May 2, 2012

An Ode to Breastfeeding

The last time Parker Mahaffey nursed was April 20, 2012 around 11:30 pm, by force of his mama!

Yes, you read that correctly.

Since I have been pregnant, nursing had become increasingly painful, and my milk had almost completely dried up. I was 22 weeks into my pregnancy the last time I nursed Parker. I was wondering if my colostrum was going to come in, but so far, it hadn't.

I had nursed him to fall asleep for a nap that morning. We went to Shane's baseball game that night, and then we stopped by a new sporting good store that opened called Academy Sports and Outdoors. Shane quickly found what he had came for: a left handed baseball glove for his son. Parker is absolutely obsessed with baseball and throwing balls. That night, he stared at his new glove in wonder. It did not come off his hand. When we got home, he refused to sleep. He literally played with his glove and a ball for over two hours. He just threw his ball into his glove with a little grin.

I had been working on the don't offer, don't refuse method of weaning (and sometimes, trying to refuse when it hurt too much, but failing). I should add that Parker was only nursing on my right side as well. Out of sheer exhaustion, around 11 30, I begged him to nurse. "Don't you want booby?" He nursed for a minute, popped off, and declared "I don't WANT it!" In the cutest southern little voice ever.He went back to throwing his ball until he finally passed out in our bed. But he did have to sleep with his glove on his hand. No lie.

He went an entire week without even saying the word boobie. I felt a little betrayed, but also very very relieved. A week later, he asked for boobie, but I knew that it would be extremely painful, so I instead offered him a drink and a cuddle, and he was fine. He likes to fall asleep in the car now, or in our arms. He is a bit harder to get to sleep, but we are getting into a routine. I moved the rocking chair back into his room for this purpose. The best part is that Daddy now gets to put his son to sleep for the first time in almost two years. He loves to rock in the recliner, falling asleep to the Braves games.

I have such mixed feelings because he seems so grown up now. He is happy with a sippy cup of water and a cuddle with Dad. He still needs to snuggle with me to start his day and wake up from his naps. I think if I wasn't pregnant and in so much pain when nursing that it would be a lot harder.

Now I have a three month break before I embark on my next breastfeeding journey. I am excited for a little break, I must admit, but I am very very thrilled to have nursed Parker for 21.5 months, and I am overjoyed that my milk sustained him and grew him before he ever ate food. He NEVER had one DROP of formula, and he really hated pumped bottles too. He was quite the boob man. I am proud of you, big boy! And I'm also proud of me :) As a side note, I really need more nursing pictures next time! Here are the few shots of my little man breastfeeding... the first is right after his first nursing session EVER.

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