|Poor Sick Boy|
Tonight as I was putting him and Zoe to sleep, I was trying to nurse Zoe and she just wasn't interested. As I snapped my nursing tank shut, Leo said, "Can you give me some nurse?" He was laughing as he said it, but not like he was kidding - more like he knew that the answer was no.
He hasn't nursed since August. I haven't written much (ok, anything) about his weaning here because I'm not really thrilled with how it went down. You may have read about some of the challenges I had the first year of Breastfeeding after a reduction (BFAR). Then when he was 17 months old I got pregnant. We nursed throughout the entire pregnancy - through some very uncomfortable soreness and some really frustrating dry spells. It was challenging, but it was important to me to nurse him as long as possible - and I thought it would be helpful to be able to connect with him through Breastfeeding during the transition of welcoming a new baby. I had these very lovely visions of tandem nursing dancing through my head.
When Zoe was born things didn't pan out the way I'd anticipated. I was overwhelmed. Leo was overwhelmed. Nursing turned into a point of contention. He wanted to nurse constantly. He would scream and hit when I tried to end a nursing session. It didn't seem to be a nice thing for either of us anymore - so I made the difficult decision to wean him.
It was heartbreaking. We both cried. A lot. I'm still not at peace with it. Would you like to feel a touch of my heartbreak? Here is sound clip I recorded from a bedtime in late August.
So tonight, when he sheepishly asked to nurse my heart broke all over again. I asked him if he was being silly or if he really wanted to nurse. He said, "When I was a baby I loved nursing so much."
"Yes, you did," I answered him. "You know, if you want I could make you a cup of nurse." (Nurse is what he calls the action of Breastfeeding, the milk it produces and my breasts - as in, "Why do you wear a bra over your nurse?") I know nursing is so much more than the milk - but he seemed interested.
He perked up and said, "You can use the pumpers to make me some nurse?" I had pulled out the pump during my pregnancy thinking I would use it - and Leo asked many, many questions about it. I had used the pump A LOT while establishing my supply for Leo, but blessedly haven't needed it this round. Yes, Breastfeeding after a reduction (BFAR) the second time around has been MUCH easier.
I kissed his forehead and promised him I would use the "pumpers" for him. Then he fell asleep with the comfort measure that took the place of nursing to sleep all those months ago - a foot massage. "With your nails, mama," as he requests it. And I take his foot in my hand and I press my nails into the ball of his foot rhythmically until his body relaxes and he falls off to sleep.
So here I sit at midnight by the light of my computer screen with the familiar but almost forgotten mechanical sucking soundtrack of this wretched pump. I hope he enjoys his cup of nurse with his breakfast tomorrow. I hope it helps him fight off this miserable sickness he's battling. I hope he knows how much I love him. And I hope it gives us both a little closure to our nursing and weaning journey.
|This BFAR mama is very proud|
of pumping four ounces in 20 minutes
after nursing a hungry 9 month
old to sleep