Posts Tagged With: Extended Breastfeeding

Boobies!

If you can get a "good" picture of 5 kids, I'll give you a high five.

If you can get a “good” picture of 5 kids, I’ll give you a high five.

There was something ingrained in me and I knew I would nurse my baby from the moment I found out I was pregnant with Tajh. It was almost gross to me to think about putting a bottle in his mouth, yet I didn’t understand why. My mom hadn’t nursed me and I was aware of that, so why did I feel so strongly that I was supposed to? Slowly memories came back of my mom stopping every so often and my little sister hiding under her shirt. I was 6 at the time and then it didn’t mean much to me, not even enough for me to have it as strong memory, but evidently without knowing it my Mom had created a lasting impression.

I knew I would nurse Tajh, but there was also something odd about it to me. It felt weird being a 19-year-old kid and feeding another human being from my boob. Yes, I will admit, it felt weird. The idea of doing it was right, I knew that, but it didn’t make it any less awkward. Having a lactation consultant at the hospital help him latch on, and having people watch me nurse and possibly catch a glimpse of my boob, everything about it made me terribly uncomfortable. I would plan trips around nursing him so I rarely had to nurse in public, and I would always cover up with a blanket. Tajh had bottles of  my milk on rare occasion when he was tiny, and began getting formula as well at around 6 months. I started him on baby food at that time too, and then at 11 months I felt he was “too old” for the boob. During a nursing strike I let him quit. My baby was done with the boob, and although I was sad, I was slightly relieved.

Tajh Baby2 Tajh Baby1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea was born in New Zealand and there was once again never a question from me if I would nurse her, but there also wasn’t a question from my midwives, it’s what you do. Tea nursed like a champ and having an almost 2-year-old as well, covering up became even more difficult. I have a great technique of wearing a spaghetti strap tank top under any shirt I was wearing, it was a simple pull one up and the other covers your belly. This worked great, but something you have to chase the other one around, so exposure became a little more normal. Tea was an avid nurser and continued to nurse well over a year. At this point I started running and found out I was pregnant again. Tea nursed through me training for a half marathon into my 5 month of pregnancy. At some point my body was exhausted and I’m not sure if I was even producing anymore. At 20 months old she just stopped asking and she was done. To be honest, I think my body was very thankful for at least a little break.

Tea Baby

Tea Baby 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tay was another nursing champ. He was born at home and nursed basically right after birth. He was an “all the time” nurser which I attribute to him not using a pacifier (plug as we like to call them) like the other two had. He was on the boob all day every day and it was exhausting. As he grew into a toddler I did love his nursing moments, they were the only time he sat still! At 22 months I remember one particular day that I was just done being touched. I had watched the kids all day alone and was now attempting to get my own schoolwork done. I was tired, grumpy, and just done with everything. Seth brought Tay in to me because he was cranky and needed the boob. I remember letting him nurse for a few minutes and just feeling angry. This time things weren’t special I just wanted him done. I told him enough and sent him out, and he never asked again. I feel terrible about how my nursing relationship with Tay ended. It was a moment of frustration that ended my special bond with my little boy.

 

Tay baby3 Tay Baby 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tay Baby 4

 

My time nursing my children was beautiful. I think through my years of nursing I learned a lot. I nursed longer each time, stopped supplementing with bottles and plugs, and learned that nursing should never be on a schedule. The day I received my first foster baby and held the little girl and gave her a bottle I felt something was lacking. It wasn’t that it “wasn’t my child” it was the closeness that was lacking. I was always sad to give any of my babies the bottle, and I was embarrassed in public. Sometimes I wanted to tell people I would be nursing if I could, that I too hated giving the baby the bottle. I felt like people were judging me, and maybe they were?  Or maybe they weren’t and it was me feeling like I wasn’t doing the best I could for the babies in my care. With Tenny and Tru especially I had huge regrets about not nursing them. Nursing soothes an upset children, puts them to sleep, honestly makes life easier. I found parenting and not nursing to be much more difficult and harder to create the bond I wanted with them.

