The End of Nursing?

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I made it 9 months breastfeeding twins. I think that that is an amazing statement. It wasn’t without its road bumps, tears, pain, and desire to give up. But I made it 9 months. Occasionally we throw in a bottle of formula, but my babies were almost exclusively breastfed (or drinking pumped breast milk) for 9 months. As I write that, I need to let that sink in.

I wonder, sadly, if I am nearing the end of my breastfeeding journey. Lately, I have been dealing with many bites, pulls, pinches, kicks, hits, clogged ducts, and milk blisters. I enter each nursing session with apprehension. Will this be the time that they bite me until I bleed? Those 4 baby teeth are sharp! I feel like they can sense this hesitancy and it is effecting our session. Instead of cuddling and bonding, I am fighting flailing legs and arms, the twinkle in their eyes right before a chomp, the quick push away when they have finished after only 30 seconds, and the pain of engorged breasts because I wasn’t emptied.

Oh, and no, I can’t pump to empty myself after each nursing session. I have two mobile twins to chase after and play with.

So part of me wants to be done. I made it 9 months.

But it’s not my 12 month goal. There’s something satisfying about making it a full year, right? I mean, I am stubborn, and it would be great to make it 12 months with twins! Plus, not all of the sessions are that bad. Some are still sweet and full of cuddles. I now get that one-on-one attention with each baby. We have developed our own nursing language, full of eye flirts and sounds and Audrey patting me on the back when she’s done (“Good job, Mommy”) and David blowing raspberries to signal his completion. Am I really ready to give this up? Plus, sometimes they will come and attack me and grasp at my chest while we are playing, and then I know that they want to nurse. Can I deny them that?

So I don’t know. I’m ready but I’m not. I’m excited to get back to my normal bras and my wardrobe that hasn’t fit me because of my over-enlarged breasts. I’m ready to feel like I could escape for a full day and not have to pump to relieve myself. I’m ready for this next step in our relationship as mommy and babies. But I’m also loving those last few sweetnesses that we are finding with nursing. I’m so conflicted.

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Comments

  1. Oh, Dory! I totally get it! Ian was a biter, too (and just think about this- he started getting teeth at 4 months and had a full mouth by his first birthday), and man biting hurts!! I was also sad about not meeting my 12 month goal (I stopped at 9 months), and was really upset/torn wheb we stopped nursing, but in the end, it all worked out. And now I look back fondly on those days, and I’m glad they aren’t tainted. You won’t care in a few months (or years) that you didn’t nurse for a full year (if you do stop). You’ll simply remember this awesome, special time and be glad you had it! Trust me 🙂 Good luck!!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Beth! I am so torn about it, but I figure that we will keep on nursing until we (I) just can’t anymore. I’m not there yet, but I feel like the end is coming quickly. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support!

  2. Great job, Mama! Being done with breastfeeding is so bittersweet! Whenever you decide to stop – and that is a decision only YOU and your babies need to make – it will be totally normal to mourn the end of that chapter for a little while. (Do take pictures before you stop! I only have a few photos of us tandem feeding – I wish I had so many more!). Your dynamic with your twins will change a bit, and that will take some adapting just as every new season in their development does. But you will also get back some things you have probably been missing like coffee, wine or even a little freedom to go out during a feeding without worrying about pumping, and you will still have 2 beautiful, healthy babies who are approaching toddlerhood ever so quickly. No matter what, you can take pride in how hard you have worked to nourish their bodies & spirits!

    • Thank you, Jess! I am so grateful for the kindness and support that I have gotten throughout this whole journey. I have a couple of pictures of tandem feeding, but you’re right, I really need to take more… maybe if we can get them still for a moment. 🙂

  3. Dory, I am SO impressed with your magnificent feat! What lucky kiddos! We are nearing the end of breastfeeding (will only go to about 6 mos), and it is surely the most challenging thing I’ve ever done (even only for one!). I feel you– it’s complicated and I feel very conflicted. But way to go! You’ve set your babies up well. Good job, Mama! -Caroline

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