Thursday, February 18, 2016

Those Aren't "SEQUENCE" on Your Dress

And something else that drives me insane. 

If I had a dollar for every time I have seen someone use the word "sequence" to describe something sparkly attached to an item of clothing instead of SEQUINS, I would have enough to take to the bank and get a benjamin, for sure. 

But on to the bigger thing....

Last week, I was browsing some social media and saw a link to an article on a magazine site about breastfeeding.  Specifically, breastfeeding past 12 months of age.  And I took the bait.  I clicked on the comments.  #why

Both of my children were EXCLUSIVELY breastfeed for the first six months of life.  No formula.  No solid foods.  #nosleepformama  It worked for us.  I was staying home.  My mother nursed me so I didn't have some weird stigma about it.  I knew breastmilk was, by all accounts, superior to formula.  And I could do it; so I did.  And then we introduced food, but they still nursed.  And Nolan was so unwillingly weaned when he was twenty months old because I wanted to get pregnant but wasn't having any luck because my prolactin levels were through the roof.  I don't know how much longer he would have nursed.  But I know, one day, just like that he would have stopped.  Because that's what kids do.  They stop nursing when they are ready. 

Now, little girl is a different story.  Allyn is three and a half.  And guess what?  She still nurses.  Usually once a day.  Maybe twice.  While she was in the hospital for open heart surgery she didn't breastfeed one time.  Not one.  And I thought we were done.  (Can I get an amen?)  But when we got home the second night she asked to nurse.  Fortunately, there was still milk to be had.  And now she just nurses at night.  And sometimes in the morning. 

Moving back to that story with all of those comments. 

So many people said breastfeeding past 12 months is unnatural or gross.  Once your child can ask for food, he should be eating food and not at the boob.  All of that breastfeeding hate made me stabby.  I still nurse my daughter and my son nursed well past twelve months.  And nothing about it was gross.  It's not like at 12 months they suddenly passed some built-in requirement that they didn't need breastmilk anymore.  And those times when they could ask for it and they would settle into your arms are by far some of the sweetest memories of my children. 

 So there's my view of my three-year old nursing.  I can't see one thing about that gross or inappropriate.  And you can't even see my nipple. 

What's crazy about nursing is that it can be discreetly.  You never have to see a woman's breast.  Most breastfeeding mom's don't want you do. 

But then jerks go and make a big stink about people nursing in public.  And honestly, that just pisses us off.  News flash.  We aren't going to stop nursing our kids.  We know it's good and right.  And the real extremists will stage a nurse in.  And then everyone is up in arms. 

Then the whole should you past 12 months? I say yes.  If you want to.  And if being a human milk factory isn't your jam past that first year of life, then stop.  It's cool.  People will chime in that if your child asked for chocolate cake, would you give it to him? So why nurse him when he is older when he asks; when he CAN ask?  No I would not give my child cake every time he asked.  (Probably just 70% of the time.)  But here's the difference.  Breastmilk is like a superpacked vitamin fortified totally organic (I think) tailored to your kid drink.  I hear it's better than kale.  Manmade foods are not.  And let's be honest.  Neither one of my kids is asking for a whole lot of veggies.  So for as long as they are benefiting from breastfeeding and still want to, I will continue to nurse.  Because one day they will stop.  If you have a healthy breastfeeding relationship with your child, one day (one sad sad day) she will stop. 

I have a very good friend who never nursed her baby.  Like ever.  So we are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to breastfeeding.  We didn't make the same choice for our babies, but we both did what was right for us.  And we kept it a judgement free zone.  Do I wish she would have tried nursing her son?  YES.  Because I know nutritionally breastmilk is better.  Does she probably think I'm a little crazy for nursing a preschooler?  Probably yes.  Most people do.  But we have never picked apart the decision that we each made.  Our children are loved and thriving and healthy(ish). 

So while I didn't comment on that thread, I did get my peace here.  Nurse on mamas.  Or don't.  It's up to you.

And for the love of all things, everywhere...,.,IT'S SEQUINS!


