1

No More Babies: How I Really Feel (Last Child Grief)

21687885_3183909687177_797510569706804953_n

Thoughts at 4 Months Postpartum

I only have two children, and two will be my only. We always planned to have two kids for the usual reasons: financial resources, practicality, health reasons, familiarity, and so on.

This pregnancy and postpartum were much different than the first. I suspect it has much to do with knowing they’ll be my last.

I feel the postpartum slipping away. My youngest is now four months old, which means a little more than a trimester ago he was playing, breathing, wriggling, and listening in my womb.

For these past months I’ve watched my body turn into something blooming and abundant to swollen and rumpling to deflated and limp, stressed from constant demands upon it and weak from the the endless drill of late nights and early mornings. I’ve felt unmotivated to move into a new chapter, for I know once that happens, I won’t get to call myself ‘newly postpartum.’ In my case, not ever again.

This is now the body I’m left with. Rather, this is the body I get to keep. I’ve got more skin than I had before, a herniated navel, and my hair seems to be grieving with me as it sheds like a willow in the fall.

I think I’ll say I’m no longer ‘postpartum’ when my linea nigra disappears. The first time it took a year. I think that’s when I’ll stop telling people “I just had a baby…”

Right now my body is a signpost of declarations that say this shop is closed, be back soon. I know better because my intentions are steps ahead; I know the shop is closed indefinitely. Continue reading

0

Reasons Why My 4-Year-Old Nurses (His Words & Mine)

17342512_3002464471160_1782109170338571249_n

Reasons why my 4-year-old nurses — according to him:

1). “It’s delicious.”

Obviously, breast milk tastes good. I’ve heard some adults who breastfed until school age say they have no memories of actually breastfeeding, but they’ll never forget the sweet taste.

At more than 3 years old, MaiTai weaned briefly in the last trimester of my last pregnancy. I really thought he was done. Then my milk returned in full force after baby Julep’s birth and so did his remembrance of the sweet, sugary goodness.

Of course he wanted to test it out, see if it had changed.

Continue reading

0

(Incorrectly) Assumed Reasons Why My 4-Year-Old Nurses

child-1864718_960_720 copy

I think by now we can all agree exclusive breastfeeding is the optimal method of infant feeding. Our society is slowly but surely becoming more accepting (even approving) of breastfeeding (the concept of it, if anything).

But, here’s the thing.

I notice many of us still seem a tad obsessed with HOW LONG  a woman and child should breastfeed.

Okay, so you get it, you get it. Breastfeeding is healthy, it’s both normal and best, and breastfeeding in public is perfectly appropriate.

But do you pause when the breastfeeding involves a child older than you’d expect? Do you question whether it’s still good or still appropriate? Do you already firmly believe it’s not? Have you ever uttered the phrase “I support breastfeeding, but…” and concluded with an opinion about upper age limits?

Continue reading

0

If I Could Give Only 5 Pieces of Breastfeeding Advice To a New Mom

15439895_2924354198452_932489583518350295_n-copy

If you could give only five pieces of breastfeeding advice to a new mother, what would you say? Here’s what I’d tell her.

Continue reading

0

What The ‘Tree of Life’ Brelfies Tell Us About Breastfeeding Moms

15585427_2197968910428304_4442727716868430206_o

We really want to share our breastfeeding moments.

Nursing our children is incredibly important to us. We’re proud, grateful, sometimes hesitant, always brave. See how quickly we all LEAPED at a chance to share some of our most treasured breastfeeding moments?

That moment when our babies gave us the big ol’ doe eyes, thanking us from somewhere deep in their souls for nourishing them? We couldn’t ignore it. And we’re so happy about it, we want others to notice too.

An innocently cute brelfie (breastfeeding selfie) trend like this should go viral and incite mad passion — even the World Health Organization said so in a UN briefing for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week.

We’ve been patient. So very patient. But we’re starting to get antsy in our nursing gliders and uncomfortable under the paisley tent-covers. It takes this degree of overwhelming social media with Tree of Life brelfies to normalize breastfeeding by tomorrow, when it really should have happened yesterday.

Continue reading

2

Is Infant Circumcision Incompatible With Breastfeeding?

13335920_2758481171730_7480671780583164072_n-copy

Is circumcision the ‘Voldemort’ in a conversation about early breastfeeding difficulties? Though it’s a studied certainty that infant circumcision can have ruinous effects upon breastfeeding, it seems only the rare or high-profile breastfeeding expert dares to mention this risk by name, much less maintain an official protocol for assistance if challenges arise.

Continue reading

0

The Logistics and Worries of Tandem Nursing

14305466_2837475786546_5856249334211224900_o

I have a lot of trust these days.

Mothers in our culture are told she should wean her older child when she’s pregnant (“or else you’ll miscarry!”); that the older one will take all the important nutrients away from the new baby if they tandem nurse; that the older kid should be eating “real” food so nursing is no longer a “need” (as if breastfeeding is alone defined by its nutritional profile); that the older child will never wean on his own.

I was forced to confront the truth-to-myth ratio in these things I really had no idea about. I wondered if I’m doing things right, I consulted with my intuition (and my children because they’re wiser than we give them credit for — and, I’ll admit, online forums and a Tarot deck more than once).

I realized tandem nursing just happens however it does, despite any careful planning or controlling I may have preferred. On a deeper, more trusting level, I know this is happening as its meant to.

I know my almost four-year-old MaiTai isn’t going to bogart all the milk that my newly four-month-old Julep needs. I know it’s okay for me to nurse my older kid in public. I know I’m not the first or last mother to tandem nurse children aged several years apart.

But the logistics of it all… the logistics! There’s no map for this.

Continue reading