James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

Thursday, January 7, 2010


My daughter is quitting me.

It started slowly, stealthily even. Feedings became shorter. She was more interested in smiling (and biting, I might add) than in the actual eating part.

She used to love my chest. Now she's indifferent.

I don't like being abandoned.

I remember so many times when I wanted so badly to be done with the whole process. I remember nursing her in the handicapped stall of the Olive Garden downtown -- the whole time thinking to myself, "I'm missing everything. I'm humiliated. I'm uncomfortable." I remember being too embarrassed to nurse in front of anyone but Reece and my mom, especially right after she was born, so I would just lock myself in her nursery for what seemed like hours on end, just waiting for her to finally decide she was full. I remember crying the first time I tried to nurse her in the mother's [closet] at church, both of us struggling to feel comfortable and natural. I remember crying even more the first time I had to pump at work. It was bad enough to do it at home, but doing it at work was almost more than I could take.

But my occasional nursing woes were overwhelmingly squashed by my absolute adoration of the experience. I remember the first time the lactation specialist grabbed me, grabbed my girl and stuck us together (Reece never looked so terrified). I remember taking off her little onesie and tucking her into my hospital gown, both of us figuring things out together. I remember when it became second nature to both of us. I didn't even mind getting up numerous times in the middle of the night. I almost looked forward to it.

This was something I, and I alone, could do for my baby, and I loved the sense of accomplishment and pride I got from doing my job well.

I was lucky enough to nurse Lola for 5 months. Though it was difficult at times, I really did love it. I loved the closeness it provided. I was amazed at what my body could do. I loved our routine -- pulling her into bed with me every morning to nurse, then falling asleep together for another hour or so before getting up for the day. Then at night -- reading our books, singing our songs and sharing a night cap (my drink of choice was generally DDP, just to clarify) before tucking her into bed.

I know I shouldn't feel guilty. I know it's important to make sure she's getting the nourishment she needs. I know formula will do the trick. Not to mention the previously highlighted avocados (see post below).

What I didn't know, however, was that my daughter quitting me would hurt this much.

I'm devastated, and that's the honest truth.


the_ego_has_landed said...

hi.. first time here.. she's very cute...:)

Well I didnt know this side of being a mom, but a mother's milk can never be replaced by formula! so dont worry or feel bad.. :)

Emily said...

Such a sweet and honest post! I loved it. It's exactly the way I felt when my girl stopped nursing. It was an interesting/ uncomfortable experience when we started, but once we got the hang of it it was wonderful and I missed it so much when she got sick of it.
I loved cuddling and nursing my little baby too.

You'll find there are great benefits to formula, even through it isn't the same as nursing. At the same time, there are great things ahead!

Kelli said...

Now, I am scared.lol I am at the I am missing everything stage. I think that I will look at it differently now. Thanks for the wake up call!

Lisa and Mark said...

i promise i'm a friend of a friend (not sure which, but a friend of a friend, indeed.)

how can you tell she's self weaning? my baby's feedings have gotten shorter and shorter, but i think she's just gotten more efficient. now that i read this i'm suddenly scared she's self weaning!! ahh! so how can you tell? tell me please!

Abby said...

Your last commentor has a point, maybe she is just more efficient at nursing these days and doesn't require as much time to get what she needs.

I am glad to hear that you have had a good nursing experience overall, though. I've heard so many horror stories and now I am scared that I will have a hard time, too. Hearing the good usually outweighs the bad, so thank you.

Also? I'm relieved to know I can still go to Olive Garden after I have children. ;)

AJ and Cindy said...

what a sweet post, when did she stop nursing? Your thoughts from the beginning of nursing reflect mine exactly. I want to cry whenever I go in then nursing lounge at church, but only because it smells so bad in there! :) I am sad we didn't hang out this week, I guess it turned out to be more busy than I thought!! I have missed you, lets play soon :)

Amy said...

My heart hurts for you. But "pride in a job well done" is exactly how you can still feel.

steph and brent said...

I'm crying. It's not because of the hormones either. My 11-day-old son and I have had a roller coaster with nursing, latching, nipple damage, clogged milk ducts, high fevers, dozing while feeding, etc. It has made me quite frustrated and wishing for an easier experience. But your post has me crying because I really ought to count my blessings more. You kept at it for five months, through the learning curve, pain, and embarrassment. And the benefits Lola received from you giving yourself to her are innumerable. I can understand how devastating if would be if my son decided to stop nursing. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing this, and helping me have a better perspective.