Anonymous said...

I have never commented before but I just want to say I think you are an incredible, amazing mom. I agree with everything you have written. It is so important to follow your heart and so you think is best for your children. If we could just support each other instead of continuously passing judgment. I keep your beautiful little girl in my prayers!

nursekimbrough said...

1. I can't stand it when people say "I was balling" when they mean they were crying. No. You were bawling.
2. I am childless (hallelujah!) but have friends who raise their kids all kind of ways. I remember saying to one "I don't care if you liquify big macs and put it in a bottle, just feed your baby". "Best" looks different for every family. You do you, girl.

Carrie said...

I nursed my first until 20 months and second until almost age 2. I would have done past age 2 but I sort of needed my body back and she was beating me up every time she nursed. I agree it is superfood. My youngest had severe GERD, a swallowing disorder, and FPIES. Getting her to gain weight after age 1 was so hard. She ate a ton but she had so much going on physically that she needed extra calories. I don't know what we would have done without breast milk. I even pumped at work until she was 15 months. It kept my oldest out of the hospital when she had RSV. She was 18 months and did not eat or drink (except breast milk) for 8 days.

Valerie said...

I have 12 children, ( I know I'm a crazy- but the good kind of crazy- it's multiplied joy) any who- my first 2 we adopted and I couldn't nurse them. Since then it's been 17 straight years- with my baby ( who is almost 2 and half) still nursing - and I love that I can be a comfort to her, that when she gets up and goes to sleep she wants that time. And when she's sick And won't eat- she WILL nurse. Way to speak up for nursing mommas. It's the world's most perfect food- I'm so blessed to have that chance to bond and love on her in a way that no one else can do for her but me.

On a separate note- love your blog and precious Allyn :)

Anonymous said...

I have 3 children (2 living & 1 in Heaven.) I am one of the middle of the road people. I wish I could have nursed my kids but my milk never even came in. I tried w/ both of my kids but my body failed me so I had to give them formula. I found out from my Mom that she had the same issue when myself and my brother were born. I think you are right that we need to do what we feel is right for our kids and stop judging others for their decisions. Being a Mom is hard enough without having to worry about what others have to say about us.

Valerie in NJ

Cathy said...

Good for you!!! You keep nursing that adorable sweet girl as long as you and she wants to. I nursed my son, who is now 34 until he weaned himself at 19 months and my daughter nursed until she was 12 months. It broke my heart when she weaned herself, but I always let them take the lead.

Cathy in VA

michelle said...

I know this post is older, but I just read it and wanted to chime in and say "amen"! :) I agree that the benefits of nursing extend well beyond the average recommended age in the US. I was able to nurse my first, my son, until 24 months until suddenly it was just painful! I attributed it to my pregnancy and believed I had a good run. I would have nursed through pregnancy otherwise. It was a lifesaver though during that first trimester when I was completely exhausted and all I could do after a day of work was to crash on the bed and my sweet boy would be content to lay with me and nurse. I'm sure he wouldn't have been so content to just hang out on the bed otherwise and it would've been much more challenging to keep an eye on him in my exhausted state. When my daughter came along, she was a mama's girl all the way. And she loved. to. nurse. I aimed for at least two years like my son and thought I'd play it by ear after that. Well two years passed, then three and regretfully I felt pressure to put an end to it at age four. I knew it wasn't necessary, but I just felt the stigma (and I must say I was wishing I could just cuddle my daughter at times w/o her always asking to nurse, ha!) So she & I talked about the end of nursing when she turned four. Of course we didn't do it cold turkey. :) Now she's five...going on six this fall. She has definite memories of nursing and still asks occasionally, despite knowing my answer. She loves to talk about it, hear stories about it, think about it, etc. Always said my milk tasted like "cake!" :) She even has a current fascination with milking cows and I know it's directly related, haha! I am endeared by the fact she'll always remember that time and we'll share the sweetness of that memory together. So thanks for listening to my bit. I hope you keep it up as long as you both wish!