I hadn't really thought about how long I was going to nurse Lucy. Anna self-weaned at 6 months, and I suppose I was expecting another gradual dwindling of interest. At the very least I thought it would be my decision..........
Lucy has been happily continuing her love affair with the boob, and I had a mental tally of breastfeeding pros and cons, resulting in the following scattered list:
- Mother and daughter bonding time.
- It's free!
- Assisted weight loss, or rather, no weight loss but guilt-free eating.
- So much easier - never caught without baby food, and no faffing around with bottles and formula.
- 15 minutes of down-time twice a day at work while I pumped.
- No saggy post-nursing boobs
- Quite possibly our last baby so huge amounts of sentiment involved.
- Lugging the breastpump to work and back. That thing weighs a tonne.
- Cleaning and sterilizing the pump bottles and sundry pumpish items. Every. Chuffing. Night.
- Al fresco boobs in the office. Even behind a locked door it made me squeamish.
- Giant boobs - only having two bras that fit.
- Giant boobs - made all t-shirts look like crop tops.
- Giant boobs - having to jog in two sports bras.
- Giant boobs - look but don't touch!
Oh, and I will be honest and admit that it was lovely to hold her and nurse her in to a blissed-out milk coma. I mean really, look at that face! What a little cherub.
Don't let her deceive you! In fact, keep all hands, feet and loose clothing away from her because that tiny angelic human is a BITER and I am her poor chewed-upon victim.
She only has her lower teeth right now, but let me just say that 'only' was not the word ricocheting round my brain as she clamped down. I squealed and tried to prize away her vice-like jaws and oh how she laughed! How funny! The noises you do make Mummy! Let's do that again!
And because I'm a muppet we did. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, several horrendously painful times. I think I kept trying because I couldn't quite believe it would end like that. I was the lovestruck teenager wailing "It's over? But we were so good together!"
I was deflated, and so were my boobs. Pfffffffttttttttt.
In her defence, she is teething, but this girl is in such a rush to grow up. She is already standing and creeping between pieces of furniture. She started crawling at 5 months. She's already bristling with teeth. Slow down!
I was actually surprised how deeply affected I was by the abrupt end to nursing. Maybe it was compounded by hormonal fluctuations as I went from 60mph to 0mph in 1 day. I felt really flat and depressed. I even googled 'biting babies' and 'breastfeeding a crocodile', and that really cheered me up.. Thanks internet! Because the advice that was given was so asinine, so breast-feeding Nazi-ish that I had to laugh. Seriously:
"Don't flinch or scream when your baby bites as they will enjoy this reaction".
Honestly? You try it. I will punch you repeatedly in the balls or ovaries and watch you try and keep a straight face.
"Stop giving you baby a bottle as chewing on a plastic nipple only encourages this behaviour"
Great so now I have a hungry and pissed off biter. Not such great advice.
In the end we compromised. No more breastfeeding during the day, only a touch of comfort-nursing last thing at night when she seems to sheath her tiny fangs.
I'm not yet sure who needs the comfort most.