Friday, August 06, 2004

Nur-Nur

In case you don't read Tulipgirl, she's been blogging this week on breastfeeding because this past week has been World Breastfeeding Week and has posted some beautiful breastfeeding art. In our family, we call it nur-nur and although I think weeks dedicated to any cause are a bit silly, breastfeeding is something I support whole-heartedly.

When I was pregnant with The Boy, I knew I wanted to breastfeed, but I'd also read enough horror stories to be a bit worried about it. My mom was a long-term nurser though -- my older brother for 2 years, me for 2 1/2 and my little brother for 3 years, so I knew it could be done. I was determined to do it for a while and besides, I knew I really didn't want to deal with stinky, messy, expensive formula if I didn't have to.

Nursing wasn't all wonderful. We went through a lot of early pain, cracks, and bleeding -- and later on clogged ducts and thrush, but The Boy and I kept it up for 25 months and it was a wonderful time. When he weaned I was ready to give it up, but was sad about it at the same time.

When The Girl was born, I was not about to try anything else -- although I quickly learned that you have to relearn a lot about nursing every time. Nursing a toddler is very different from nursing a newborn and I went through all the problems again, except for thrush, and experienced new cramping pains that weren't there the first time either.

I would have liked to have nursed The Girl longer, but I also do not have any desire to tandem nurse, so after cutting down slowly through the early stages of my pregnancy, she finally weaned about a month ago at 21 months. Again, I am a bit sad that we've passed out of that stage, but I was ready to do it and so was she.

Soon I'll be starting up again with Baby #3. I know now that nursing a newborn is different and that I can't pick up where I left off with the last one. We'll have to form our own bond. I also have every expectation that it will hurt for a few days, but I know that that will pass. I'm looking forward to meeting this new little one in a few months, and one of the things I look forward to most is to watch him or her grow, fed with something only I can provide. Sighing contentedly like a little milk-drunk and soothed by me when the big world seems overwhelming.

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