Saturday, November 15, 2008

Last nursing session and 21 months old

Well, it is officially over. I never once thought when I found out that I was pregnant with twins that breastfeeding would be for me. If you look back to earlier posts in the blog, you'll find I really wasn't on board with the whole breastfeeding thing...I didn't know how it would work for me, if it would work for me, or what I even really thought of the concept.

During the pregnancy, I read many books about breastfeeding and they came across very judgy to me. I didn't need to be preached to about "breast is best" and most of what I read seemed very fanatical and narrow minded. Lots of women can't breastfeed. Some of them don't even want to try, which is totally understandable. Formula is certainly not poison! I dubiously thought that I would give it a try myself and see what all the hype was about.

Fast forward to the delivery. Obviously it didn't go how I intended. With the boys in the NICU, pumping became essential. Our neonatologist was very pro-breastmilk and so as soon as I woke up I asked for a pump. I can remember the nurses telling me I should just rest, but I was determined to build supply. Hell, I was determined to feel a connection to babies I didn't see for over 48 hours postpartum. In some ways, breastfeeding saved me from losing my mind in those early days because it felt like the only bond I had with them.

The hospital stay was rough. I overproduced, and pumped a quart of milk in one sitting. The nurses called me a cow which in my fragile emotional state practically sent me over the edge. I persevered, and practically filled the entire NICU fridge and freezer.

When I got home, my body was shot. The delivery had put such a strain on my body that I began to get very sick. A tiny cold had me feverish. I dropped 50 pounds in a matter of 6 weeks. I got thrush. Mastitis 4 times over the course of us nursing. I still pumped religiously. We had to use nipple shields the first 4 months and upon discharge, they could only breastfeed half the time because it tired them out so much. Jack had tons of feeding issues and reflux. We persevered.

Throughout the course of breastfeeding the boys, things got easier, then harder, then easier again. Sumner had two nursing strikes. I went back to work full time for good a 6 months postpartum and my supply took a hit, but I continued to pump at school. Jack went through a biting phase. I had to throw away thousands of ounces because of the heavy medications I had been on. (It wasn't viable to be donated)

But looking back, it was worth every freaking minute. I returned my pump in June, vowing not to pump this school year. I cried: it was like a friend, we had a love/hate relationship. Summy weaned himself around 18 months when the boys started daycare this fall. But Jack kept on.

I knew it was ending a few weeks ago. Jack was sometimes reluctant, was down to once a day anyway, and I had decided 2 years old would be my cutoff. Monday morning was beautiful, relaxing, and I knew in my heart it would be the last time. Sure enough, Tuesday he was done, looking at me with wide eyes that morning and saying "no."

I'm happy to have my body back, but sad that these boys have gotten so big so fast. Where has time gone? How are they 21 months old today?

During these 21 months I because a milk donor, I nursed Summy to 18 months and Jack to 21, but most of all I became a superwoman to myself. I never thought I could do it, and I am so proud of myself that I did.


Safire said...

Wow, that is an amazing nursing story! Thank you for sharing that. It helps me remember why I am nursing my twins.

rachael said...

oh wow, i loved this post. it echos so many of the sentiments i had throughout nursing and weaning my trio. and like yours, our last morning was memorable and somehow without knowing i knew we were done. kudos to you for persevering and nursing for 21 months. way to go!

Following Him said...

Wonderful and awesome mama!!! You rock :)

Liz said...

That is something to be very proud of! I'm sure you created a wonderful bond with your boys. Hats off to you!

Trina said...

Congratulations on nursing the boys for so long! What an amazing accomplishment. I wanted to let you know that you have truly been an inspiration to me with my nursing endeavors as well. I have been able to ebf my two for the last 10 months (and we are still going strong) and I truly, truly owe you my thanks. Your posts on the nest were so knowledgeable and informative. Your words helped and encouraged me more than you will ever know. Thank you!

Gwen said...

I am so so proud of you and impressed by the perseverance and determination that I know it took. It's so beautiful, too, that you were conscious of the last time and could savor it.

jennbecc said...

What a great story to share and by all means you should be so proud of yourself! Congrats! :)

Colleen said...

What a great story and congrats to you! You are a superwoman!

Allison said...

You ARE a superwoman!!! You're such a fantastic mom for nursing them for 18 and 21 months! ((HUGS))

Danica Lynn said...

You're amazing! HUGS

SaraBelle said...

Meghan, all I can say is WOW! You are such a strong, amazing mom.

BuckeyeBundle said...

awesome, seriously so awesome. I'm proud of you for doing what I wanted, planned for, tried, failed and finally accepted. You are truly amazing and your boys are proof!