Ezra's Lullaby
Your Turn

A Post About Boobs. But You Know, the Lame Mommyblog Functional Sort of Boobs.

Ezra had his four-month check-up yesterday (hmm, feels like way too many hyphens in that sentence, but no matter), and unlike last time I cannot directly compare his stats to his big brother's, because I never blogged about them. So I don't know them. So I was either completely over documenting Noah's babyhood by four months or at least briefly pretending to for the Sake Of My Poor Mommyblogged-Out Audience. Or....(scans blog archives once more)...ah. Yes. Month four was the month of the rotavirus. Over and over again. So I was simply too busy vomiting. I remember now.

(I also remember why it became imperative that we move to a place with more than one bathroom, as I never, ever wish to repeat the math of Two Sick Adults, One Toilet again.)

Anyway. I believe Noah was somewhere in the 15-pound range, and really long, like 95th percentile long. His doctor was all, "Have you started him on solids yet?" And I was all, "Yesssss," because the Internet had yelled at me for starting him on solids. And the doctor was all, "Good!" and proceeded to rage against commercial rice cereal for the next like, 20 minutes.

Ezra weighs 15 pounds, 9 ounces and is 26 inches long. 75th percentile, more or less. They didn't give me the percentile for his head measurement (16 3/4 inches), but did comment that wow, it really IS the most perfectly round head ever. He's like a cantelope, attached to a ham.

I also got the green light to start him on solids, if we feel like it. (Our doctor uses a "six months or 15 pounds or doubled birth weight or whichever comes first" guideline, which I know is not what every doctor recommends, but oh hai, welcome to motherhood, the land of a million magical and conflicting opinions about every fucking little thing you do,)

I came home and ground up some oatmeal in the blender (one chronically constipated kid is ENOUGH, thank you, rice cereal)...and then poured it in a plastic container and put it away.

Not quite ready yet, let's stick with the six-month plan, I thought. But unlike last time, when my instincts told me yes, Noah was ready, whatever, I'm not sure this is so much my instincts but a small, quiet need to Not Be Done Exclusively Breastfeeding yet. And yeah, I'm aware that of all the neurotic things I've said on my website, that's gotta be up there in the top five, at least.

I'm not too worried Ezra will wean himself -- despite being "ready," I don't even think he'll be that interested in food, and don't even get me started on the crazy hoops we go through to get him to accept the occasional bottle. ($13 bottles that look like boobs, people. I tried to give him one last night out at a restaurant because I wasn't wearing an easily-opened top and had some about-to-expire breastmilk in the fridge [he won't eat anything that's been frozen and thawed, or even not super-freshly pumped, which I finally figured out is likely excess lipase, gah], and I swear, having that bottle out on the table felt more suggestive than opening my bra in public ever has. He also still wouldn't take it, and I ended up stretching out the neckline of a brand-new dress anyway.) I am pretty sure we'll be nursing for as long as I could ever possibly want to nurse, which I think is somewhere north of a year but south of "able to unbutton my shirt and ask for it."

I'm not worried about my supply or allergies or anything like that. No, this is just me selfishly clinging to a passing phase of infancy, when I was all he needed in the world, when I truly got to be his everything. When I could see his rolly thighs and those numbers on the scale and proudly think: Me! All me! I did that! He used to be a zygote and now! LOOK AT WHAT MY BODY CAN DO! (thumps chest, swaggers away, awwwyeah)

I've started and deleted a "In Praise of Breastfeeding" type post several times -- partly because I don't want to make anyone feel badly because they couldn't or didn't.

And partly because the only commenter I've had to ban since Ezra was born would only show up on posts whenever I said ANYTHING positive about breastfeeding, and who would leave rambling comments about what a load of shit it all was and seemed to think I was some kind of anti-formula zealot. Quite refreshing, honestly, from the days when I regularly got comments about how my low supply was all in my imagination, and supplementing with formula was just an excuse for laziness and didn't I know that all I had to do was <insert solution that I'd already fucking tried, thanks>.

(Oh, and whatever -- Ezra HAS had formula, every now and again, thanks to the lipase/storing problem combined with growth spurts where he drinks every blessed drop and there's nothing left to pump. Oh my God, the horror! And whatever, etc.)

But. I've loved nursing this baby. I get why women get so passionate about it, even though that passion rankles those who had troubles, because it can sound like a judgement. "Yeah, it was all perfect sunshine and rainbows for you, but it was hell on earth for me and STOP JUDGING STOP JUDGING I FAIL, OKAY? GOD." I am so not judging.

But.

I love his face when he knows he's going to eat -- big eyes, open mouth, excited breathing and arm flailing. I love how he sighs contentedly after a few swallows. How he looks up at me with wide, adoring eyes. How he takes a break to smile at me right before nuzzling back against me. I love how, when he's really good and hungry and I'm taking too long for his liking, he lets out a squawky, impatient shriek. When I think about everything I have done with with only one hand over the past four months -- phone calls, bills, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, this very entry -- I laugh, and I love it.

I know it's not something I'll probably ever talk to him about -- what young man wants to hear about breastfeeding from their mother, oh my goooood -- so I'm very cheesily treasuring and relishing this relationship for now, for as long as I can. I wanted to do this for him, but never reaized how much it would be for me, too.

