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Why I *Still* Breastfeed

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I was in labor for a really, really long time. I was five days overdue when I went in for an induction. I was admitted on a Monday evening, and Charlotte Grace was born forty-eight hours later. I had two rounds of cervadel and a lot of waiting before they broke my water and started the pitocin at about 1 am on Wednesday morning. The contractions started immediately, and they were intense and right on top of each other. Charlotte was (finally) born at 5:30 pm that Wednesday, after a failed epidural, an episiotomy, and two hours of pushing. I was exhausted and in a lot of pain. I asked for something for the pain that wouldn’t impact breastfeeding, and they gave me morphine. I wish with all of my heart that I could take that back.

My first few hours after Charlotte’s birth are a haze. I remember seeing her for the first time, and I remember nursing right away – just like our breastfeeding class said I should. She seemed hungry, so I nursed a second time while in recovery. I remember asking the nurses if I could feed her again – I still felt like I was borrowing her and needed to ask permission. They took Charlotte to the nursery, and I sat in recovery. For two hours. I was having some bleeding issues and a fever that they wanted to keep an eye on.

I was so groggy from the morphine, that my memories of those first moments are not as crisp and real as I would like them. I remember feeling like I might fall asleep, and being afraid that I would drop the baby. I don’t remember them taking her away, nor do I remember anything from recovery after that. I didn’t start to feel normal until later that evening.

I do remember my first night as a mommy. I remember how small Charlotte was. I remember changing her diaper and marveling at how tiny her toes were. I remember watching my husband hold her and whisper to her, and falling in love with him all over again. I remember how she smelled when I held her close and nursed her; how she fell asleep tucked in tight against me. All I wanted to do was hold her, feed her, and breathe in her soft baby smell.

It’s been almost eleven months, and we are still breastfeeding. Charlotte’s sassy, independent personality has emerged. She crawls and cruises around the house with such purpose; inspecting every inch of our home. She talks, sings, yells, and holds a plastic phone up to her ear when I’m talking on my cell. She rarely has time to snuggle with mom, with all the playing to be done. But for now, we still have nursing. For a few moments a day, our world spins a little slower. Charlotte is my tiny baby again, snuggling tight against me. I know that weaning is around the corner, but for now I’m doing my best to soak up these moments with my daughter.

This post was written for the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. This week’s topic is bonding. Come see what others are writing about breastfeeding and bonding!

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16 responses »

  1. Wow…your post brought tears to my eyes! What a great way to sum up the breastfeeding bond. We have begun weaning, and it’s so bittersweet to move on the next phase. I’m stopping by from the breastfeeding blog hop. I look forward to reading more in the future!

  2. Thanks you so much! I had tears in my eyes while I was writing it. I can’t believe we’ll be weaning already. Everyone told me how fast it goes, but I didn’t really understand until I became a mom. It flies!

  3. Adorable post! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Awww, I remember being just were you are right now only a few months ago. I treasured and continue to treasure those moments. Nursing was a little break we took amongst her discovering the world around her, a small moment to slow down and really bond.

    You illustrated this beautifully.

    Thanks for stopping by my place!

  5. We’re at the 11 month mark here too and it feels like we’re on borrowed time. He’s too busy and distracted to nurse during the day so I settle for nights and early mornings. That is our time.

  6. I was so sure at 11 months that I would begin weaning at his first birthday…well here we are at 15 months and both of us are still not ready to stop! He still wakes up at night when he is teething and wants to nurse to comfort him. It is such a special bond that we share, I know it will come to a stop when the time is right…but for now I love that cuddle time with him so much too. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • I’m thinking we’ll be keeping up the night nursing for as long as she wants to. I go back to work 2 days before her birthday – so I’m just sending in sippy cups instead of bottles. If I were staying at home with her, I don’t think I’d be worrying about it quite yet. Thanks so much for reading – and for your comment!

  7. Great post! I’m getting excited about baby #2 due in about 10 weeks–and gearing up for a long term breastfeeding relationship with him. I nursed my first until 2 years 9 months. It never made sense to stop earlier–although we had decreased frequency, it was still healthy for him physically and emotionally. Now that we are not nursing, he still LOVES cuddling Mommy and I think that BF was a huge part of our developing relationship. I did not want to tandem nurse and I wanted a little break from nursing between my kiddos, but I am hopeful that I’ll be able to nurse again as long as works for me and Baby#2.

    • That’s wonderful! I know what you mean about getting a break in between. As much as I LOVE nursing, I don’t want to try for number two until after we have weaned and I’ve had a little break.

      Congratulations on the baby, and best of luck!


  8. What a beautiful post. Brought tears to my eyes as well. Let me tell you a couple secrets. I had no meds with my second or third and those first hours were still a haze. And weaning does not have to be just around the corner. I nursed my middle one 28 months. Don’t let anyone else put a time limit on you! You do what is right for you!

    • Thank you so much! That makes me feel a lot better. As far as the weaning goes, I am thinking that we will nurse at night and in the morning as long as she wants to. I’m headed back to work in a little over a week (Ahh!), and I plan on sending sippy cups with breast milk in them for daytime. As much as everyone else loves to tell me what they think I should do, I’ll most definitely be doing what I feel is right for us. Thank you for your support!!

  9. Everything I think to myself while breastfeeding my baby girl daily. Breastfeeding has become such a bonding experience for me. Great post!


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