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Coming Back – The Beginning

I know it’s been a can of crickets around here. I took a break from a lot things. I felt I needed it. So much has happened over the last few months with moving then moving again, meeting other women and their children. Getting adjusted with not running a Home Daycare and with thinking of what really makes me tick.

The last one, which took most of my time while I was away, was mainly my fork in the road. Thinking about why and what is making me so angry and hurt for so long. Dwindling me down and sucking every ounce of life I had left inside. Why did I allow it to get this far and when did I give permission for it to even start. The thought of my being, being on the cusp of the rational and irrational, was I really loosing it, finally?

It was bothering me that even after so many years I was still angry and blamed so many elements on what I felt. I stood on the fence of “What is, just is” and “What if”. It’s been a dreaded haunt around here too. In all of my entries, one major suit is the fact I still felt pain about those 14 days and I just could not understand why. Why was I not happy about today, just because of yesterday? Why did I feel like I was always playing catch up, and why did I always feel like I was losing the race? All I knew was I didn’t want another to walk in my shoes, and that passion drove me through so many posts.

Finally, I felt it was time. I could not just stand beneath this world of a mountain alone and chip away from the bottom. I needed someone I could tell my story too, someone who would look me in the eye and see that there was more pain behind my words, then what this blog could ever do. I needed to tell someone I was drowning and did not want to burden my friends with this anymore.

This mountain was blocking my view from so many things, and weighing me down in life. I needed to give it to someone else for them to help make sense of this. So I made the call, I made the appointment, and with a deep breath I chipped away my mountain with someone I never laid eyes on before.

On the first appointment it was validated that I do show signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As I went through the story over again, it did not a cure to me that I was speaking to another woman, who has yet to start her family. Most people would be leery of this, but in my case I think I needed it (see it does not matter how many children you have :P). Someone who has yet to have a child, can’t look back on mothering to say at least (insert something). It was almost like talking to myself, back in the day, before K2 was conceived.

We spoke about my dreams that I had still at the time, how real they felt, how I don’t think of my thinking as rational, and that sometimes I feel that this blade of grass I am holding is going to break. One day I will fall from this world, and that sometimes, I welcome it. I shared with her what I see in the mirror every single day, and that I fear my daughter sees it too. I fear what I have become, what I allowed myself to become and how that will affect my daughter in the future.

I explained I don’t understand my feelings, why they are so powerful. Sometimes I can’t find the words to give an honest painting about what it really feels like. That I tried to chip away a bit at a time, and how my Facebook Doula Friend was the first who helped me bring out the story. How it feels like such a large task that most often times I give up and walk away, in thoughts of it being just too big for me to deal with.

I felt weird, awkward, numb, dumb, stupid, ashamed, helpless, engulfed. I did not feel like me. I used to be powerful, I used to love life, I used to like to smile, I used to like what I saw in the mirror. I used to look alive in the mirror. I used to. Not anymore. I felt dead. I felt I have run through life with tasks and minor purposes to help me get up in the morning. I was acting out life not living it, and living life felt worlds away. I no longer knew how to be apart of it anymore. I was an outsider.

This all happened from the one selfish act of wanting and needing to be a mother. I could not understand how Postpartum and the relation to me, and where Postpartum stopped and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder started. Then you add in relationship issues. Everything was, just plainly, a messed up blob of muck that I could care not to sort through. However, the need to understand it all, overpowered all thinking.

It was then, at the end of the first session that most of my mountain came down. I don’t know why her words struck in deeper than those of my friends. I asked why I felt this way, and why can’t I just become rational again. Put this all behind me and move on. I have a beautiful daughter, who I love dearly. I am grateful for her, I love everything about her. Why can’t these feelings just go away.

She looked at me and said, “Maybe you have every right to be mad”. Something I often heard from beloved friends. But I was She-ra, hear me roar. I don’t get mad long, and I move mountains. I conquered life and fix problems, kiss boo-boos and nurse tears away. I am the first home of my child, I get the first smiles of the day. I am not supposed to feel this way. Then she said, “You were not asking for very much, you were just asking to have the rights that all other parents get. I never knew it might not be an option to feed my child first, and I would be mad had that not happened. Had I not been able to pick out my baby’s first clothes, or hold her or make any medical decisions for 11 days of their life, I would be mad too”.

