Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Reflections...............An end of an Era!


I didn't even type anything and I already started crying.

Not sure why because this hasn't actually been a big deal. It just happened gradually and naturally.  I've barely given it a second thought until now.

But that's the thing about journalling. It makes you stop and think about things. And sometimes that makes you pause and acknowledge something that doesn't seem like a big deal in the hectic pace of modern life. But it really is a big deal to your heart.

What the hell am I talking about, or crying about???????


I'm done breastfeeding.

I have spent about 74 of the past 87 months either pregnant or breastfeeding. That's @#$@# crazy!

And this week. It all came to an end. No more babies for me. And no more breastfeeding.

Why do I just want to bawl my eyes out?

Because I'm EXHAUSTED. Because I love babies. Because my "on loan from the breastfeeding Gods" boobs are going, going, gone. Because I can no longer eat as much as I damn will please and not worry about gaining weight (damn). Because it was awesome.

It has been the most precious, tiring, challenging, exhilarating time of my life. And its over. No going back. No experiencing anything like it again. I don't have a baby anymore.

I'm ready. I really am. But that doesn't mean I can't be sad. Happy-sad. Sad-sad. I don't know. I'm having a moment that's for sure.

But I need my body back (well maybe not my original but much less perky breasts). More importantly I need my nutrients back. I didn't mind sharing with my three little ones. Because of our predisposition to food sensitivities, leaky gut and digestive problems it was for the best that I fed my babies with breast milk as much as I could. But damn did it take a toll on my body. Well, my health.

There are two schools of thought on breastfeeding out there. There's the "OMG you are still breastfeeding your 19 month old (insert shudder, eye roll) - that's disgusting" camp and the "breastfeeding is the be-all end-all - you are a terrible mother if you don't do it as long as you can" camp. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but like everything we just need to do what is best for each of us.

For our family, food sensitivities and the related immune system problems seem to be huge issues for my kids. So breastfeeding them was my best option to limiting their fussiness and digestive distress and for strengthening their immune systems. And I liked doing it. I loved doing it. I enjoyed it.

But there is a trade-off. Everyone always focuses on the benefits to the children, and I believe there are benefits if you can do it. But I also think that is can be a major strain to a mother's body. Especially a mother is struggling with low stomach acid, poor absorption, nutrient deficiencies and digestive issues. Those little babies can literally suck the life out of your if you let them. And for me, my children did not really start sleeping through the night until they were weaned. I produced nutrient dense, fat free skim milk. It didn't sustain them through the night. Sleep training be damned.

And a nutrient deficient, sleep deprived, sickly mother isn't the best thing for a baby. For that babies siblings. Or anyone for that matter.

So it is a trade off for some of us. I probably breastfed longer than I should have because I wasn't ready to let it go even though my body was screaming for help.

As I end my era of pregnancy and breastfeeding I am struggling with anemia, adrenal fatigue and I have come to rely on B12 injections to keep me going.

Will my health turn around when I don't have to support the nutritional requirements of a 20 pound eating machine??? I think it might.

Time will tell. Stay tuned!

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