Today Joss is 5 months old and Tula had a to "help" with taking her picture.
In my own experience with 3 babies I have had 3 very different nursing experiences. With Ivy's I was constantly trying to jump the next hurdle, with Tula I was on a mission to prove something to myself, and with Joss I was very anxious about how nursing might look with two big kids to run around. But I only have good things to say about my time nursing Joss (other than that time with mastitis and, oh yes, the dreaded pumping at work) but other than that this time has been balanced, peaceful, and so go with the flow.
Daddy always loves feeding Joss, but I am quite the baby hog in this house. Sorry Daddy!
If you read that last sentence and know me at all you just might have laughed and then you might have read it again because those characteristics don't usually describe me or my life. But seriously, I was so nervous, panicky, and worried my entire pregnancy with this sweet baby so I spent lots of time in prayer just begging for God to cover me with the fruits of the spirit especially once I became a mommy to three. And that prayer has been answered in so many ways since Joss has entered our family, but today I want to reflect on how I felt His spirit in nursing.
Joss was my first baby to latch on and eat without a nipple shield.....ever. -- I was patient with learning to nurse again.
Joss ate good and slept good from the night we came home from the hospital if I am being honest. -- We were all joyful about good sleep.
Mommy got mastitis, I was able to nurse through it.-- I was calm during this trial.
Mommy's milk seemed to take a hit after mastitis and I had to supplement one evening bottle of breast milk and/or formula before I had a stash starting at 3 weeks. --I was peaceful with this addition to Joss' diet.
My milk came back and I was able to strictly nurse by 6 weeks. -- I was thankful.
I went back to work and was pumping 2ish times a day and still have quite the stash to show for it. -- I had self control to manage my time at work to fit this in.
Around the 4 month mark I started feeling ready to start weaning. -- I started off anxious for a "right now" fix but instead was patient in waiting to know when was the best time and I let Joss take the lead. There was never any crying or upset tummies over the bottle. There was never any rejection felt by mommy or baby. There were smiles, full bellies, and lots of helpers.
Ivy was excited to feed Joss for the first time.
So shortly after the 4 month mark I decided that my time at home over Christmas with Joss would be the best option to start weaning my littlest babe. I knew I wanted to be there. I wanted to feed the bottles. I wanted to be able to look at her and comfort her and bond with her even if I wasn't nursing her. And I was filled with such a peace that I was making the right choice for my family. I felt absolutely covered in His love during this time that I feared would be over emotional or have major regrets once it started. I weaned one feeding a week for the past 4 weeks and this evening I nursed Jossie May for the last time.
I could have sat and rocked her and cried, not knowing if I would ever have this experience again or I could sing His praises for making this so smooth for us. So I chose the latter. Did I have tears? Absolutely. But boy, did I feel blessed to be able to nurse and wean without a bump in the road- I keep saying third time's a charm. I was able to listen to her hunger cues to know when I needed to add a bottle. I was able to be there to feed a lot of those first bottles. I was able to allow my body time to drop feedings to keep from becoming completely engorged. It was good. God was good.
Today I feel so blessed that I was able to nurse without issue for 5 months.
Today I feel so blessed that my girl is healthy and happy and growing.
Today I feel so blessed that I am at peace and embracing this decision- I wore a real bra today and got to exercise in the morning!! (I'm totally embracing!!)
So today we are weaned and we are blessed in the Smorstad house.