Anyone in real life can tell you, I am pretty hard-headed. I am passionate in what I believe in and no body hurts those I love. I am a perfectionist, a motherly figure to most. I am the wing loved ones run too during a rain storm. I am the strong one, the one who has all the answers. And once I have something in my mind, it’s really hard to kick it out of me. I am the bull at heart – strong-willed, if you must. That is me. I will never know why it took a stranger to repeat the same message to me that I have heard from close friends to make me listen.

I left that first session feeling relieved. I called up a dear friend, who was looking after K2 for me. I thanked her in my own little way, because she’s said it too me so many times. I still don’t get why it’s okay for others to feel deep passionate feelings and I have this oxymoron image of the concrete, sensitive persona for me. I am glad I did finally listen, I heard the message, this time it was clear. I went home that night. For the first time in so many years – I did not fear sleep.

So it begins, another chapter in mending. I have a lot of people to thank, and this part of the story has just begun. Until next time, it might be a while. I have to get things done for our holidays, but I really want to share the beginning to closure for me. Deep down I wish it helps no one, but I would not be lucky to be the last to go through all of this.

To those in my life, thank you. Thank you so much for being the ear I used to be. You all know who you are.

Buggy on Bugs – Update

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I am not an intolerant person towards bugs. I feel each one has a job to do. I don’t mind spiders or silverfish or worms, but I do draw the line with sharing my food, my body and my bed. When it comes to be being a meal, excluding the little beings I created,  the line has been so far past you can’t even see it anymore. I feel leaving my family’s body, food, pets and bed alone is something that is a reasonable expectation, that should be taken into consideration once the ‘small ones’ take a vacation at my house. Don’t get me wrong I don’t roll out the red carpet to these pests, I am saying with no offense intended, you would never see me standing on a chair screaming about a spider.  Well, you would hear me shrieking at the person who killed a spider at my house, but that is about it. All that I ask is they don’t sneak up on me in the dark of the night, when I am the only one awake. That shit is just not funny.

I have spent the past several days thinking over our situation, in which I have to honestly admit, that in situations like these I am a bit freaky. I would like to share with you my personal stages of being buggy about bugs (if that is what you want to call them, they are IMO, parasites). Please note there is cursing in here, so if you do not like to see this please overlook this post.

 

“You have to be fuckin’ kidding me!!!!”: Yes, that is the first thing that came out of my mouth once I ‘diagnosed’ our issue. Heart elevated, as I looked at our bedding. Call it the denial stage or the shock stage, does not matter. Just something I wish on no one.

Stop the World I Want Off: I felt dirty. I did not know if it was us that started it. There was no notices in the building, no talks in the common areas – nothing. You would think a situation like this would spread fast. I was thinking we had to be the first. I walked around the apartment, had a few cigarettes, and I wished for some wine. At this point, the ‘visitors’ had me defeated. I wanted to sit in a corner and cry. I gave up, I wanted to leave. They won, the white flag is up. I will be leaving on the next bus, have fun with the place. Hope I tasted good, um, ok bye! They took everything, our bed, our bedding, K2’s toys, everything was gone. On $400 per month, how can I cover anything new? Defeat, pity party, swallow me whole.

As DH Would Say, “Suck It Up!”: Suck.it.up! After my pity-my-poor-family hours in the night, I was empowered to realize I am the only one in this home with experience with quarantines and pest control. It’s not the first building I have lived in and I was an older child when my mother needed my help before our home was sprayed. My experience is what is going to get us out of this. Suck it up, or they are going to take over. That is when my analytical mind came into overdrive and I started planning what to quarantine first.

Knowledge is Power… Well, So They Say: I am all for educating yourself, but there are just some things I really did not want to have to know. Such as, my visitors are known to travel 20 feet to their meal. Their meal, would of course, be us. Our apartment is not that big. Our bedroom is not that far away from our save living room. Siting at my glider on the computer my arm is getting itchy…

“You have to be fuckin’ kidding me!!!!”: Yes, we are back here again. I never said once you move past a stage, it does not welcome you back with open arms. They took my freaking chair! The chair I sit at while nursing our daughter, the chair that I have a love hate relationship with. The only chair, with the help of cushions, that is comfortable with my arm issues. They.Took.Over.My.Chair. They took the chair in the only room I have quarantined. The only place I was able to think as safe. They took it, all within 24 hours of knowing. I was scared, I was mad. I heaved my wooden glidder on the balcony, mumbling profanities, I threw it in the corner. I can see it as I type this, poor lonely wooden glidder, I miss how you used to tip just at the moment I was getting up with K2 in my arms, sleeping.

