April 11, 2012 by Gina
My baby boy, Getty, will be ten months old at the end of this week. How time flies! He is cruising around the house, pulling himself up and annoying his older brother by grabbing everything of his. I see many fights in our future while they both learn to navigate this sibling thing. This age also means that he is almost done nursing which is bittersweet for me. He’s eating lots of solids and two tiny teeth are finally popping through his gums so he can eat even more foods. I’m not producing as much milk anymore and we’ve been supplementing his bottles with formula for several months because Getty just wasn’t getting enough food.
I never thought that I would actually enjoy breastfeeding my children. Yet I do. It is a wonderful feeling to hold your infant in your arms, rock them and know that you are providing them with the best nutrition possible. These moments are so wonderful and nurturing. Don’t get me wrong – nursing is really difficult, whether you are a first-time mama or have several children. These golden moments also don’t usually happen until around three months of age when your baby is able to nurse like a champ and you have both learned enough about each other to have breastfeeding be a blissful time. Babies at this age also are completely focused on getting that milk out and aren’t distracted or constantly on your nipple, off your nipple, on your nipple, off your nipple.
I really struggled with breastfeeding both of my boys and I think this is why it is hard for me when it is over. Finn was five weeks premature and Getty, while full-term, was a lazy nurser – he just couldn’t suck hard enough to get enough food. Sucking is one of the last things to develop in utero so that is often why nursing doesn’t always go well from the start. With both boys I had to attempt breastfeeding, pump breast milk and then bottle-feed them the milk I just pumped. This went on for 7 weeks with Finn and 3 weeks with Getty until they were able to fully nurse by themselves. It was a struggle since newborns eat every two hours or so. I was determined to make breastfeeding work and am so happy it did succeed.
So now I’m approaching the end of that special bonding time with my baby who is quickly becoming a toddler. Getty is only nursing in the morning and at night. He’ll stop nursing and smile up at me with the brightest eyes and the biggest grin before he gets back to work. These are the moments I know I’ll miss when we will soon be done nursing.