Tenny baby 3 Tenny Baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tru Baby Tru Baby2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes I am very pro nursing. I understand it is a choice everyone has to make for themselves. I began nursing as a choice I made for my children. I continued to nurse them as long as I did for myself as well. I am thankful for all my years spent cuddling my little ones giving them the best I could. I hope that my baby wearing and snuggling with my little 2 gave them at least a little taste of the closeness the other 3 had.

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Yup… That’s poop on my floor

And yes, its human.

How we roll... literally. At the time of this picture, at least 3 of them regularly used the bathroom and the other 2....

How we roll… literally. At the time of this picture, at least 3 of them regularly used the bathroom and the other 2….

As I’ve said before, my parenting has always been very natural. Even in my babysitting days the idea of changing an older toddlers diaper just bothered me. Why does a 2-year-old want to sit in their own excrement? So when Tajh approached 2 I knew I had to handle this before it became a disaster. By his second birthday Tajh was out of diapers, Mommy win.

Teagan was for sure my first super hippie baby. everything I had done with Tajh was now done to an even higher hippie degree. I wore her, all the time. I nursed her, everywhere. Disposable diapers were for the people who clearly didn’t care about the environment, I cloth diapered. I started looking into all the “extra” hippie mom stuff and came across Elimination Communication (EC).  Basically the idea that if you connected with you child (in all the hippy ways I was) you could start having your baby use the potty as early as 6 weeks. Now I thought this sounded crazy, so I waited until 6 months. I simply put Tea on the potty when I thought she needed to go, and by 9 months she was using the potty regularly. By a year we were completely out of diapers. Time consuming you ask? Not really. She sat and we read books, played games, had a snack, we made it work. The only real problem being, they don’t make underwear small enough for a 1-year-old. She did however go back down in clothing sizes due to the lack of diaper which meant less clothes to buy. Mommy win.

Hippy I still was, but this Little Orangie threw me for a loop. Around 18 months we were out of diapers again (yeah EC took a little longer with this one) but then he got sick. I don’t really know what it was, but he had terrible “sick poop” and it just wasn’t working. Also around that time he had a fun “habit” of peeing in random bowls, cups, boxes, anything he could find. Always up for keeping life interesting…. Still at 2 for little Orangie Tay, there were no diapers. Mommy, still winning.

Now it was on to Tenny. This Little Lady had the joy of being our first little one as we lived outside more. Being naked was the norm for her (and still is) so obviously going to the bathroom outside was normal too. She also was around a lot of ultra runners during those formidable years, and for those that don’t know, ultra runners tend to use the outdoors as restrooms. So my Little Tenny made the world her potty, sigh… honestly I didn’t mind except when it was in the front yard, in front of the neighbors (which FYI, she did last week). No diapers after 2 again, just a pooper scooper…. Mommy win?

On to our adorable Mr. Tru. When I realized Tru would turn 2 during our crazy homeless summer, I decided he would spend time naked as much as possible, but I still wanted diapers on in the van. Why you ask? Laziness. I’ll admit it, I didn’t want to stop 30 times during a 9 hour van ride. Having Miss Tenny already who required frequent stops, I just couldn’t handle another. The plan was after we were settles into a kid house diapers were gone. Somehow I hadn’t counted on a broken femur and the amazingly large awkward cast that would come with it (SPICA cast). I felt guilt and decided diapers would leave when the cast was off. So here we are… my 2 1/2-year-old has decided he doesn’t mind diapers and would much rather have them on. Sitting on the potty? Well screw that I’m busy! Ugh… As you can see, this Mommy always wins, so yes, he is diaper free. And yes, that is poop on my floor. Currently the potty is his least favorite thing and he will avoid it at all costs. He loves his train underwear, so why does he soil them so often? Sigh… And I thought the Orangie was bad!

Right now we have a work in progress. Little Miss Tenny still needs to “sit” for a couple minutes sometimes until she can stand and make her way to the bathroom (to be honest I did that when I was little too, too much fun stuff going on to miss), and Mr. Tru still poops ad pees where he pleases. While you sit back and judge think about this, people stick their hand in a bag and pick up dog poop all the time. At least the fecal matter on my floor is all fruits and veggies, totally natural and not weird at all… Not a Mommy win… YET!

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