Sleepless in B-Town: This was not a romance comedy either. I spent the rest of the night on a hard, cushion-free, dinning room chair with tape in the legs. I was hesitant to lay K2 on the bed. So I held her, until the pain went to my shoulders. When I did lay her down on the Queen size blow up mattress, I sat for an hour watching her sleep, just to see if she would scratch. Then being afraid to go to sleep, every movement of your child wakes you up in a fright. You check your bed, blanket, and pillows. Then you reinspect them again. I was not certain if they were there, hungrily waiting. We folded our blankets, pillows and blow up mattress, placed them in bags and put them out on the balcony for the cold to get them. I checked K2 from head to toe for more bites, not knowing that old bites takes a few days to ’emerge’. Every new spot of angry red was a flashing, you-should-have-known sign in my face. I was angry now, they messed with the wrong child!

This Means WAR!: I have spent over $80 dollars on eczema products, I have spent close to $30 on probiotics. All for a ‘rash’ on K2’s skin that I thought the doctors were overlooking. I knew something was wrong, however, I did not think it was bed bugs! I was looking into spending $50 plus for Black Deep Sea Mud and taking out dyes in her food. I knew we needed a new bed, but it could have waited. I knew we needed a new couch, but that could have waited too. I really did not need some evil living Dracula Bug to kick our asses in gear, especially so close to K2’s Birthday! If I was going down, I am taking those fuckers with me too!

Burn Down the House: This one says it all. After the I-am-taking-you-down-with-me thinking, I thought about burning the blood suckers. There was no escape. We can’t go to a friend’s house, we can’t move, we can’t go to the mall, we are walking around naked until we leave the house. What else can these little apple seed sized monsters do? To top everything off with a coating of sprinkles, management KNEW there where 5 other apartments in my area, and they did not mention it. Nothing was said. Do you think my neighbor who was sprayed 2 weeks before us noticing our visitors, tell us? Nope. Why would he do that?

Chuck, Chuck, Geese: After finding out some great history against my attackers, I wanted everything infested out of my house. I don’t need a hundred bugs tracking K2 in the night. I wanted them out. All the geese can stay but the bugs needs to be chucked. We had more chucks than geese, I could not believe the stuff we threw away. Anything I was going to sell that K2 grew out of, things DH has not gotten around to throwing away (don’t ask). A lot of stuff was lost, but worth my sanity in the night. After most of the buggy things were out, and the bedding and clothing in our room were bagged, I felt a lot better, or maybe it was just the lack of sleep playing tricks on me.

Evil is Among Us: I surprise myself all the time, but this stage just really disturbed me. These little things are like a black hole, that sucks you into their dysfunction. I started to feel vindictive, not just the I am going to overpower you feeling. The crazy-ex-slash-your-tires sort of feelings.  As I was on the phone joking about taking a few of the monsters into a small container and drowning them in their ‘food’ and not only do I wonder how long I have been laying my daughter down in a buggy bed, I just could not help but to think how long have I been having unwanted orgies? I pondered what their meaning is. What are they here to do. Just as I mentioned above, everything has a purpose, a ‘Greater Good’ purpose. Not these heartless basters. They are here to drive us mad, and they do a very swell job of it. Then I search for other bugs who eat bed bugs and I came across one crazy fucker called The Masked Assassin (AKA, The Masked Hunter, but I like the drama of Assassin, in this particular situation). Isn’t the name great? I wanted to take a few of my guests and an Assassin put them together in a glass tank and enjoy the festivities. I don’t know, maybe they would send a signal to the rest of the pack, they are tracked and are going down. Maybe they can send out smoke signals, telling the rest they pushed me beyond insanity, I am one crazy bitch.

