I've always known that I wanted to nurse my "someday" children. However what I didn't know or think about was how long the journey would be, how wonderful it would be, and how hard it could be! While pregnant, all I did was research and seek advice about just about everything possible. Our world is so full of knowledge these days, and we can seek so much of it just at the tip of our fingers. It was pretty blatantly obvious that nursing my baby is one of the single most important things I could ever do for her. It is hands down one of the best things for them! It can change their life and health forever. Don't get me wrong I am one hundred percent an advocate for nursing and will always try to give advice where it is received, but if you didn't nurse your child, I will not to judge you. There are also some mommas who can't nurse that really wanted to, and my heart goes out to you it really does! I'm so thankful for the ability to do so. I love seeing mommas build each other up and there is a whole lot of judging that goes around in the momma community. You know there is! Quite frankly I just feel for myself that encouraging others and building others up does a whole lot more than tearing them down.
Anyways, for myself I knew I wanted to do the best I could at making the healthiest choices for my family. So I decided that I would at least nurse Iris for a year before she was born and hoped for longer. Here I am 18 months later! Iris has always been great with nursing. I'm thankful I had no major issues. I mean of course the first month or so is terrible!! It hurts, its grueling, I can remember sitting up late a night literally dreading her next feeding. I thought when is this ever going to get better? However time passes quickly, it's so worth it and you forget that first month before you know it! Yes, I experience the pain of being to full, getting clogged, all of that good stuff, but It really isn't a big deal. We are capable of dealing with so much more than we give ourselves credit.
Iris nursed exclusively for the first 8 months of her life. I really didn't start introducing foods until around 8 months and I don't regret it at all, I actually feel it was one of the best decisions I made because I believe it made her continue to want to nurse longer, rather than want exclusively food earlier than she needed. Up until a year old she still nursed several times a day. After a year she started to wean herself a little and went down to a few times a day. You might be thinking, sounds like she is doing fantastic, why are you stopping? This is where I come in! Iris never took a bottle. Ever, ever, ever. She is sweet but she is beyond stubborn! So you can figure out for yourself that I could never leave her. There have been a few times I left for a day and she wouldn't drink anything but water and just wait until I returned. The whole pumping in NYC tiny bathrooms while trying to enjoy a day to yourself ( yah so much fun... a lot of sarcasm there) only to have it wasted at the end of the day, wasn't exactly ideal. Another contributor to the end of this nursing journey is sleep. Iris was never a fantastic sleeper and always wanted to nurse to sleep. It took a whole lot of screaming to get her to adjust to not nursing before naps ( or catnaps) and bedtime. Now that we are done I am hoping this will improve her naps and maybe she will sleep longer at night ( high hopes I know). Honestly though, if Iris took a bottle I would continue nursing her and that's the truth! Even if she took a binky it would help considerably, but she doesn't. She's a pickle I tell ya!
Yes, I feel a lot of guilt that maybe It's extremely selfish to stop nursing her now at a year and a half when maybe she would have continued much longer. At the same time I feel excitement about a hopeful new chapter of our little life. It's so bittersweet. You get so many opinions. I have people who literally give me the weirdest looks when they hear I still was nursing Iris, and I get others who think I should continue forever until she completely stops herself ( which I seriously don't think would ever happen!) . Like I said sooo much input in this momma community, which can be such a great thing, but at the same time such a burden. I loved nursing my little Iri. I love knowing that I did my best for her for 18 months and at times sorry I couldn't longer. But with me going on this three day trip I was put in a place to choose and I decided it was time. My first night away from my babe will be tonight and it's all hitting me as a new chapter, a new beginning.
So how about you mommas, mommas-to-be, ladies dreaming about being a someday momma? I'd love to hear your thoughts, your journeys, your goals. It makes me happy to hear the encouragement of others, and I think we all need a whole lot more of it!
Also link to watch giveaway: www.woodwatches/g/paigeandiris <3