Friday, December 20, 2013

The Breastfeeding Experience I Don't Talk About

I have come to realize I talk a lot about most of my breastfeeding experiences. But there is one thing my family doesn't know, one thing my closest friends don't know. In fact that only people who know are my husband and the few women I know won't judge me.
I nurse my 3 year old.

I'm not ashamed or embarrassed about this fact. The reason I don't talk about it might be more surprising.
I weaned him at 20 months.
Why on earth would I start nursing a preschooler who was already weaned? We weaned when I developed a huge aversion to breastfeeding when I was pregnant. As much as I wasn't ready for our nursing relationship to end, it felt like nails on a chalkboard. I was open to the idea of resuming and tandem nursing. L had always found love and comfort at my breast so I was prepared that he would ask to nurse again once he saw his sister doing it. Sure enough one day after his sister was born my son looked at me with his big blue eyes and put his mouth to my breast. I told him it was ok, his body relaxed but he didn't suck. He had forgotten how to nurse.

Helping his sister nurse

Then one day when he asked to nurse I said yes. This time he imitated his sister in sucking. It was for maybe 10 seconds and when he was done he pulled my shirt up and said " thanks for sharing with me mommy" It has happened a few times since then, and each time has been loving and tender. It has been a great tool for those days when he is having tantrums and is harder to handle.
Some people may not understand this decision and that's ok. When I see my boys body relax because he is getting the comfort he needs. When he is asking for my attention in a positive way. I know I'm doing what's best for him. I don't know how long it will last. But for now I'm enjoying more snuggles with a boy who is growing faster than I would like. And every time I hear " thanks for sharing with me mommy" and I watch him run to play, I smile.

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