“If You Have Enough Time To Argue With Me, You Have Enough Time To Bag!”: I can’t tell you how many times this harshly came out of my mouth over the last week. I don’t understand why people have to fight me on things all the time, but there are reasons to my madness. Not saying I am smart or perfect, it just takes me some time to take action. Once I do, don’t get in my way, or you will be fucked up. I thought for 24 hours, and even in my dreams I was plotting my action of attack. We can’t do the contaminated room, in risk of pushing them all in the safe areas. We can’t lay in bed without having a shower first. We have to take off our shoes by the door. Shoes that are used in ‘the room’ can’t be used outside. Things need to be bagged and not passed through other areas of the home. It’s a snowball effect, and if you think too hard on it, it leaves you with a damned if you do, damned if you don’t approach. I would not be brought to this level. I forbid it. Seriously, if you have to bitch and chew about how things are going to be done, then just fuck off. Your wasting your time, trying to tell me I am taking over the apartment and making rules you don’t agree too. Look at my face, does it say I give a fuck? Not today, sorry. Things from here now out, will be done my way, or you can have the door hit on your way out, don’t forget about the free T-Shirt.

Best Served Cold, um, or HOT…. (evil cackle): There are two known ways to kill these dreaded things, Heat and long periods of below freezing temperatures. Since pesticides are not working because of immunities, the only other way to help with quarantine is to get nature on your side. We bagged up K1/Playroom first. We stashed all the bags on the balcony. We cleaned the room out of toys and moved everything into the middle of the room. I then moved to the hall closet, bathroom and linen cupboard. Stacked them outside too. As much stuff that would fit on the balcony was put out there. Lastly we worked on the “Doomed Room”. Another fun way to kill these creatures is heat, and lots of it. So I had the greatest honor (sense my sarcasm?) to do the infested laundry. I loaded it up with Borax (BTW, Borax is unknown on whether it kills bedbugs, but it’s worth it to do anyways IMO). Carefully ensuring K2 does not touch anything on the way down to the laundry mat was fun. A few things were thrown out after the wash, because there was no way I was ever going to see that item in the same light again. It was nice, in an insane way, to think that finally they are getting back the torment they gave us. 50 minutes of high heated hell, served in a silver coloured drum, on the house!

Diatomaceous Earth (DE): Oh, how I love nature! Who would have known that some shelled algae could be an answer to this mess. I know it’s not a guarantee solution, but it gives some hope. I am questioning the regular use of this product. In reading the uses, I am concerned that since DE is given to animals and comes out the way it goes in. That this can harm other ‘good’ insects in nature, because we use the manure with DE as fertilizer. I feel everything has a cause and effect, and the main area we should be looking at is prevention. I think we should use our past mistakes on Pest Control and educate people, as the priority. So as disgusted you are, be one with the bed bug. Act and think like one. Empower yourself with everything you can get your hands on with these dreaded things. We were sprayed on the 22nd, which is another if-it-could-go-wrong-it-did-go-wrong post I wont bore you with, and I have only seen them in the bags of clothes I have washed.

Taking It All Back: We still don’t feel comfortable with being in the master room for long periods of time, but we did take back K1’s/Playroom. We have plans to switch the rooms and give the girls the larger room, AFTER the crazies are gone. The small room will be enough for two shelves on either side of the bed (but far enough away to prevent a ladder for bugs), a king-size bed, and best of all, NO TV! It’s going to be awhile before I feel comfortable with buying anything for this apartment. In the mean time, I am window shopping. DH and I agreed (for the first time) on curtains for the living room, which is a validation that things seem to be improving (another update is needed on this topic, I know). It’s not a happy ever after, but things are better. They will be doing a second spray in a few weeks, and 4 floors are reported to have bed bugs. My father bought the Pest Repeller Ultimate® AT and we are waiting for it to arrive. I am not sure when I will start to use it, because I am afraid to move them from where they are hiding to other areas they are not. Maybe I should drink a lot of wine that night? BTW that was a joke, I rarely ever drink.

Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours: Thanks for everyone’s support and understanding my sick humor lately. I know I am all itchy from writing this, I can’t imagine reading it would be.  DH says I have monkey arms, because I can reach every inch of my back. I will gladly send over some scratching relief if you every need it. I really hope no one goes through this. Again I urge you to educate yourself and protect your mattress and box spring, not just for bed bugs, but for your mattress’ hygiene. Hopefully this is the last of the posts on bugs.

