For 3 years my body has not belonged to me.
For 3 years I have shared my body with someone else.
For 3 years my body, in some form or another, has grown and fed two wonderful, beautiful, healthy babies.
I have loved and appreciated every moment of those 3 years. I would not take any of it back or change a single moment. I love being pregnant. I even have moments of sadness that I missed out on 8 weeks of pregnancy because my son was premature. It is taking some time to come to terms that I will not be pregnant again.
Not only do I love pregnancy, I also love breastfeeding. I was fortunate both times to be able to nurse my children and not have any problems. Which is why I have mixed emotions. As I said, I am sad that the breastfeeding is ending as with it comes the reality that I am choosing not to have anymore pregnancies or babies.
Between being pregnant and breastfeeding, it totals 3 years where my body has belonged to another being. I loved it, loved every minute of it. But now I’m taking it back.
And I am so ready.
I am ready to have a drink without feeling guilty. I am ready to BURN my nursing bras. I am ready to go out with friends and not have to be home at a certain time. Weirdly I am even ready to see what shape and form my body is going to take as I begin to wean my son.
My husband and I are taking a well deserved vacation and we have decided not to take the kids. We are fortunate to have family that will watch them. But that meant having to make the difficult decision to wean my son. He is 10 months old; my daughter weaned herself around the same age and we switched her directly to homo milk. However, because my son was premature he will need to be on formula until he is 12 months corrected, which will be 14 months old. My husband and I both struggled with this decision, not being against formula but that it was something so new and foreign to us.
At the pediatrician’s suggestion, I started offering my son 2 ounces at a time. If you’ve seen my past post “No Bottle“, you would remember that my son is not a great bottle feeder. He’s done it when needed, but seems to instantly regress and forget. Sippy cups worked a little, but the flow was too fast and more got on his shirt then in his mouth. Also, he’s still young and I wanted him to find some comfort in the bottle so I have really pushed it.
After only a week he is managing to drink two 4 ounce bottles a day. I am nursing him first thing in the morning, he has a bottle before lunch and another bottle late afternoon before dinner, then I breastfeed again at bedtime. The ultimate goal is 24 ounces a day, I’m hoping 6 ounces over four feeds.
And I’m finding the benefits of bottle feeding. We were out grocery shopping the other day when he started getting hungry and I was able to give him a bottle in his stroller. Where in the past we’d need to go home or find somewhere quiet to nurse him. I’m also looking forward to my husband taking a turn feeding him.
But most of all I’m looking forward to reclaiming my body. To be reintroduced to the changes that have happened over the past 3 years. And I will embrace every single one of those changes as they were made by the two most wonderful children. Every mark and stretch and lump and change has come from the love I have for them.
I am ready.
- Time for Feminists to Stop Arguing About Breastfeeding and Fight for Better Formula (observer.com)
- Sorry – You Can’t Guilt Trip Me About Bottle Feeding My Kids (jezebel.com)
- Whining about weaning (rookiemoms.com)