I have now officially nursed Jack longer than six months….which is longer than I was able to nurse Josie. My attitude about nursing this around is SO different than with Josie, too. With Josie, I went into not realizing how hard it could be, and I was devastated when it didn’t work out the way I had planned. I beat myself up when we had to supplement with formula, and even when she didn’t want to nurse anymore and I was having to eat an all dairy-free diet I kept it up just because I was stubborn and too proud to admit that it probably wasn’t the best decision for us. When I finally did give it up, I felt guilty for months, thinking that I should have tried harder to make it work.
Fast forward to this time, with Jack. Woah. That is all I can say when I think about the differences. Because this time is different-in every.single.way. Jack came out of the womb with a perfect latch, and he wanted to nurse (all the time!), unlike Josie whom we had to convince to eat, even when she was little bitty. He could even latch all by himself within the first month, something that Josie could never do, even after 6 months of nursing! I have never struggled with supply issues this time around, and it is not painful now, not a bit. I never experienced “pain free” nursing with Josie….in fact, until I nursed Jack, I never realized just how wrong she was nursing, even after seeing lactation counselors dozens of times. Even now that I am back at school, nursing is still going great. He has absolutely no nipple confusion, he still PREFERS to nurse over the bottle, and most days I am able to keep up with him by pumping (and if I don’t, I just throw in an extra pumping session).
Oh…and did I mention how sweet it is? I never imagined that I could be so in love with nursing. Like I said, with Josie, we never developed that nursing bond that everyone always talked about. I never understood those women that said they were so sad to stop nursing….because it was not really an enjoyable experience for me. But this time….I WILL be sad when it ends. Jack loves to nurse…..it is more than just food for him… it is such a bond, and such a comfort…if he is ever upset, he wants to nurse; if he is bored, he wants to nurse. And now that I am back at school, he wants to nurse immediately after I get home, even if he just ate-it is just his way of letting me know he missed me. And I just drink it up….I love nursing him-I love the way he rubs his little hand all over my chest, my neck, my face….I love the way he likes to stick his fingers in my mouth, and find somewhere to hold onto. I love holding him close to me, and I love hearing him “talk” when he’s actually not that hungry. I love it when he pulls off, looks up at me and smiles, and happily goes back to eating. I just love nursing this time around……I am so grateful and happy that it is a good experience. I so desperately wanted to enjoy it this time….and I do, immensely more than I ever thought I would. I still am not sure when I will say “okay, enough’s enough"…..but I know that whenever that is, I will miss our special bond. 🙂