IMG_1282

Oatmeal, anyone?

Comments

Mom24@4evermom

I get it. Completely. And, it's not selfish. You're doing something really good for him. My youngest two never did eat babyfood. My youngest one I didn't start on solids until she was 9 months. Her first meal? Salmon w/rice pilaf and asparagus. She loved it. When you're both ready the food will still be there.

Sprite's Keeper

Love this post. So. Much!
Can we please just silence the negativity from either side of the fence? Congrats on doing exactly what you wanted to do with Ezra. I remember your angstier posts with Noah and how you were trying so hard with him and I went through that myself for so long with my own. I only hope that when we begin #2, I will have the same differences as you. You are an awesome mom!

Jill

That's a beautiful post. And I'm glad you're having such a good experience with it. But I cringed when you described how finnicky he was about frozen/thawed/not freshly pumped breast milk. Because Spike was very particular about the temperature of his formula and that has turned into an ongoing thing as he approaches 15 months. I used to scoff at people who said they had picky eaters -- If they're hungry enough, they'll eat it! Spike is my karmic retribution. One day he likes mac n cheese. Next day, he throws it at me. And don't even try to give this kid leftover. He's. Not. Having it! When I find a food that he likes, I actually, literally rejoice right there in my kitchen. I hope this is just a breast milk/phase thing for Ezra and that you're not left cleaning up remnants of mandarin oranges, cheese and cold applesauce every time you try to feed him. Because picky babies (who don't have sensory issues like Noah and the children of friends) suck at meal times!! (hahaha... I just made a pun... suck at meal times... breast feeding post... I crack myself up!)

eva

My breastfeeding experience (once a day now that she's 14 months old) has been somewhere in between your two in terms of enjoyability and ease. And I still LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT and am so so pleased that you're lovin' it too.

The Other Laura

I'm glad you have had such a pleasant experience this time round.


Sarah

Well, I mean, OBVIOUSLY you're an anti-formula zealot. Duh.

But actually, I think that what you're doing is fine. There's nothing wrong with WANTING to breastfeed your boy and there's nothing wrong with CONTINUING to do so both because he wants to and because you want to. And there is NEVER anything wrong, NEVER, with cherishing the relationship that you and Ezra have forged together, in part or totally as a result of breastfeeding.

Ignore the naysayers. When you're both ready, solids will still be there =)

Devon

How did Ez get to be so big? He popped! Beautiful boys, Amy. (And I LOVED breastfeeding...even though my youngest would have preferred a bottle. Go figure.)

catherino

You nailed it. With my second son - who I knew would be my last baby - I cherished nursing so much. Even though I'd successfully nursed my first son (my Noah), there was something so special and so treasured about nursing Nicklaus.

I know for a fact I'm finished having babies, but I will always, always miss nursing a baby.

Erin

I feel like you wrote this post about me... I couldn't get my first born (turned 3 in November) on the boob and I can't get my youngest (born October 2008) off the boob. She hates the bottle with a passion and I kind of like it that way. So not ready for solids, six months sounds good, but I'm just not there yet. Every little roll on her legs makes me proud. This breastfeeding thing is great and I'm loving it. Never thought I would be this way, but I am.

Alissa

Good for you! Breastfeeding is amazing. And it's the coolest feeling knowing that YOUR body is providing life and sustenance for an entire OTHER person. You feel like the awesomest person alive.

Boobs rock.

Kendra

What a lovely thought! I have been lucky enough to breastfeed all my three kids with only the usual problems (latch with #1, plugged ducts with #2, and biting with #3). But it has been such a magical experience for me. And I do remember looking at my little girl, just before giving her solids for the first time, and being overwhelmed by the thought: "You're made out of me. Me plus oxygen, plus a little Baby Tylenol. But your cells used to be my cells. You are a freaking miracle." It's been a little hard to give up that feeling (she'll have her first birthday in March).

I know I've been lucky and would never tell a mom she's doing something wrong by not breastfeeding. But I also wouldn't miss the experience for the world.

Christina

I hear you sista! I nursed my first until 20 months when he finally decided he was done. We did not start him on solids until about 8 or 9 months. Overall breast feeding was the best experience ever!

This time around it has been the same. Lil girl started solids on Sunday just shy of six months and three weeks old. We had some ALMOST overdue breast milk in the fridge and the rice cereal so we did it. It was a terribly hard decision to make - her eating solids so soon!

She is a big old chubby baby so she is not in need of solids and I am a firm believer in waiting until after six months (for my kids only of course!) Enjoy the time - it is wonderful!!!

ashley

I am glad you got the great experience you wanted, it sounds the way it is supposed to feel!

I ended up pumping exclusively for both of mine, and try not to regret not 'being able' to feed them. I think I may be one of those folks that might have enjoyed it, but I was also happy to do what I could and be efficent about it. Plus, cracked nipples. Ouch. I wish everyone could just bugger off and stop picking on each other, you zealot :)

ikate

Yep - I get it (and I also had those $13 boob-bottles that my daughter flat out refused). You just described my experience with my daughter - who was BF exclusivly until 6+ months (after the great oatmeal rejection at 5 months we went right to non baby foods mushed up just before 7 months) and then continued to BF until 18 months when we mutually weaned (and I cried during her last nursing session). I was her sole source of food for so long and as a child who never took a bottle and me as a WOHM it was m-fing hard, but by god I loved it and miss it.

