24 May 2007

Extended Breastfeeding

Yesterday, Miss M. said to me: "I drank from your deese* when I was two". Yeah, two and 364 days. She last nursed the night before she turned three.

I never expected to have an extended nurser. I thought, maybe six months, maybe a year. Never thought it would be three years. Especially with the way things started. But I wanted to feed breastmilk to my child, and I got into the habit of pumping, and so I was able to give her predominantly breast milk for her whole first year. And somewhere in there, she figured out how to nurse, and that it was nice. And she'd nurse before bed, and in the middle of the night, and first thing in the morning, and when she fell down and needed comfort. And so, when I stopped pumping, and she stopped getting milk in bottles, she kept nursing. And I thought, we'll stop after her surgery**. And then I thought, we'll stop after she starts daycare***. Then there was some other reason. And another. And gradually she was down to just the nursing at bedtime.

We started talking about her impending third birthday, and I gradually introduced the idea that three year olds don't nurse. And she said, "yes, when I'm three, no more deese." And we talked about it every night. And the night before her third birthday was the last time. She did keep asking for awhile. And did say "I don't want to be three". But it's now six months later, and it's now something she did when she was two. Yes, I'm a little wistful sometimes. But I'm also happy that we did nurse for so long.






* I can't explain "deese". I think that's how it's spelled. It's what Miss M. called it - both the act of nursing, and the breasts themselves. Go figure.

**She had two hemangiomas removed when she was 17 months old.

*** She started in daycare when she was 22 months old.

10 comments:

Mad Hatter said...

How lovely and lucky that you were able to share this with her for so long.

Furrow said...

I feel funny about admitting it, but I have mixed emotions about breastfeeding. On the one hand, I do very much want to do it for 6-9 months, maybe a year. I believe in the health benefits and, of course, our bodies were designed to do it. On the other hand, though, I've always needed a lot of personal space, so I wonder how I'll feel about having someone stuck to me all the time. I guess it's one of those things I'll have to wait and see about.

mayberry said...

That is great. I nursed both of mine for 16 months (just a coincidence that it was the same age with both) and got my share of raised eyebrows, but it was good for all of us.

S. said...

Rather than tie up your comments, I'm going to head on back to my blog to explain why it is that you're reading my mind.

susan said...

I have been amazed at how much nostalgia and remembering play a role in kids' conversations. I love the idea of her looking back at when she was two.

Turkeylegs said...

My son is three months old, and I think the main thing I didn't understand before he was born was that breastfeeding is about much more than giving your child food. It's a very special experience for both mother and child. So when my husband asked me recently when I thought I might wean him, all I could say was "I don't know. Definitely before he starts Kindergarten!"

buffi said...

Yep, it just happens that way! I nursed my last one for two and a half years. I finally stopped when I had to start a medication that wouldn't clear my system and might really hurt him. But it was time. Oh, lordy, it was time.

He's still pretty obsessed with my "nursies." Always reaching across or down my shirt. It's like being on a bad date sometimes.

mamaloo said...

That is a great accomplishment, especially after beginning with challenges. And, yeah, I still miss it, too - but in a I miss it but I'm still glad he's finished kinda way.

Eva said...

That's great you ended up with such a sweet nursing relationship.

You're the first person I've heard of who clearly remembers the last time they nursed. For most people the end comes and no one knows it's the end and then the details are lost.

I only vaguely recall the last time I pumped since I hadn't planned in its being the last time, but I'm glad I didn't know so there was no fanfare.

bubandpie said...

Do you suppose she means "these"? My almost-two-year-old is obsessed with the phrase "this one!" so maybe the word "these" came to be associated with her favourite "this one"s.