing.