On Breastfeeding an Almost Toddler

** Note:  Below you will find honesty.  The kind of honesty that comes to a Mama when she’s had a rough week and has thought about “just quitting” countless times in that week.  

Let me start this by saying that this post most certainly does not represent ALL breastfeeding experiences.  Not necessarily even most.    Maybe some…but given that I have not known many women (read: I can’t even count up to five) who have successfully breastfed this long (10 months and 3 weeks tomorrow – BOOYAH), I don’t have many stories to compare at this stage.

Breastfeeding my kid right now sucks.

There.  I said it.

You know, when you consider breastfeeding you often think of snuggling with a beautiful baby.  Gazing warmly into the eyes of your child.  Stroking her cheek, brushing back her hair.  Watching as she falls asleep with the rhythmic swallows.

What you don’t think of is how it’s going to be when they’re mobile.

Right now I feel like our nursing sessions are more like crocodile wrangling sessions.  Ariadne can’t.stay.still.  She’s done.  At least that’s all I can imagine it is at this point.  She’s busy.  She’s tired of sitting still.  As much as she LOVES THE BOOB, she apparently can’t decide if she’d rather be feeding or crawling after the cats.  Which more often then not lately is leading to her taking my nipple with her.

And as you know, nipples don’t detach.

I try to coo at her, talk to her, remind her that it’s “cuddle time”…but she stares at me with these wide eyes, and instead starts trying to launch herself away from me (while maintaining death clutch on my boob) by pushing off violently with her legs.

If she’s not kicking or flailing her arms, she’s pinching my chest, arms and face.  Pulling my hair.  Sticking her fingers in my mouth, nose and eye sockets (last week she tore through my nostril so badly that I had to scream for The Hubs to bring me a towel because blood was pouring out of my nose…all while nursing my sweet smiley lovely girl)

So I spend pretty much every feed wincing in horrific pain.  YES people HORRIFIC PAIN. (Ok…maybe not HORRIFIC…but uber painful)

Remember when I wrote about those teeth coming in?  And the biting?

Oh lord, the biting…

Well eventually that diminished, and I thanked every god I could think of that would listen.

And then those top teeth came busting through and the cycle refreshed.

And then another tooth popped through.

Since then, it’s been hell.

It’s not even biting anymore.  It’s just a full on mouth of teeth.  And when the baby is squirming and pulling at you, there is nothing but pain.

I never really planning out my goal in terms of how long I was willing to breastfeed.  I hoped to make it to a year, but knew it was a long shot, so I didn’t worry about it too much.  But now it’s right there.  Right within my reach.

So we’re going to keep going.   For at least another six weeks (fingers crossed my supply doesn’t go wacko)

Because even when it’s painful.  Even when I’m exhausted and just done with it…it’s still one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.  There’s been a lot of frustration.  A lot of pain.  But there has also been so much joy.  More joy, pride and strength than I knew was possible.   I’m so thankful.  There is truly nothing better than the smiles of my happy child when she has finished a nursing session.

Even though I will be so ready to be done with this stage, I know I will be sad when it’s over.

And I honestly can’t wait to do it all over again.  One day.

*******************************

Yes yes yes, I know…I owe pictures and things.  I’ll get to it.  We’re busy.  And exhausted.  This week will be better.  

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3 thoughts on “On Breastfeeding an Almost Toddler

  1. Good for you for sticking with it! I breastfed Charlotte for 25 months (crazy huh?) and I agree that sometimes it’s not easy, and occasionally it’s crap. But it’s also sometimes so wonderful, and always good for the little one. But at the same time, Araidne needs a sane mama, if it gets to much, you should absolutely not feel bad about quitting- you’ve already done more than most mom’s!

  2. Breastfeeding Lucy at 11 months was very challenging. I’m happy and sad that we didn’t continue our nursing relationship much longer than that. I still miss it occasionally. Lucy wasn’t NEARLY as mobile as Aria at that age – I can’t imagine nursing a crawler!!! (Though we certainly had our share of gouged eyes and bloody noses.) Proud of you for sticking with it, honey!!!!!!!! *hugs*

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