Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Different Kind of Valentines Gift

I bet I may be the only person who received this gift this Valentine's day. While Bry brought me some beautiful flowers and a balloon which Mo took as her own, Maeve was responsible for this meaningful gift.
What was it, you ask?
Maeve gave me back my boobs this Valentine's Day!
Yes, we are officially done breastfeeding! After nearly 13 months of feedings in places as varied as the front seat of our Ford Escape, a covered bench on the boardwalk of Ocean City, and sitting on the floor against the wall during music class, we made it! Maeve never had any formula and in that same vein, never took a bottle, no matter who or how much we tried. She was on the boob from birth and now went right to the cup with no fanfare.
I have to say, I am quite proud of myself. To have accomplished this again makes me feel awesome. But I have a confession to make, for about 75% of the time I am breastfeeding I really find it draining, annoying at times, and to be honest, don't really enjoy it at all. Thankfully, reading a post here I found myself nodding in agreement with Lindsay and the various comments from her readers only added to my relief. I felt a bit guilty about the fact I was breastfeeding and didn't enjoy it.
I was lucky in that I never had any issues with breastfeeding. When both girls were born, both latched not soon after birth. It went something like this: boob this is baby, baby this is boob, and neither looked back. My supply always was high- like to the point that I probably could have helped aid in the famine in Africa. I did get mastitis a few times around with Maeve, but beyond that, no other problems. Breastfeeding is cheap, requires no prep or clean-up, and once it's mastered, is relatively easy. They were the positives for me.
On the negative front, it was always me for feedings... ALWAYS ME! Bry & I couldn't really go out anywhere sans kids until Maeve was pretty consistently sleeping through the night, or at least for longer stretches of time, since the boob was her comfort. I couldn't just pass her off or miss a feeding, since she refused the bottle. Finally, any hope for modesty goes out the window when you're exclusively breastfeeding. If the kid is crying out of hunger, you find a place to feed her.
I know, I'm not the first person to have accomplished this, and I won't be the last, but I did it, twice. At the end of the day, the sacrifices of modesty, sleep, and my actual breasts themselves were well worth it. Not that formula is horrible, but breast milk is best and so that's what I gave them.
As this Valentine's day passes and we move on to the rest of the year, I am so very thankful for those beautiful flowers and card from my true love, Bry. However, the most meaningful gift will remain the end of this stage in my relationship with Maevie.
My boobs are back to their rightful owner! (That is for now, unless I get pregnant again!)

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