Friday, March 9, 2012

Entering uncharted territory

This may not be news flash worthy, but I have been nursing continuously, without a break for almost 6 years. Yes, not 6 months.  Six years. I have tandem nursed all our kids.

Mairead & Lilah.....Lilah & Clara.....Clara & Callum - it's worked, and the big girls have weaned on their very own at 28 months and 32 months without a single tear shed.

Clara nurses every night before bed. It's habit and when she has sleepovers with her sisters in their room she very rarely asks to nurse, but if she is in her bed, I would almost bet a million dollars will ask for "milky" - the other night I asked her why she still drinks milk, and her honest response "because. because I need it." 

I am not sure how long I will let her continue to nurse, but I will start to encourage her in the coming months if she is ready. But this blog isn't really about Clara and her extended nursing or about how I have been tandem nursing our children. It is about what is about to come that I have never experienced before.

Nursing a toddler with a real milk supply

You may be asking why? Well, I have become pregnant with babies 2-4 between 11.5months and 13 months. And before the end of the first trimester my milk supply is gone. It was always a bittersweet thing for me. Sad because I was afraid my baby would stop nursing, sad because she was no longer getting any milk from me, but happy because I had a baby growing inside me, and I was lucky enough to be able to continue nursing my baby throughout pregnancy. And it was always during this time that our babies started to sleep 12+ hours a night continuously because they knew there was no milk coming from me....they decreased their nursing naturally, and only nursed in the morning, nap and before bed. No tears. Nothing.

With Callum, it will be completely different. We are not planning on having another baby. Which means there will be no decrease in milk supply and no natural weaning and no sharing with a younger sibling. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way thinking about weaning him early, and am planning on giving him the same opportunity to nurse into toddlerhood if that is what we choose, but it will just be different. I often think about if he will nurse more frequently during the day than his sisters, or if he'll be more demanding to nurse at night, etc. I don't know. I do look forward to nursing him into toddlerhood and to see if our nursing relationship differs from his sisters. I am a huge fan of nursing a toddler. Some people may not like it, or think it is weird, but for me, it is a true love. It is almost like a newborn. When a baby is between the ages of 6-12 months, they're distracted, they nurse in all sorts of crazy positions and sometimes it is just annoying....but once they get a little older, they just love it. They take the time to sit and enjoy. It is sweet, they rub your face, and chest, and it is just a truly amazing experience that is just so different than nursing an infant. They just want to be with you. 

So, once we past the 13 month mark, we will enter uncharted territory. An entirely new nursing experience.

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