She is my first (and right now only) and with my great experience and easy time at BFing I always felt guilty when I talked about it as I know so many women struggle and hate it. I know I sounded like some crunchy lactivist, but it really was one of the single things I did in my life that made me peacfully happy and "Roar! Look what this body can do!!" at the same time.

Wendy

Keep doing it, if your heart tells you to. I know that sounds cheesey, but I dried up around 8 months. My baby is now more like a toddler, and I am still a little sad at having to stop so early (although I had only planned on going to a year). It's just such a special time to share with your baby, when you and only you can meet their needs...

Amy H

Your description sounded just like my thoughts on nursing. I am currently nursing my (probably) last baby and I am conflicted about stopping. He is 11 months old today and the thought of only one more month is both exciting (because I work FT outside of the home) and terribly sad for me. Not sure if I will be able to stop at one year. I remember those first 6 months of solely nursing him and feeling the pride that you do now. He didn't ever taste a drop of formula until this week because I am on a business trip and that feels like the best thing I have ever done in my life.

outmeal can wait! :-)

Elizabeth_K

Oh my, exactly. My friends have had trouble, it has hurt, I read you and know all about your past troubles, I was ... worried. But my god, what you said: I have without one small doubt adored it. Quietly, not crowingly, but adored it. And now my baby is almost 11 months, and I am looking forward to not pumping anymore (I still work, which, I dunno ... not great but I'm okay with it), but I still want to feed him in the a.m. and p.m. and ... oh I'm going on and on. My point is: Congrats on having such an excellent experience. It's lovely when it works, isn't it?

Kelly

You took the thoughts right out of my head....By the way my boobs starting to ache when I read your post!!! Makes me wanna go out there and breast feed anybody and everybody's baby!

Jodi

Breastfeeding my daughters for 18 months each is my proudest accomplishment (and I have a Master's Degree, run marathons, and have written for some very famous people). It doesn't make me anti-formula but it does make me feel bad for mothers who never get to experience the uniquely feminine, empowering, amazing and natural experience that is nursing. It wasn't always easy or convenient but it was so incredibly rewarding. My girls never get sick and are exceptionally close to me and each other. Was it the nursing? Perhaps not but I like to think so. I weaned my youngest in October and it was bittersweet. Cherish each and every nursing moment because this time is fleeting!

Amanda

Sniff, sniff.....I love this post. Especially about being his everything for those few months. I totally understand. My 2nd child is growing faster than I care to admit and just this morning I almost sat down & cried thinking of how quickly time goes.

When she started solids at 6 months she did cut back on the milk just a bit, but when we get home or she's ready for bed, it's mama time. No one or nothing else will do. I love it.

angela

This is a great post for me today. This is day one of weening for me. She's almost 9 months old and I have to have surgery, so I need to ween her. She loves food, but not so much formula. So I am working on it. thank you for describing him nursing. Those are the things I am trying to remember forever now. As I nurse her I am memorizing everything since I know it's going away very soon.

ksmaybe

Yes. All of that and more. :) I know it isn't for everyone for a lot of reasons...but it can be amazing. My son is 16 months old now. I wanted to nurse for a year. We haven't weaned yet, and I don't know, I just don't want to force/enforce it. The look on his face...it's our time together.

Ariel

I LOVED breastfeeding my daughter. After the whole 16 hours of hard (natural! I TRIED DAMNIT!) labor followed by emergency c-section because baby's heart rate goes down and stays down debacle causing me to feel like an utter FAILURE I needed a win. I breastfed that baby and I was good at it and it felt good and natural and at least I could do that much.
I breastfed her until she was over 2. And I don't regret it. And yes, she could ASK for it :)

Lauren

For all of the reasons you just stated, I am so envious. Breastfeeding (for many reasons) didn't work out for me, with any of my 3 kiddos. It's one of my biggest regrets.

chiquita

I don't feel judged, I just feel kind of sad that I didn't get to have that experience. But it didn't work for us, and I'm glad I gave in to that reality instead of continuing what was really becoming an obstacle to our bonding. Now I love making baby food (when I have time) and feeding my daughter food I have prepared. Not the same, but still a sense of pride.

Ariel

And another thing- I never thought my breasts were pretty until after I'd breastfed. I always wanted a boobjob because they were small and the wrong shape and I just hated them. Now I love them and wouldn't trade them for anything. Isn't that weird? you'd think I'd want a boobjob even more after 2+ years of breastfeeding...But I don't. I can honestly say I LOVE MY BREASTS!

Kelly

I breastfed for three weeks, only three weeks, and I have major regrets for giving up, yada, yada, yada, but I get it. I know why people are zealots, I know how awesome an experience it can be. Relish it while you can. :)

bessie.viola

Amy, this made me cry. I'm still sniffling. My daughter wouldn't latch well, and so my bf'ing relationship with her consisted of pumping for 9months while others got to feed her.

You've given me hope - so, so much hope - that next time. Next time will be the time when I can be relaxed and enjoy it.

