Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm no longer a nursing mother

We made it 17 months.

I'm both sad and happy about this. Sad because it means that my boys are growing up and that I'll never get to nurse another tiny baby. But happy because I did it. I did so much more than what I even thought that I could.

This has not been an easy journey. It started here. At not even 2 months into nursing these babies, I was doubting my ability and will to keep going. I spent 8-10 hours of my day nursing back then. All day, around the clock. It was in that post that I expressed my feelings of pain and frustration while nursing. But I also committed myself to nursing for one year.

I had to tell myself daily to keep going back then. I cried through nearly every feeding. After months of struggle, I learned about D-MER and I could relate that to what I was experiencing. For those who don't know, D-MER is dysphoric milk ejection reflex. More common among twin moms, it basically explains my sadness and feelings of hopelessness and restlessness while nursing. I did not have this issue with Nathan, but did with the twins because I was experiencing two let-downs at once.

It was up and down for the following months. Rare moments of peace and a lot of tears (mine and the babies). But I persevered because I had to. We tried bottles of pumped milk and they weren't impressed.

After two rounds of thrush and two rounds of mastitis, I was sure that I would quit. But I didn't. I kept going.

At a year, I celebrated. I had made it to my goal. I felt amazing. I felt so proud of the amount of work that I had put in over the past year. I agreed to start the weaning process.

Weaning was slow-going. I began by dropping one feeding every month. I knew the process would take awhile as they were nursing 6 times a day at a year.

I pushed through. One by one the feedings decreased and I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

On Sunday, June 12th, I nursed the babies for the last time. I sat down to feed them and I hit me how big they were. I just felt done. It was like a switch had been flipped and I allowed myself to be honest. I was just done. I kissed their heads and told them I loved them. I breathed them in one last time and watched their sleepy faces as they looked up at me.

It has been four days. They are doing great and I don't even think they really notice. I really have to thank my husband for being so supportive. He has held my hand through hours of feedings and let me cry on his shoulder when it just got to be too much. I wouldn't have made it without his support.

As I close the book on my nursing journey, I feel happy. I'm so proud that I have done this for my babies.


Rajean B. said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I know how hard it was to nurse a single baby (I made it 13 months with each of mine), so I commend you for doing an amazing and excellent job with your twins! Enjoy the *free* time :)

Stacy said...

Congrats! I remember the feeling of being "done" breastfeeding. It felt like my little man was getting bigger : ) You should feel proud of yourself!