Saturday, March 30, 2013

All I ever wanted

You guys. I have something important to tell you. Baby Brother is now 8 months old. And I am still nursing him.

To be clear, when I say that I am still nursing him, I mean that I am feeding him actual breastmilk directly from my actual body, with no intervening technology.

I KNOW!!!!!!

When BB was born, as I wrote here, I was very clear that I wanted to do what I could to breastfeed but that I wouldn't go to any crazy lengths. And I was lucky in that he was one of those newborns I previously thought existed only in myth, who, when held on my naked chest, would literally worm his way down to a nipple and latch on hiimself. Hell, he even tried doing it to my (fully clothed) husband.

That's not to say it was easy. I remember about two weeks in I was weeping with exhaustion and frustration and probably pain, too, and saying to my husband that I was so tempted to just quit. And he looked at me and said, "This is all you ever wanted."

OK. Not ALL I ever wanted, certainly--I want lots of things--but breastfeeding my baby was high up on the list. So I stuck with it, and told myself I just had to get to three weeks and then I would let myself quit. Then four weeks. Then six weeks. Then I figured I'd breastfeed until I went back to work, at 14 weeks. Then it was going so well (minus a hiccup when he went a whole day refusing to nurse from the left breast--what the hell???) that I thought I could surely make it to 18 weeks, which is how old Bat Girl was when she had her last drops of breastmilk--because after all, shouldn't the baby who nursed get at least as much breastmilk as the baby who refused?

And here I am. When I started it was a wild fantasy to think I could still be nursing at 6 months, and now I'm seriously considering hanging on until a year. A YEAR!

BB still gets lots of formula, of course. Based on the occasional pumping I've done at home and the pumping I do at work, I probably peaked at around 12 ounces a day, same as the maximum I ever made for BG--but this time with just a baby and some fenugreek (which I stopped taking months ago), no domperidone or insane pumping. He is a huge eater so he actually gets more formula than BG did at the same age.

But he loves nursing. And I surprised myself by how much I love it too. I loved the lazy mornings crashed out on the couch when he was a couple months old, dozing and nursing on and off for hours, his soft small weight curled around me like a comma. I still love the cozy late nights and early mornings snuggled together. I love how his eyes roll back in his head as he latches on, and how he pops off to look up and me and smile.

I said right from the beginning that I didn't care how much or how little breast milk he got, as long as he got it directly from the boob. Maintaining a breastfeeding relationship was more important to me than maximizing breastmilk intake. I'm glad I defined that right from the start (and would highly recommend that anyone embarking on breastfeeding knowing she might have difficulties look into her heart and think about which, if she had to, she would choose). It helped make the decisions clearer every step of the way.

And indeed, although I do pump twice a day at work, when I am home BB gets 100% of his breastmilk directly from me. For a while I was pumping right before bed to help keep my supply up, as well as for my own comfort because BB was sleeping from 8 pm to 5 am most nights. But then the 4-month sleep regression hit and he was waking up a lot, and I got out of the habit of pumping, and now the fancy hospital-grade pump I've been renting since August has been sitting unused for two months and I really should return it and stop paying the $60/month. (My old Pump In Style died a sudden, whimpering death when BB was a couple weeks old and I was too superstitious not to have a pump in the house, so I ran out and got the rental--a Medela Symphony which is AWESOME AND THE BEST PUMP EVER. I was really glad to have it when BB ended up in the hospital for a week with viral meningitis at 3 weeks old--OMG I really have not updated here in forever--and I needed to pump to keep up my supply when I ran home to shower and spend a few hours with BG every day.)


Really, from the perspective of this blog and its raison d'etre, I do have everything I ever wanted. Two beautiful, healthy children. A successful breastfeeding relationship. (Outside my reproductive life, my marriage is actually better than ever and my job...well, okay, my job isn't so great but you can't have it all, right?)

So I've decided it's time to make official what my lack of posting had rendered basically all but said and done. That is, I think this blog's time has come.

I will leave the whole blog up as long as the Google empire allows me the free server space, because I want to leave a trail of breadcrumbs (as Moxie puts it) for those who come after, my sisters of the fucked-up uteri, my fellow PCOSers, my kindred spirits in the world of IF and breastfeeding woes. But I don't think I will be posting here anymore.

I have gotten so much out of this space over the last 7.5 years--a place to vent and cry, the love and support of a community that has followed me into the IRL world--and I only hope that I have given back, in some small way.

If you're reading this and you're at the beginning of your journey, I hope my story gives you some hope. And remember, you're not alone. You're never alone.

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Blogger May said...

This made me so happy to read. I think yours was one of the first blogs I found. My kids are now 7 and 5 years old and my days of sobbing over my PCOS body's failings are a hazy memory. Good luck to you!

1:39 AM  
Anonymous antropologa said...

Glad to hear things are good! Impressive about the breastfeeding! I'm so happy for you. Sorry you won't be posting here again. But maybe you can write somewhere else? It'd be fun to keep up with you. But seriously, your kid had viral meningitis and you didn't write about it, you're probably over blogging. Good luck with everything!

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Jillian said...

I'm sad to see the blog close, but I can't imagine a happier ending. So glad for you and your little family.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Thalia said...

Happy Happy Happy.

You helped me through round 1 of breastfeeding, I am so happy that round 2 turned out to be the happy experience round 1 should have been.

I feel i should write something really meaningful about our shared past.I will just say thank you and I'm so glad you were part of the infertilisphere, and remain part of my part of the internets.

See you on the other side ;-)

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting. I have a UU and PCOS and, going through my struggles, it was comforting to read your blog. Good luck with your Bat-babies as they grow up!

11:45 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I was so happy to see you posted but I am so sad to see you go. I will miss you and I hope you check in every once in awhile. If you use Facebook I would love to connect with you on there. Email me and I will send you my full name.

Take care!!

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will "second" the other anonymous post, because I completely agree with her. I found your blog after being diagnosed with UU in 2007. Very dark days, many doctors telling me it was useless to try. Your blog gave me hope, a lot of laughs, and ultimately the courage to keep trying. My daughter is now 4 years old, healthy and beautiful. I was never brave enough to write until now, but if you ever read this again, I just wanted you to know how your kindness in sharing your story has touched many many more than you will likely ever know. I haven't checked in for awhile, but I am so happy to see you posted an update in March, and that BB is well. Cheers to your beautiful family!

6:59 PM  
Blogger Dr. Grumbles said...

I am a psychologist and a blogger ( I am currently conducting a survey of bloggers who post about pregnancy, fertility, adoption, pregnancy loss, and parenting. I would like to extend an invitation for you to complete the brief survey found here:
(I am very sorry to leave this in a comment like a spammer!)
Thank you so much!
Dr. Grumbles

4:18 PM  
Anonymous prasad said...

It was good to hear you and thanks for sharing.

12:23 AM  

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