So happy for you guys. Rock on with your awesome boobs and adorable babies. So, so happy.

kdiddy

I get you.
I remember when we were at the beach when Noah was a baby and I asked you something about breastfeeding and you explained how you had a tough time. I internally panicked because I replied with something vague, like, "Ohhh...yeah," and worried that it sounded like, "Ohhh...yeah...jerk." But it was merely me seeking a moment to squee with you about how cool breastfeeding is, not to chagrin of formulafeeding, just a sheer, "RAD!" moment. And I'm having that with you now. We're having a moment. And I just thought you should know that you and I are currently engaged in a moment.

Starbuck

No matter what you say about breastfeeding on your blog, no one can judge or admonish you as being preachy because you have experienced both ends of the breastfeeding spectrum which gives you more compassion for those who tried and were unable to for whatever reason and those who aren't sure it's for them and and understanding of why some women love the experience and want it to last.

(Did you notice that was one giant sentence? I learned that from you!)

Lisa

Ditto, this is like reading my own story :-) I bf'd my first child for only 5 months due to a myriad of problems. I'm still bfing my second child at 15 months. I had too much lipase and he would NEVER take a bottle, ever (made for fun first six months before i quit my job. He would refuse a bottle all day, then clusterfeed all night. I finally figured out the lipase thing about a week before I quit my job...oh, the sobbing when I threw out 50 bags of pumped of milk.) He also refused all solid foods until he was 11 months old...we had him to food therapists, etc. And one day he looked at his older brother eating pasta, said hey! I want that! and off he went. But he still comes to me in the morning and the evening saying "nummy nummy!" I'm going to a conference in April for 3 days and I'm afraid that will be the end :-(

Whozat

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I've had the bad / good nursing experience all crammed into one baby.

Peeper was 4 weeks early (she's about 2 weeks - but really 6 weeks - younger than Ezra) and we had a hell of a time getting started.

Tiny, early, sleepy baby. Jaundice. Nipple confusion (fuck you very much, pediatrician who swore bottles were the only option to keep her from starving). Pumping with little instruction, resulting in awful nipple pain.

Finally got her to the breast consistantly at just over 5 weeks, and she's not had a bottle since she turned 6 weeks old.

(It's been 10 weeks, 2 days and 21 hours since the last one but, you know, who's counting.)

Now, for a variety of reasons, she needs to be able to take bottles on occassion when I'm not available, and she's hanging out with just her other Mommy or someone else.

Also, we've got a 4-month appointment next week, and we're starting to hear about the cereal from certain corners of the peanut gallery.

And it's all just killing me.

I just made my partner read this post, because you were able to say it so much better than I can.

And, I hope you don't mind, but I've linked to it from my blog, with the title "What She Said."

(Btw, the $13 boob bottle was recommended to us, too. We hope she'll take the $5 Target BreastFlow; if not we'll buy the boob bottle.)

Kathryn

My boy also just turned four months old, and the doctor gave us the go-ahead for solids. But I'm having the same feelings you're having about nursing. I love it, and he loves it, and oh man those flailing arms and that little bird mouth when he knows he's about to eat just melt my heart. So, yeah, I think I'll hold off on the solids a little while.

serror

I think it is up to you and Ezra when to start eating solids. My mother breastfed me exculsively until 10 months when I expressed interest in eating solid food. And her theory is that if a baby can't pick it up and put it in their mouth themselves then why put them on solids? But just my experience and my mothers information. It is different for everyone.
Also, it is easier to just breastfeed, the diapers are less smelly and you are not depriving him nutritionally by feeding him breastmilk by god! Do it as long as it works for you and Ezra!

Schweeney

That's so cool that it worked for you this time and you are getting so much enjoyment from the experience. It worked for me both times and I hated (hated) it. It was awfully convenient and good for the kids but I really didn't care for any of it in the least. Did I mention hate? I don't feel bad about the hate either. I think this is truly a case of different strokes for different folks. Just because it's the right thing to do doesn't make it magical even if you can do it as easy as falling off a log.

Callie

I totally understand. I planned on breastfeeding because it was good for him (and also free!) but I had no idea how much I would get out of it. Everything you described. It’s amazing. And Cash has had formula too, on occasion, and I’m fine with that, but just so happy that he and I have this amazing relationship that he will never have with anyone else.

Kate

And now, Ezra will always be prosciutto and melon to me. Just a fancy ham and cantaloupe. 'Cause he's fancy that way, I guess.

breezy

I do hate that some people feel like such experts that they can criticize another mom's decision (whatever the decision is about)...and then normal sane people feel they can't like breastfeeding or even utter "formula" without being stoned from someone on the other side of the fence. To each his own I say! Also, I appreciate you sharing b/c I birthed a 9+ pounder in December and had low supply issues (read: could only produce enough for one-sometimes two-feedings per day-HELLO, 9lb boy!). I felt like I couldn't speak of it b/c people would judge and started thinking that maybe I was lazy and if I'd kept trying then "maybe"...but lo, he takes formula and is happy smiling and in my doctor's words "perfect". I'm really glad things are so much better with Ez and I hope that I have the same experience with my #2 (whenever we decide to have a #2). Do yo' thang mama!

