It’s been exactly one month since Jemma last nursed.
I tried everything I could to overcome her nursing strike.
If I think about it too much it brings me to tears. I had grand hopes of nursing Jemma until she was at least 2. When she was a wee thing I read a blog, I wish I remembered which one, about a mama who was nursing her 2 or 3 year old. This mama asked her little nursling what mama’s milk tasted like and the little girl responded, “Tastes like rainbows and flowers”.
When Jemma nursed and gave me her little milk drunk smile I would always wonder if she was dreaming of rainbows and flowers.
My little love might never verbally share about nursing with me. But, by way she looks and acts I know our year of nursing gave her a strong foundation of health. I’m trying to focus on the positive as our relationship evolves.
ALL THE GOOD …
- In the beginning, I hoped to nurse Jemma exclusively for 6 months. I was worried about the 4-6 month range because that was when we needed to adjust to my being back at work. We made it to this mark without a problem. YAY!
- We sped on to 1 year and 2 weeks – beyond the year mark that was my next goal. I’m thankful she nursed past her birthday and chose on her terms when to wean.
- Jemma is happy and healthy. Even though her weaning schedule wasn’t the same as mine, it hasn’t affected her negatively. We’re getting used to a new routine and she seems happy to snuggle in the mornings with a sippy of mama milk.
During her nursing strike I pumped 4 times each day for the first few days. Then I backed off to 3 times each day. By the beginning of November I moved to a morning pump and a bedtime pump. That’s where I’m at now. Jemma drinks about half the milk I pump in a sippy and I scald (due to excess lipase) and freeze the rest. As long as it’s manageable, I’m going to continue pumping like this. Just taking it one day at a time. I figure as long as I can make milk for her without it being a stress I might as well.
Last week, my La Leche League leader emailed me to check in. Seriously, if you are nursing and want company/advice/friendship with other nursing mamas La Leche is the place to be. Everyone I’ve met is so sweet, non-judgemental, and truly supportive of each individual mama’s nursing goals.
I’m still sad when I cradle her in my arms and hold her sippy. It’s not what I’m used to and I miss the closeness of her nursing. I miss the ease of nursing in bed. I hate being attached to the pump every day. It’s hard to think ahead about meals for her. Nursing was SO easy – milk was always there and ready to go whenever she was hungry.
On the flip side, Jemma has been able to fall asleep easily without nursing. We rock and I sing as she drifts off and I love feeling her little head on my shoulder every night. Nap times have been a struggle though. One thing at a time I suppose. Jemma is learning to hold her own sippy cup, something we never practiced before since we didn’t need to. AND, I ordered 2 new, non-nursing bras. That’s something to be excited about :)
We’re moving upwards and onwards. I’m blessed to have had the amazing breastfeeding experience I did. I hope my sharing the details of lipase, working/pumping, strikes/weaning, and nursing in general has been an encouragement to other mamas. It’s not an easy journey to nurse a little one, but it is priceless one. I’m no expert, but if you ever have questions or just want to chat about nursing I’m only an email away :)
You can read all my posts about our nursing strike here.