 

7 Days Left Until These Parasites Start To Die of a Slow Death

I AM GOING TO LOOSE MY MIND, I hate this building! I feel like a prisoner in my own home. Not a room in this house is not infested! They don’t pay rent, nor clean, but they want a free meal. I can’t lay my daughter to sleep without her being eaten alive! There is no notices about these nasty, evil bugs. Yet, our apartment was number 6. They are Satan, slowly driving you mad. My daughter lays in my arms and I am here on a wooden dining room chair with tape on the legs, sticky side out. It’s the only safe spot in our ‘home’. I sit crossed legged, afraid to let my feet touch the floor.

We were evacuated from our bedroom, then our beds were all thrown out. My daughter cried that her beddy was gone. We entered the only place left to go – our living room. They took away her toys, her clothes, her blankets. They took away her Mom. She calls for me to nurse but I have to shower first. I am mad, frustrated, livid for the lives of these horrid creators. I am going to Hell by saying they don’t deserve to live. We can’t go anywhere because these hitchhikers will end up there. I would never wish this on anybody.

It’s not safe here now, they were in a pillow, and then they took my computer chair. They stock you, haunt you, then they feed on you. I have creepy feelings as I try to quarantine our home. I know they will find her, in the night when she is the most vulnerable. She says she’s itchy, but there is nothing I can do. As I look at the 2 paged list of things I need to do. I look out my balcony door with all of our belongings in large black bags. Just our luck the next three days are above freezing, so the tiny fuckers are not going to die.

I did 5 loads of laundry only find a bug attached inside. $40 wasted, one made it through the wash. All of our pillows are gone, and I want to burn this house. I would like to leave with my daughter, my cat, without any clothes and just start over. I am sorry for being so dramatic. I just never thought it would be me. My daughter’s birthday is in a few months are we going to be able to participate? I am stressed and hurt, I am entirely raw inside. I want to scream, I want to sit in a corner and cry. I don’t because I know I am the only one that stands in their way to her. But with every new bite mark I find, I see failure, failure, failure.

This is the beginning of this maddening story. The countdown to Bed Bug death! I will be bewildered at the count of bodies, I will be shocked at the site. I know there will be activity for 3 weeks after, but I am hoping for the best.

The Natural Birthing Community Needs More Credit

I read another blog post on The Stir. On the one hand, I am glad this mother/woman is happy for her birth. On the other, I feel defensive, like I am in need to protect. I am going to share with you why.

Everyone knows K2’s birth story, I wont bore you with the details. What some of you don’t know is, it was one person, who I met online through a Facebook Page that heard me. This woman is a mother, a birthing educator, a Doula, and someone I will always hold dear to my heart. She is the one person that allowed me to get past enough of my pain, to write my NICU contribution.

Although I started that post when K2 was just a baby, this woman’s strength and her time, was what I needed to get my dark feelings out. During that time, she was the only one that helped me. She was the only one who did not ever turn me away. She never even asked for a penny for her time, and I have never met this wonderful woman in the flesh. Without her, you would not be reading any of this. Not a single word.

This blog post on The Stir, made me feel protective of women who have done nothing but tried to help empower woman. I have never, in the birthing community, EVER felt that my birth was not good enough. I have never felt that I was looked down on. If anything, they where the only ones who took me in, when the medical society left me for damn.

I have spent more than 2 years thinking that K2’s NICU time was my fault. That her having her spinal, being revived, and being born early was my fault. Still DH does not know the entire story, because I can’t look at him, I am so ashamed. I felt that I did not deserve her, that I was not good enough. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, only after I could form more than two words without breaking down.

I was shut out, and told that K2 was happy, healthy and growing. That should be all I needed to go on with my life. So many other mothers go in and out of the NICU without any issues later in life. I am dramatic, and just should forget about things. This woman, this Doula, from across the internet gave me a voice.

This woman took the time to read what I had started, and as I cried like a blubbering whale at the keyboard. She waited patiently on the other end. When I told her the birth story, she told me so many things. She educated me on interventions and answered my questions on if my contractions could have been stopped. I continued on with my new-found power, and I asked questions to our Family Nurse. It was then that realized, nothing was my fault.