Catherine S

That must be so healing for you. I have been reading since before you had Noah, and I remember your posts about breastfeeding. I struggled with breastfeeding during the first 2 months of my sons life, I think because of a wicked case of PPD. After the first 2 months, it has been smooth sailing. I too am on the fence about solids, but my 5 month old has been expressing interest for the last month. I gave in with the cereal/fruit/veg at about 4 months. It is still difficult to think that he is getting nutrition from something other than me!! I hope that we can make it at least to the year mark.

Laura

Waaahhh! My daughter self-weaned nine months ago (at a year old). This post is making my boobies huuurt! I miss my baby....

Tina

Now that sounds SO much nicer then what I thought: "I want to nurse as long as possible because I can do other things while doing it and feeding kids at the table is a major pain. So I was pushing for no solids until 6 months...until he started looking at the food at the table and wanting what we had. And so I think we started a bit earlier then 6 months, but I totally held out as long as possible because I was lazy (I can read blogs on the computer and feed you at the same time! Why would I want to start having to spoon feed the child?)...not because of sentimental or health reasons.

Samantha

I'm not much of a commentor on blogs, but your post today was beautiful. Thank you for sharing your joy in a world so often devoid of it.

Sarah in Huntsville

I'm actually reading this while pumping at work. Go boobs!

Kristine

I remember a mom at work telling me when I was just returning from maternity leave how much she missed breastfeeding. I thought she was completely insane at the time - it was not going well for me. But I managed to get past thr rough patch and ended up just weaning him - well, allowing him to self wean at 27 months. I always thought I'd be done about 15 months. But the nightly snuggles were hard to give up. So now I know what she meant when she said she missed it.

Parsing Nonsense

I'm so glad the breastfeeding is working well for you this time. It sounds lovely and I'm really hoping my own boobs will be up to the task when the time comes. I can't imagine typing one-handed, though. Wouldn't that take about four times as long?

Tina C.

put off the solid food. it's such a pain to feed the little guy and the 3 year old at the same time. hardly any time left to feed #1, and i hate skipping a meal!!

Shanna

I could have written this post a year ago! My own Ez (this name is going to take off just cuz it is so perfect), was boob or starve. I was so in love with nursing that I was reluctant to try the bottle. Then when we had to start using the bottle, no way, no how (at 6 weeks). We must of bought every bottle out there because every time I walked into my local lactation store - "did you try this new $20 bottle that looks like an android boob but oh, so real?". We could open a museum of bottles circa 2008. Ezra never took the bottle and we survived - he hated daycare for obvious reasons but as soon as he was on solids, everything was grand. I remember the transition of, "my gosh, I could nurse him until he goes to college" to "oh my god, I'm going to have to nurse this kid until he goes to college!" Still, I loved every moment of it and he self-weaned at 15 months. He was done. Although I wasn't quite done yet, I am glad I won't be tagging along when Ezra goes to college.

Love your blog -

Must Be Motherhood

With son #1 I once had a daycare gal tell me, "You know, formula isn't BAD for babies" shen she heard I was keen on keeping him exclusively breastfed. I was like YES, I know this, but I think it's SUPER COOL that my boobs alone can make him grow like this...so why add other stuff when we don't have to?
SO I competely get your pride/enthusiasm about it. Rawk on.

Kelly

My child also rejected the $13 boob bottle. No one I left her with could figure out to fill it anyway.

Kimberly C

Parsing Nonsense- it does take twice as long, for a while, then it gets easier, lol. Still a bit awkward though, at 2 years in.

I nursed my daughter for the last two years- we are weaned for a week today, and I say weaned because it's me being weaned too. I could cry just thinking about how her little eyes rolled around in her head at the first sip of milk from mama. I will miss it (but it was time, gah, am touched waaaay out now)

You wrote about this beautifully.

Jodie

I breastfed my daughter for 18 months and I am so proud of myself. We also struggled a lot for the first two months or so and it was so. not. easy. I know now that breastfeeding is an accomplishment and one to be proud of. Whether or not it works for others or how they choose to feed their babies, it's okay for you to feel proud and excited of your abilities to *grow and feed a human* for as long as you want to. Congratulations!

Amber Mc

Mmmmm... Canalope and Ham... nom nom nom.
I was unable to breastfeed my own and wish I could every day... the closeness must be amazing. While I don't judge people on either side of the fence, I am so proud of you and I cheer for everyone I know that does it.
I love the stare that Evan gives me over the bottle... it's probably even better over the boob.

Growing a Navy Bean

I completely understand. I love breastfeeding my little girl and I don't want to introduce solids any time soon. I especially love feeding her at night and cuddling.

Plano Mom

Rock on, sister.

Stacy

Two Sick Adults, One Toilet totally sounds like a hideous youtube video!

avonlea

Nursing can be so awesome. I love the adoring eyes and the contented sighs, too.

For the commenter up there who mentioned going away for 3 days and not wanting to wean her 15 month old: You might not have to wean. I went to a meeting for 3 days when mine was 29 months old. I just pumped when i would usually nurse (once in the morning and once or twice in the evening). That kept my supply up, so I could continue nursing when I got home.

Maria Freeman

This post made me cry. I too had a horrific time trying to nurse my first child, and know all too well the guilt and pressure associated with it.
My second baby is now 6 months old and nurses beautifully since having his frenulum clipped - see, lots in common! I can totally relate to your post - you have just written my thoughts far more eloquently than I ever could. Who could resist that gorgeous chub, and knowing that you have sustained him.
Ezra is gorgeous. My son was his size at 4 months and now is 20 lbs at 6 months! Enjoy that beautiful baby.

