Thursday, November 29, 2007

She's Still Baby Ava

As Ava nears 14 months old, I'm asked increasingly when I will stop nursing her. Honestly, it depends on the day I'm asked what my answer will be.

Ideally, I'd like to nurse her as long as I did Bella which was 19 1/2 months (that 1/2 definitely counts!). However, she only quit nursing because I was pregnant with Ava and apparently the hormones changed the flavor...or something like that.

I have no intention whatsoever of getting pregnant again and because Ava hasn't weaned herself yet, I see no end in sight. She used to just yank my shirt up but at least now she just gives the ol' boobie a nice pat when she's ready to snack.

If it weren't for the night nursing, I"d keep going until she weaned herself. Yet at 3am when she's hollering from her crib and claws at me like a starving bear cub, I grit my teeth a bit.

By morning, though, when she's had a breakfast from something other than me and is happily ignoring me, I crave the bond of breastfeeding.

Never fear, she comes patting for a snack around lunch time. And then I can hold her sweet little body close to me, watch her watching me with a grin and I'm in that moment that makes nursing so extraordinary.

Until she starts her breastfeeding gymnastics. The child can stand, twist, turn, giggle, babble, play with a toy and still never lose her latch-on. Remarkable, really. For ME! :)

For now, we continue on with the plan to let Ava wean herself. I'm sure it is more about my need to hang on to her babyness than it is for her to need to nurse.

They truly are babies for such an incredibly short period of time!


T-girl said...

Keep on Keeping on girl! You do what you feel is right for you and Ava!!!!! Joci weaned herself at 9 months!!!!!! It was a very sad day for me let me tell you, I miss that bond and time together so I am completely jealous!

Anyway like I said, you do what is right for you and Ava and the rest of the world be damned if they don't like it, it is none of their damn business anyways!!!! I would like to say that to people sometimes when they ask questions such as this... I mean seriously is it any of their business and don't they think about how rude the question is in the first place? I actually had people asking me that when Joci was 6 months old, like it was going to hurt her or something if she nursed much longer! It drove me nuts!

Oh I am going to stop, I could go on for ages on this as I think you well know. LOL I say good for you and Ava if that is what you two want to do, it will only benefit her in the long run... and you too! Wonderful memories (even at 3am) and a beautiful bond that NO ONE can mimic as a Mommy to her child is special! No, I say go with your bad self! LOL Ok, I REALLY AM stopping I promise! LMAO

Amanda Sue said...

aw! i love that pic! of my niece AND my sis!

i hope i get to experience real breastfeeding, as opposed to the semi-perverse relationship i developed with my medela last time.

Jennboree said...

AND I took that picture MYSELF.

tallulah said...

Jenn-that picture of you is absolutely gorgeous! You are truly beautiful inside and out.

Izzy weaned himself at 11 months. One day he was happily nursing, the next he had nothing to do with me. Every time someone metioned nursing for the next month, I would burst in to tears.

It really is a special time. Enjoy it while you can!

MeesheMama said...

You are a photographer! Love the picture. Ava couldn't look more loving.

I'm shocked that Elias is still nursing-- it's just a morning wake-up time for us. It's strange for me to see a kid his size latched on to me since Kindred nursed until 8 months and then started biting the crap out of me so he could stop. But I'm glad E is still hanging on. It does feel so comfortable.

theAdelmans said...

Breastfeeding gymnastics! I chuckled to myself since my little ladies do the same thing and we call it "extreme nursing". This type of nursing is an olympic sport i fully expect to see it in the next X-Games. I am not sure if I see us weaning anytime soon, the three still seem to need it. Now if I could just get my in-laws to stop asking "when are you going to stop?". grrrrr. Do you get that question and if so, how do you usually address it?

Jennboree said...

Yes, I get that question constantly, usually followed by a concerned frown, which I totally don't understand!

I shrug it off and say that we'll stop when either of us has had enough :)

That is so awesome that you still nurse your babies. BRAVO!

Dr. J said...

I think that was the best thing I've read tonight and just for the record, I've read a bunch of student papers and a bunch of blog posts. I'm still nursing and the king is at 18 months now and I was beginning to think I'm the only one. He nurses down at naptime and bedtime and if he gets up at night and isn't willing to just crawl into the bed, cuddle, and have me sing a little. Thanks for that post!

louann said...

I agree, just keep on going! I think breastfeeding is such a wonderful experience- the cuddling and the comfort we feel while holding the baby close to us.

I love the pic =)

Fern said...

Hi! My 13-month-old is *still* nursing and I am shocked every time I realize that's beyond the norm. She still seems like such a tiny baby. And of course I am driven to nurse her at least as long as I did the others, to make up for the beatings they give her. I need to make her strong!

The only time she'll cuddle while nursing is in the middle of the night -- I wish I could day wean and then do nighttime nursings only!

Katrina said...

What a gorgeous picture! That's one to hang on the wall for sure! You've really achieved a great breastfeeding bond with your girls, it sounds like. I wish I had nursed for longer. You're so right--babyhood is over in a blink. Enjoy it while you can!