Breastfeeding. It’s all sweet and dear and precious in the beginning.
Or it’s terrible and your nipples bleed and the baby won’t latch and the engorgement makes you feel like a porn star.
Regardless, when you’re putting that sweet new baby to your breast, the last thing you’re thinking about is what this experience will be like in exactly one year.
It’s a whole new ballgame, this extended breastfeeding. Nursing at 3 months and nursing at 15 months has about the same number of similarities as Kim Kardashian and Betty White.
If you are nursing a child over the age of 1, you need to just say goodbye to whatever pride you have left. It’s gone. That ship has sailed. Buh-bye, pride!
So as I bid adieu to my pride, I would like to at least have a prize for my efforts.
5 reasons why nursing moms of toddlers deserve a medal:
- My boobs are bongos. Oh yes – bongos. While my daughter nurses she will now bang on my boob with gusto. This is often egged on by my husband yelling “slap the bag!” a la getting every last drop from a box of wine. The first time he shouted that at me was the exact moment that I knew that the sweet, tender days of nursing were slipping away and I was now on an adventure course of breastfeeding survival.
- My nipples have stretched to unbelievable lengths. That’s right – I’m going there. Nipples. There are days that I basically feel like silly putty. My daughter will nurse and then instead of unlatching and going into that glorious milk drunk state she did as a newborn she now streeeetches that nipple way, way out. Just for funsies. Ouch.
- I am still a walking buffet. The danger here is that now my little customer is a walking eater. Last year my greatest worry was springing a leak at work, now my greatest worry is my child walking up to me in a public place and yanking down my shirt to help herself to a little snack (I have no idea which is worse). Or, if she can’t pull down my shirt, just attacking me with an open mouth. Like she’s bobbing for apples on my chest. This has happened too many times to count. It was especially precious during Easter Sunday church services.
- Nursing in public is an Olympic sport. This is no longer a modest experience. Nursing covers are not tolerated. I’m now trying to hold a 21 lb person in place. A 21 pound person who very easily could become distracted by a bird or some sort of shiny object walking by and unlatch with no notice, leaving me exposed to the world – and leaving her impatient that I have to cover myself before we can go check out whatever it is that has caught her eye.
- Hormones be cray – Um, postpartum hormones are not a delight, I think we can all agree upon that. Also not a delight? The additional hormone shift that comes when your child has almost weaned. My body is in a state of flux and is so confused. Am I feeding another human today? I don’t know! It’s a mystery and my pituitary gland is confused and exhausted. It deserves a prize.
Still don’t think nursing moms of toddlers need a prize? Behold: a selfie. Moments before she was trying to pluck this eye right out of my head,. She eventually switched to just whacking me in the face with her open hand.
It was all very tender and precious.