Kristin

There is something very special about being able to breastfeed your baby.

Susan

This is such a beautiful post.
Ezra has really grown. He looks so big!

Jen L.

Beautiful post! I was only able to nurse my little boy for 12 weeks (had to go on a medication you can't use when nursing, so had to stop). I will never forget that feeling. When I nursed him for what I knew would be the last time, I cried. It's a wonderful connection, full of mystery and challenges, but definitely worth it.

Jessica  Gross

I have loved reading these recent posts about your more successful breastfeeding experience. I had supply issues with my daughter and sadly gave up at about four months. It just never worked for us, not that I didn't want to or tried everything I could. It is my one regret from her infancy, but I am now pregnant with baby number two and am hoping I will have more success this time, for my next baby and to help me heal as well.

ML

This is probably the only place I would admit that just the other night, on my Mommy's Night Off, I was enjoying a book at the sit-down Chinese place all by myself and the only other people in the place were an obviously very new mother, her baby & the grandma. The new mom was nursing as I was seated directly facing her at the very next table (male maitre'd...). She was visibly uncomfortable having a witness and for one brief moment I thought I should say, "Here, you hand me that baby & let me enjoy it just one more time. That peaceful moment of productive, life-giving stillness. While you enjoy a meal with your Mom & I enjoy an evening away from the 3 & 7 year olds & their Dad." Luckily, I realized how LUNATIC it would sound and just burried my nose in the book so she could learn to enjoy it herself. Thanks for being "psycho" like me and putting it out there!

Tracey

I've always felt the same way about nursing! Love it so much, but never wanting to make friends who couldn't/didn't feel bad. I'm almost at the "can pretty much unhook my bra and ask for milk" stage with my 3rd child - she's 2. I should stop - but I love being the solution when a boo boo comes along, or a comforting ease into the morning wake up time. I figure it's OK if I don't do it in public anymore... but anyway, I never expected - like you - that I would enjoy it as much or more than my kids.

spoiledonlychild

How lovely to see all these positive vibes about breastfeeding. It seems that, in the interest of not hurting anyone's feelings, we've created the general impression that nursing is gory, painful and doomed to fail. I think the vast majority of us are able to feed our babies, and it turns out lovely--and I wish that side of breastfeeding would get a bit more airtime. So yay for boobs. And I don't see why you should feel any pressure to start solids for another two months. If you don't want to and he doesn't seem to care, then don't spend another moment worrying about it.

brit

this quote"but oh hai, welcome to motherhood, the land of a million magical and conflicting opinions about every fucking little thing you do," made my day.

thanks
brit

christina

I feel exactly the same way! I never thought I would love breastfeeding as much as I do and I hate to think of the day we stop. Luckily he is only 6 weeks old so that day is far away but I gave him his first bottle on Monday (for the same growth-spurt-oh-my-god-the-well-is-dry-thank-god-i-pumped-a-little reason) and I almost cried while watching him eat it. It may be selfish but I felt like he was less my baby because he wasn't completely dependent on me. This motherhood stuff is rough but wonderful.

The Princess

I rarely leave comments here b/c I know it's just a needle in the haystack of 100+ comments, but I feel inclined to today mainly due in part to the kind email you sent me 3yrs ago. My daughter wouldn't nurse so I pumped but then 6 mths later my milk dried up. I was heartbroken and you wrote me an email in response to one of the very few comments I've left for you and really encouraged me.

My #2 little one was a champ nurser and still is at 13mths.

I found it hard also to start solids for all the same reasons you pointed out already.

So, at the risk of boring you and repeating all you have said, I'll just say ditto on everything.

kim at allconsuming

I'm just so very happy for you. After everything you went through w/ breastfeeding w/ Noah, it is just so very lovely.

Yey for Amy.

Snaps to the boobs. Jog it in guys, jog it in.

Valerie

Thanks for this. I've never been a HUGE fan of nursing but as the time for being able to eat solid food approaches, I'm getting much more protective of that time.

SnarkyMommy

Great post!

At the risk of giving assvice... don't wait too long on the solids. I did, because I was going with the "exclusive breastfeeding for six months says World Health Organization" plan and while I was doing that, my not-huge-but-not-underweight kid was not gaining fast enough anymore. She dropped from 25th to less than 5th percentile in two months and I kicked myself every day after that for delaying solids. We started them with my son at five months, not sure why I waited the extra month with my daughter. Anyway, just keep an eye on his weight at home. As soon as she started solids, her weight went back on the curve.

(Realize this IS assvice, but wanted to share just in case. Sorry.)

jill

Oh, I agree with everything here...

I suck at giving birth (4 C-sections!) but am a championn breastfeeder once I get over the first few weeks of hellish cracked and bleeding nipples, engorgement, yada yada. I was once told I was the sort of woman, in the old days, the hospitals would have come in to make milk donations, because I had soooo much.

But all that aside, I just loved feeding and watching my baby grow, knowing yes, it was MY BODY that did this! And that look on their facce, the excitement, the expectation, the utter satisfaction, the kneading of the little fist against my skin....

