Monday, June 16, 2014

Finally ... that high everyone keeps talking about!

I don't know anyone who magically took to breastfeeding without any problems. I had it much better than most of my friends though. The wee boy latched on right away, gained weight, and, barring a couple of small things that were attended to by the midwives in Scotland (who come to your house to make sure feeding is going well and who also offer free weekly breastfeeding clinics in every neighborhood), I was able to nurse on demand because of my flexible self-employed schedule. It's pretty much the only thing that has come naturally to me in motherhood, which is why I was so steadfast and insistent on continuing.

I would have put a nursing pic here,
but I don'tseem to have any!
Several close friends raved to me about the oxytocin high they got when their babes latched on. One friend described it as "like that moment when the xanax kicks in." Let me tell you, I waited and waited and waited for that release, but it never came. Though I was nursing by choice, I resented having to sit still for 12-13 hours a day in the beginning, all the while reading post after post from other new mothers absolutely loving just staring down at the newly born loves of their lives and swooning with oxytocin joy. (You'd think I would have learned to just get off of Facebook already. Still haven't learned that lesson.)

My goal had originally been to make it to one year. I had horrible PPD, and nursing was the only thing I felt like I could do right. (I know, I know.) But by the time he was 12 months, nursing just wasn't instrusive anymore. His sessions were super-quick -- sometimes only 1-2 minutes -- and not nearly as often during the day. I also work out of my home office, so I was readily available.

Anyway, he's still nursing now, 21 months later, and I have no plans to stop.*

All this backstory is to tell you that something miraculous has happened over the past month: I suddenly get the oxytocin release. It's not quite like a xanax, but it's kind of completely amazing. I absolutely love our nursing sessions, which of course are super quick nowadays (unless it's between 5-7am, in which case they are marathon sessions because he's teething), but I just want to squeeze and kiss and cuddle that little boy so so much.

I'm also so so so sad that I missed out on that overwhelming love that all the Facebook posts lead me to believe every single other mother out there is feeling when she looks down at her newborn baby. (See my old postpartum depression post.)

But nothing to be done about that, right? I'm just so happy to look down at him grinning while he nurses. And, oh, to be able to talk to him about it!
"What does it taste like?"
"Chocolate milk, Mommy!"(giggles and giggles)
"Which do you like better ... mommy milk or chocolate milk?" 
"Chocolate milk!" (even more giggles) "Noooooo ... mommy milk, silly!"
So. Many. Giggles.

It's kind of the best.

*(If you are thinking that it's weird that I'm still nursing, I really really encourage you to do a little google search on the benefits of "extended breastfeeding," a term I really dislike, by the way, because it suggests it's nursing longer than what is normal, when, really, breastfeeding is very very normal.)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Bridget, just followed the link in this blog to your old ppd post. My doctor suggested I might be suffering from PPD when my daughter was two. I didn't know it could last that long. You are so brave to be honest about your feelings. Though I didn't feel the feelings of I didn't want to be around the baby, I know several women who did. And these feelings lead to more guilt. It did take me several days of being her Mom before I got that rush of love that they talk about. And I cried, cried, cried and cried when my daughter was a newborn. When asked why, I would just say "I don't know" because I really didn't. As women, we need to be kinder to each other and help one another, not be so quick to judge. I read the part where you worry that your son might read your PPD blog one day and your fears about him feeling he wasn't loved. But think how helpful the blog could be to the mother of his future child if she is going through what you did. As to this blog, it does seem strange at first blush to imagine nursing for so long. I think it's just because of what we have been told as a society. I really believe that is up to each mother and child and I applaud you for doing what you know is right and healthy for you and your child. Thank you for being so honest.