Monday, May 18, 2009
I never thought I would be "one of THOSE moms". You know, the kind that is still nursing a toddler. I thought it was weird. Honestly, I didn't even know if I would ever be able to nurse a baby nor was I too worried if I wasn't able to.
Why? A lumpectomy started it all. I decided to go & get the boobs fixed afterwards & am glad I had the opportunity to be able to enjoy beautiful breasts before I had my trio. It wasn't the augmentation that I was worried about, it was the breast lift/reconstruction that I knew would probably "X out" my chances of nursing.
To my surprise, the morning after the kids were born, I was able to pump the slightest bit of colostrum, enough to send down to the NICU. So I forged on. The next day was even better, I was getting the slightest amounts of milk! I thought it was the most amazing thing in the world. I was producing milk. This milk could sustain a baby's life. This milk would sustain my THREE babies' lives.
That was the beginning. I wasn't able to nurse right away. I finally got Gabi to the breast & there are no words in the world to describe how I felt in that instance. To think of it today brings tears to my eyes. It was an instant connection. Amazing.
By the end of the kids' NICU stay, I had gotten them all to the breast, Ian & Sofi w/ the aid of a nipple shield. Going home w/ the 3 of them changed things. I didn't have the nurses around to feed the other 2 while I nursed one at a time. Feeding management didn't allow for me to work w/ Sofi & Ian so Gabi was the one to go to the breast those first few months.
It dawned on me, we were in the middle of hurricane season & if we got hit, I wouldn't be able to pump. I felt the need to make sure I could nurse all 3, no nipple shield. I would take turns & make sure each of them got to the breast every day, at least once. I was on a mission.
I was most worried about Sofi. She just didn't seem in the least bit interested but in due time, she latched on. Not only was it important for them to nurse, it became important that they nursed daily. They were 4 months old & I accomplished my goal. Each was going to the breast once a day.
Thank God I was persistent b/c at the beginning of September our worst nightmare came true. We were going to get hit & hard. Breastfeeding became a necessity in the week following the hurricane. If the kids hadn't been able to nurse, I would have become engorged, uncomfortable & b/c I could only pump twice a day (thankfully Todd bought a good generator) I would have lost much of my supply.
I tandem nursed during that week. I knew it was possible to exclusively nurse triplets. It was my proudest moment since becoming a mom. It was then that I decided to get to a year. I dropped my 2am pumping session for good when we got electricity back & nursed each baby at 5am, for 30 min each. It was our quiet time. I was able to nurse them while still in bed. The cuddling was priceless & will always be one of my fondest memories of the first year.
Eventually the girls became disinterested, fighting to nurse during the day. By the time they were 7.5 months old, they were no longer nursing. My heart hurt b/c I missed our morning sessions. To think I would never nurse them again was painful but I knew they would still get my milk via bottle.
Ian, on the other hand, in typical male fashion, is still nursing like a champ & I don't see it stopping anytime soon. I can't see weaning him b/c of selfish reasons. He nurses 3/day & if he had it his way, it would probably be 4 but I needed the afternoon off. I will continue until he weans himself or possibly when he reaches 2 yrs old.
It is the most rewarding experience ever. Really. To think that I was on the other side of the fence not too long ago. What I don't understand now that I have breeched the one year mark is why it is such a big deal to others to keep going? Why does society have such issues w/ it? Why is it weird to continue to give your child the best? Most importantly, why do people think they have the right to tell you that you should stop?
I'm not an advocate of extended nursing, as we call it here in the USA. Shoot, I'm not even an advocate of breastfeeding period. I think every mom has the right to decide what is best for them & their situation. Just like I respect their decision to choose formula over breastmilk, I want others to respect my decision to continue nursing. It is all about respect.
If you are interested in finding out about extended nursing & the benefits, I have provided a link below.
My boob, my child, OUR decision.
PS ~ Please do not leave anonymous comments. I would love the opportunity to respond to anyone that chooses to comment.