Anyway, it's all finished for me now. :-( When my 4th tailed off at 18 months I cried every night for a week, thinking this is the last breast feed i will ever be giving one of my babies. Total sap. :-)

They grow up too too too quickly.

Sarah

I just weaned my boy this week after 14mths and I remember that wide eyed excited look so well. Ahh. But, yes, I will never ever talk about it to him.

Elizabeth

I tried to Google "boob bottle" because I have no idea what that is. And all I got is page after page of links to a YouTube video of a girl in a bikini opening a BEER by putting the bottle cap UNDER HER BOOB. dear gods.

He is completely scrumptiously adorable! Whatever you are doing, keep doing that! lol

professormama

Hurray for you!
Don't worry about the nursing stopping when you start solids. My boy started solids at 6 months- stuff we put through the food mill, or blender
He loved it, but he nursed steadily until 22 months. The way I finally weaned him was being out of town on business for a week. Some kids do stop on their own, but you've got at least another 8 months before you have to worry about that....

Jenn

Amy- you managed to sum up everything I always wanted to say about breastfeeding (but rarely EVER do) because I don't want people thinking I'm being Judgy McJudgerson if they didn't/couldn't/wouldn't breastfeed. It's one of those feelings that I could never express- and I breastfed 3 kids...and enjoyed every last minute of it. (okay, not so much the engorged, plugged milk duct minutes, but I think you know what I mean) :)

Jocelyn

Sunshine and Rainbows awwww,
I know too and then he found food, sippy cup and his legs and sitting still for boob lost its bloom. At the 1 year mark he got passive agressive and started biting me so we decided we were done.

linka72

Good Lord!! That child is growing so fast!! He is very cute..breastfeed away..or don't..
I don't have any babies yet and I'm really squeamish about ANYbody touching my boobs..hopefully I'll get over it.

Michelle

That face is looking for more milk.

MKH

I love Ezra and oh so many years ago I loved breast feeding my son, he was a little over a year when he stopped. Enjoy!

Laura

Not neurotic - I cried for my own sadness when I finally had to admit it was time to move on at 6mos. (work, low-ish supply, etc.) No qualms about formula vs. breastmilk, just really enjoyed breastfeeding. Just did lots more cuddling instead.

Joanna

Amy, I just read your 4-mo post on Noah on 2/2/06, MoveOn.Now

Anna S.

I had a low supply and couldn't nurse my daughter. It devastated me. I very nearly broke because I couldn't fathom not being able to nurse her. You have given me so much hope that I might still have a chance when we have another baby. PLEASE talk about it. I love it for you, for me, for anyone else who wants another chance. Thank you, and I wish you all the best.

Joanna

sorry, my comment keeps getting cut off--wonderful post.

Stefanie

Ridiculously cute little(big) guy. It really sucks that as soon as I hear 15 pounds at 4-months I get sickeningly jealous. Sadie is 15 pounds at 15 months. And there's nothing wrong with writing about how great breast feeding is just as there's nothing wrong with saying it sucks (or wouldn't suck in my case). The problem is that if you think people would attack you for talking pro breast feeding you ain't seen NOTHING like the raging judgmental "You are a horrible mother and a menace to society for voicing an opinion that might make another woman scared to breastfeed." It's sad. I say go on with you bad-ass boob self.

books

What is the problem with commercial cereal? (yay, something NEW to stress about!)

Also, your 4 month old weighs more than my 7 month old.

And oh my god yes, there is so much emotion attached to breastfeeding. Just reading the posts about how some of you kept at it for 5 weeks until they got the hang of it, pumped exclusively for 9 months(!!!), etc., makes me feel guilty for dropping out at 3 months when my son developed an allergy. And even tho I had an entire list of things I DIDN'T like about breastfeeding (which made it an easier decision to quit rather than stay on a soy and milk free diet until he was weaned), reading your post still made me miss it-all the intimacy and specialness of it.

Stephanie

Aww. I'm glad you got to breastfeed Ezra. :)

denese

whoa. ezra is 15 pounds at 4 months? and wasn't he kinda teensy at birth? my daughter ruby is 6 months old today, weighed 8 1/2 pounds at birth, and weighed 15 pounds 5 ounces only yesterday.

i'd have to say good job with the boobs you! not that mine are malfunctioning & my baby is wasting away, quite the contrary...just...holy delightfully chunky baby batman. his little face cracks me up.

Sherry

A cantalope attached to a ham.

Oh, that is the sweetest and most accurate statement I've read in a long while.

Rell

As a nursing student who is currently in her maternity clinical rotation, I am thrilled to read this post of yours. While a ton of the residents who are also interning on our unit are preachy and super judge-y to moms new and old about the benefits of breastfeeding we, as nurses, focusing on the whoooole patient are taught to be sure to really find out what the mother wants or is able to do. If she isn't able to breastfeed (for what can be TONS and TONS of actual, medical reasons - take THAT nay-sayers) why do these fresh, pink, new doctors think they can make them feel bad about issues. On the other hand, you do a terrific job of describing the joy and bond of breastfeeding to many who may just be apprehensive about it. Finally, I was scrolling through your comments and one particular woman who isn't able to breastfeed wrote about her pride in simply making her own baby food for her child, perfect! While everyone may not be able to breastfeed, there are plenty of things mothers can do to provide for and bond with their children. After all, what's good for the mother is good for the baby (as my maternity instructor says at least ten times daily).