I still fall apart on birthdays, every April and May. I fall apart when I hear a status on Facebook that someone is going in early to take the baby. I am still not in a safe place where I don’t personalize that. I know I am not that free, yet. I still have nightmares where K2 is dead. I hear anything beep and I have this rage that I fight to control. I know I have much more ground to travel and heal.

It’s the birthing community that holds me tight and tells me my pain, which will never be gone, will help someone else to never have to feel the way I do. To know that my story can help at least one other woman not have to type my words and blink through tears. That means something to me, it’s the only hope I have left to hold on too. That one woman matters to me, and it’s one woman less that understands my pain. Even if that one woman is my daughter.

It all began with one amazing Doula, and when our story went out across the internet, there were more women with support. Today, it’s other mother’s stories that also help me heal. Just one tiny speck after another. I will be put together. The credit in my healing will go out to the community in which this blogger, who might not have meant too, was mocking.

By saying ‘Natural Birthers’ and promoters of ‘Natural Birth’ brag about doing things the earthy way, is not the case at all. In fact, these women share their stories to show women that they can do this. Some of these women have had previous traumatic births. These are the only group of women that will believe in you. They will give you information, that you would not otherwise know. I know no Doctor told me about Pitocin and it’s dangers.

I feel this community, just like the breastfeeding community is extremely misunderstood. In my personal experience, not one member of this community has ever told me that I had to suck it up, to take one for the team because I did not know any better. Not one member of this community turned their back on my hurts and my pains, it was actually those who were proud of their medical births, who alienated me, ignored me, and mocked my pain.

Again, it’s great this mother has amazing feelings for her birth. It’s great that she was in control to know ahead of time she wanted the Epidural. I had an Epidural, I will not judge this mother for having one as well. I had my water broken, so I will never put down another mother for interventions. But I will say this. This blogger really needs to think about the larger picture on this topic.

The Natural Birthers are not pointing fun at anyone, or saying they did something better than anyone else. It’s a great achievement to birth one’s own baby without medications, and now a days, without interventions. Like breastfeeding, any birth needs to be celebrated. We all have to face it, natural birth has science on it’s side, and just like breastfeeding, birthing education needs to be spread around.

This Blogger had a vision of what her birth would be like, what she wanted and what she didn’t. Seems to me, by her writing, everything went according to plan. I just can’t help to think that her examples of women who brag about their natural births, might have had a birth previously like mine and K2’s. That their joy of birthing naturally, helped heal her pain a little more. That in this mother’s previous birth, she did not have a choice, and her birth did not go according to her plan.

_____________

To my secret Doula friend,

I have told you so many times and in so many words, thank you for what you have done. When things are looking down, just remember without you, I would not be right where I am. I think of you often, and you will be a part of stories when K2 grows up. K2 might not know you in the flesh, but she will know you by name, and she will know that you helped her Mama not cry so many tears.

Weaning…thought I’d do it, now I don’t know!

I would like to share with you my reply to a question/comment on Mamapedia. I feel that it’s important for every mother to chime in to give this mom gentle, positive encouragement. So if you have time please give this mom some love and share your stories of nursing past infancy. Along with your feelings and thought processes when you got the idea of why it’s done.

 

“First, I’ll say that this is just my personal opinion and situation, and not meant to offend anyone.

Personally, I’ve always thought nursing a toddler (or older) was fairly disgusting and potentially abusive. I don’t mean a baby toddler…I mean a two, three year old or older who can walk and talk and drink from a cup and eat with a fork.

However, approaching nine months of exclusive nursing and I am beginning to wonder if I am not starting to understand why they do it…is it really going to be as hard to let go of as I think it is? Every time my daughter stands up on my lap and yanks out the neck of my shirt and looks down it, then looks up at me and smiles like “okay, I’m ready!” I think I will never be able to give it up, unless SHE wants to give it up!

What do you think?”

 

Hugs to you fellow Mama,

I have to say I was right in your place a few years ago. Before, I thought it was weird, nursing was only for babies. I could not, would not understand why my cousin nursed to 2. She would say the doctor says it’s ok. I was apart of the crowd that I wish I never was.

I went through the same feelings as you. