The Double Edge Sword

Motherhood: Making the double edge sword sharper than ever before. Motherhood is funny in that way, isn’t it? I feel like I’ve encountered scenario after scenario since becoming a mom where the conclusion is the same: I can’t win.
Take Breastfeeding, for example. I dedicated myself to a year and I bitched and moaned the majority of the 365 days and you know what happened on Van’s first birthday? I felt guilty for wanting to quit. All along I’ve anxiously awaited my freedom only to be on freedom’s doorstep with a trickle of tears running down my cheeks, mourning the loss of my baby and our bond. I feel far from the celebratory state I imagined I would be in and then that makes me sad too.
Oh you little weaning monster, you really are an emotional jerk, aren’t you? (side note: thank you for all the sweet comments on yesterday’s post. Your words mean more than you’ll ever know)
The other day at work we were using leeches on a patient’s wound. The purpose being that leeches suck blood and increase blood flow. I know, gross, but bear with me while I share my epiphany. One of the leeches wasn’t sucking and the shift prior decided to tape the leech to the wound. The pharmacist laughed when I told him this because he said taping the leech wouldn’t make it suck. I said, “sounds like breastfeeding”.
Toward the end of Hooper and I’s breastfeeding relationship, I wanted to tape him to my breast. He was growing less and less interested and it was becoming such a chore to feed him. Nowadays I want to tape him to his chair to eat, but that’s besides the point. My milk supply diminished because Hooper weaned himself, not because my body failed to produce. And that was my epiphany. I blamed my body for a long time, you see, when in actuality Hooper was getting exactly what he needed and wanted.
I had a moment of clarity today and decided I’m going to stop beating myself up over wanting to wean. It sucks that I have to make the conscious decision to throw myself a bone and pat myself on the back. I hate that it doesn’t come naturally; that I need a moment of clarity in order to feel proud instead of guilty. I’m making a commitment not to feel guilty because commitments don’t come naturally and neither does not feeling guilty. It’s that double edge sword thing. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. But the truth is, I’m ready to quit.
Throwing myself a my-ta-tas-are-my-own-again party doesn’t have the same appeal as it did a few months ago. Nevertheless, I completed my goal of a year of breastfeeding (and then some) and I have a cranky waddler pulling at my clothing to congratulate me. But, as is with all things, this too shall pass. I feel back to my normal self today, just a few days afterI wrote yesterday’s dark and depressed post. Thank goodness.

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8 Responses

  • so glad you got your clarity sooner than later, lady. these babes give us a run for our sanity, don’t they? but what would we do without them. horay for boobs just being chest ornaments, again!

  • You managed a year – which is more than I ever did. But the point is, Mums always feel guilty, whatever we do. Whether we breastfeed or not, stay at home or go out to work, etc etc. Look at your child. If he’s happy and healthy you’re doing just fine.
    By the way, I’ve nominated this post in Blog Love Day over at Love All Blogs xxx

  • i’ve been a fan of your blog for awhile, and love reading all you have to say, but this post really hit my heart. we may not personally know each other but i’m PROUD of you. i struggled for a long time myself about having to wean our son. our daughter weaned herself, and it was sort was liberating knowing SHE was the one who was done, and it wasn’t on me. however, with our son, from a week old to almost five months old he had a terrible body rash that we couldn’t solve. eventually, the idea of my breast milk hit me like a ton of bricks and i felt it was necessary to try to stop bf’ing cold turkey to see if it was me causing his rash. sure enough, it was. within 24 hours of no breast milk, he was clear. we later found out he had a reaction to my hormones, and that just absolutely tore me apart. to this day i still beat myself up wondering what the heck i did wrong to cause this, but he has been a super sensitive baby from the start. keep your head up mama! you did an amazing job breastfeeding for as long as you did! if it helps any, knowing how upset you are should somewhat make ease your mind knowing you’re wanting exactly what’s best for your kiddos!

    mama daze blog

  • Ah yes the time does go by fast. I’m trying to enjoy the breastfeeding process with my little girl. She’s fast approaching 9 months and we still enjoying its, so we’ll go on for untill she’s had enough.

  • Well done for going so long and being so successful with your breast feeding.
    I think weaning is always difficult whenever it happens and whoever decides. Unless it is a mutual decision and happens at the right time – but that’s not always possible. Even then there are factors – my son was 4 years old, and we were both happy with that – but there’s still some pressure from society that made me feel “weird” so it wasn’t all round happiness.

    Good luck on the rest of your journey.

  • It was eight years ago now, but my daughter did the same thing – to the point that I didn’t know the last feed was the last feed at the tyime, if that makes sense! That bond will never disappear though – your body created this child and then nourished him for another twelve months – you and he will always have that. Found you through LoveAllBlogs BTW!
    Take care ( of yourself as well as him! )

  • I too mourned the loss of breastfeeding, but am not enjoying the nipple squeezing that has taken it’s place. I find myself saying over and over My nipples, do not squeeze them. So I am yet to be able to rejoice in the My Boobs moment.


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