Thank you for your openness and honesty about both aspects of child-rearing. You are wonderful.

alfredsmom

I am so happy for you. Breastfeeding can come with its own set of problems and I think it is awesome you wanted to give it another shot after things got hairy (bad wording choice) with Noah. So happy its working out this time! Milk supplies are weird things for sure.

QT

Enjoy nursing. I agree with the last post....it's so hard to stop nursing for the mother too. I nursed my daughter until she weaned herself at 15 months. I am still nursing my son he is 15 months and no where near ready to quit nor am I. It's the most natural thing next to birth that you'll ever do!! Enjoy...do it as long as you can/want!!

EP

Thank you for this post!! Our baby was born only a few days before Ezra and I've been exclusively breastfeeding her ever since and really enjoying in. I've been shocked by how meaningful nursing has been to me and have struggled to articulate why it's felt so gratifying to myself and my husband and friends who inquire about when I'm stopping. Thank you for helping put words to why I am loving it and having a hard time imagining giving it up just yet.....

7aki Fadi

My Baby will be 5 months on the 23rd. On her 4 month checkup she wieghed 18 pounds 12 ounces. YIKES. I have been breasfeeding her with a bottle here and there when I am bone dry because hello she was almost 19 pounds and wanted to eat all the time.

But what you said about when they now they are about to get the boob, the rapid breathing the flailing, the look in their eyes of need . AMAZING.

I have to say though the first 5 weeks sucked ass , once I was over the pain it was great :). The recovery was much faster than my first!

Kevin

He is such an adorable baby!

Big Gay Sam

awwww... that was so sweet. You are such a wonderful mother. Your children are so blessed. There is a song by Stephen Curtis Chapman called, "One little heartbeat at a time." It describes you so well. If you get a chance, please download it and listen. Make sure you have some kleenex handy. There will be tears.

Natalie

It was just as hard for me to give up breastfeeding as it was for my son. It's such a bonding thing and yes I know you can bond with formula feeding and all that, but every once in a while I'll get a phantom let down feeling and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Is that weird?

Anyway, I had to quite a mom's group once because one of the women on there was so anti-breastfeeding that she was giving out really bad advice. When I called her on it, she called me a zealot.

(FWIW my son got quite a bit of supplemental formula when I went back to work so it's not like I AM a zealot)

I'm going to shut-up now.

living with lindsay

Oh, that look. I'll never forget the way my son looked up at me when he was nursing. No one in the entire world will ever know what those moments felt like - no one other than him and me. I tried to take a picture of it many times, but it never really captured what it was really like. Just magic.

Suzanne

Right there with you once again, Amy.

Forced to wean oldest at 7 weeks because I was hospitalized for 9 days at Holy Cross. It was rough for the next month or so-he'd still root.

My younger son, well he got to almost 21 months because I wasn't ready to give it up. Family allergies meant he didn't get cereal until 7 months and at a year, my husband brought him for the checkup.

The doctor compared stats of the two and raised heck that he was STILL being breastfed. Hello, nearly 10 pounds at birth and not even 8-there IS a difference!

You know what you're doing and those pictures you keep putting up show a most content child (well, when his brother isn't biting him, that is). As long as you wean him by kindergarten, you'll be fine.

ladykay

First time here, I linked over from Whozat's blog. Just a word or two from the far end of the trail. My kids are grown now, both in their twenties, but back in the day I nursed them both for... I'm not gonna say how long, I don't want to scare anyone. :D

I had many, many difficulties with #1 and nary a one with #2. It was a wonderful time though, probably the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

I started #1 on the obligitory solids at 6 months, but he was not very interested for several more months. (This was 1985, man I caught flack for waiting so long.) #2, on the other hand, started trying to pry food out of my mouth when she was 5 months. I decided that was a sign of readiness, but I was a little hesitant, since she was so young, so I tried holding a cracker out. She grabbed it and chowed down. Definitely a sign of readiness, lol.

Both of my kids have some vague memories of nursing, and my son very clearly remembers me nursing his younger sister. We do talk about it from time to time, my daughter and I more than my son and I. It is just a fact of life for us, one of many special childhood memories and I have never noticed them seeming hesitant when it happens to be mentioned.

ladykay

First time here, I linked over from Whozat's blog. Just a word or two from the far end of the trail. My kids are grown now, both in their twenties, but back in the day I nursed them both for... I'm not gonna say how long, I don't want to scare anyone. :D

I had many, many difficulties with #1 and nary a one with #2. It was a wonderful time though, probably the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

I started #1 on the obligitory solids at 6 months, but he was not very interested for several more months. (This was 1985, man I caught flack for waiting so long.) #2, on the other hand, started trying to pry food out of my mouth when she was 5 months. I decided that was a sign of readiness, but I was a little hesitant, since she was so young, so I tried holding a cracker out. She grabbed it and chowed down. Definitely a sign of readiness, lol.

Both of my kids have some vague memories of nursing, and my son very clearly remembers me nursing his younger sister. We do talk about it from time to time, my daughter and I more than my son and I. It is just a fact of life for us, one of many special childhood memories and I have never noticed them seeming hesitant when it happens to be mentioned.

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