Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wean Me Gently

I came across a beautiful poem today on my midwife's facebook page. It stirred me so much that I cried and decided to share it.

Mariah turned 6mos old this past Sunday. After working all weekend, she & I had a rough night Monday. She is usually a very "easy" baby. She awakens about 3 times a night to nurse and usually just falls right back to sleep. I don't know what happened Monday, but it was not one of our usual nights. She woke up around midnight screaming. I tried to nurse her and she turned away and continued to scream. I tried the other side, but she did the same thing. Leonard got up and walked her around a little and then asked me to try again...nothing! She swatted at my breast, turned her head, and screamed. I felt helpless. I thought maybe she was in pain or something. So I stripped her down and checked her out....nothing! Maybe her gums were bothering her. So I tried to give her a piece of a frozen banana that she usually LOVES...nothing! About 45 minutes later, I asked Leonard to warm up a bottle for her (of breastmilk). He looked at me all crazy, but I didn't know what else to do. Needless to say, she sucked those 5oz down like she was starving & immediately drifted back off to sleep. I was happy that she was finally happy. But I was sad because I thought this was the beginning of the end. The end to our beautiful nursing relationship that not only nourished her, but me as well.

Wean Me Gently
by Cathy Cardall

I know I look so big to you,

Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.

...But no matter how big we get,

We still have needs that are important to us.

I know that our relationship is growing and changing,

But I still need you.

I need your warmth and closeness,

Especially at the end of the day

When we snuggle up in bed.

Please don't get too busy for us to nurse.

I know you think I can be patient,

Or find something to take the place of a nursing;

A book, a glass of something,

But nothing can take your place when I need you.

Sometimes just cuddling with you,

Having you near me is enough.

I guess I am growing and becoming independent,

But please be there.

This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,

Please don't break it abruptly.

Wean me gently,

Because I am your mother,

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, July 9, 2010

His response to my NIP!

Wednesday I did a post on Nursing in Public (NIP) for the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Less than an hour after posting it, I received a phone call from Leonard. This a loose version of that conversation:
L - Tanashia!
T - Yes, Leonard
L - Tanashia!
T - Yes!
L - I cannot believe you said that?!?!
T - What?
L - I am NOT embarrassed by you nursing in public.
T - I didn't say that you were, Leonard
L - But that's what you insinuated!
T - No, I stated that it makes you uncomfortable. If you don't agree, then write a response and I will post it
L - Ummmm, no. I just wanted you to know

Shortly after this phone call I received this e-mail from him:

"Tanashia, it's not that I am embarrassed when you nurse in public, I am
concerned that your breast is exposed and someone might see it. I
understand that you are nursing our child but I just don't want people
to see your breasts as if you were walking around topless. Your breasts
are for me and the baby not everyone else."

I truly appreciate Leonard verbalizing how it makes him feel and why. We later discussed my NIP a little further. I stand corrected that I did not choose to use my sling or cover when I nursed in the theater this past weekend. I just did not think about it. My mind was on feeding my baby & making her happy.

I also truly appreciate Leonard for supporting and encouraging me. Without his support, I would have never been able to nurse our babies.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nursing in Public

Art by Erika Hastings at Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public ("NIP").


Nursing in public (NIP) has changed for me with each baby. My confidence has grown and I have mastered the use of a sling for discreet nursing. When I had Hannah nine years ago, I never noticed women nursing their babies in public. I didn’t even have sisters or friends at the time who had nursed their babies. I had not even thought about what I would do when the time came for me to nurse in public – just that I would feed her wherever & whenever!

I have one vivid memory of NIP. I was at a popular restaurant with Leonard, my sister, and her young son. Hannah was fussing and I knew she wanted to nurse. I kept trying to time it so that I could latch her on while our male server was away, but he wouldn’t stay away long enough. I gave in and latched her on while he took our order. I didn’t make eye contact with him or even look up until he left. I was covered with a baby blanket that Hannah continued to pull away. I looked up so see Leonard with a crazy expression all over his face. He was scoping the room like we were about to rob the place! I had thought about making the server uncomfortable, but had not even considered how Leonard felt. He said he was fine, but continued this behavior every time I nursed in public.

I am now strongly aware of how uncomfortable NIP makes him. So I use my cover or sling when we are out together. He still says that he isn’t uncomfortable – “My mom breastfed & I saw my aunts nurse my cousins.” Yet, just this past weekend he did the same thing while we were at the movies!

I feel bad – not really – that he is uncomfortable. I wish I understood why. But what’s important to me is that my girls realize that breastfeeding their baby isn’t something to be ashamed of. I pray that they learn from me, my great circle of nursing friends & their aunt the joy that breastfeeding brings to a mom and baby.


Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts - new articles will be posted on the following days:

July 5 - Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World

July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child

July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.

July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives

July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It

Wordless Wednesday - 4th of July