This post is about boobs. Tah-tahs. Or, as Carter would have it, Nanas.
I'll start by saying that I'm extremely proud of myself for being a part of the 11% of nursing mothers who (will probably) nurse my baby up to 12 months of age. I never thought I was that kind of person. You know, that determined, nursing kind. I'm happy Carter's so healthy. I love that it bonded us. I feel like I learned more about myself and my son that not everyone has the opportunity to do.
But, as it turns out, I'm finding that I don't really have a choice in the whole nursing matter anymore. Forget trying to make it 12 months, we'll be lucky if we stop before he's 20 years old. I'd love to start weaning him. In fact, about four months ago, I declared it was time to start formula (which, obviously, didn't work).
I'm a primary witness that too much of a good thing can go bad. It feels like we're on a runaway train. All aboard:
I was pregnant, I didn't think I'd be able to nurse. Everyone made it sound so hard.
The night Carter was born, I wasn't even sure if I was allowed to put him on my boob. It seemed weird, wrong, and I didn't know how.
The first month, I spent 20 minutes at a time trying to get him to latch on and position his head so he could eat. I still remember the sound of his hungry, frustrated grunts.
The second month, I couldn't believe I was really a successful, exclusively nursing mother. It felt so special, I loved it. Go me!
The third and fourth months, when we started to get out of the house a little more, I noticed how hard it was to feed, pump and have social freedom at the same time. I still loved it, I persisted.
Around six and seven months, I budged a little and decided we could mix nursing and formula. Carter wasn't having it. He pushed away formula and cried.
Around eight months, Carter developed a new passion for nursing. He does it for fun. Food. Comfort. He rolls around, sits and stands while he nurses. He'll lay with me for an hour and start humming when there's no milk left. He sucks, plays with a toy, then sucks again. He pinches. He owns it, it's his, he freaks when he wants it. And he always wants it. If nursing were a sport, Carter would be an Olympic medalist.
If you've extensively nursed your baby (like for a few months), you might understand what I'm talking about. After time, it can get to be a lot of weight on your shoulders, having the baby exclusively rely on you in this physical way - whining to you whenever he's hungry, bored or falls down and needs a comfort that can only be given by your chest.
It's frustrating not being able to leave him alone with his father - or anyone - for too long, knowing he'll get cranky and cause stress if he goes more than a few hours without nursing. Forget pumping bottles or shaking up some formula. Carter demands his nana.
I cringe when my husband asks him, Do you want some nana? The second the word hits the air, the baby turns into a Nana Machine, built to seek out and drain every breast created on planet Earth. Nana! Nana? Nana! Nana? Nana! Nana? Nana!
My instinct is to hide. Matt laughs, The boy loves his nana.
I've truly started to slightly avoid using words that start with the letter N around Carter, for fear of sparking his passion. Obsession. Fixation. Mania. Call it what you will.
Talking to a lot of moms via YouTube, I learned that the majority of us whose babies co-sleep and/or wake every couple hours to feed are nursing babies. At ten months old, I've finally got him partially in the crib, but the regular feedings withstand our sleeping situation. By the time the sun rises, he's somehow ended up in our bed.
Consequently, I noticed that it's a little strange he hasn't formed an attachment to any of the blankies or teddy bears I hand him before he goes to sleep. He literally tosses them all aside; looking any of the poor bears in the eye isn't even a consideration.
It's also a no to pacifiers. To bottles. To favorite books. To rocking.
He has interest in none of it, as his stellar blue eyes bore into my chest.
And then I realized it. I am his blankie. I am his teddy bear. I am his mommy. His little voice quietly whimpers and beckons his demand, Nana.
Exhausted as I am, I wouldn't have it any other way.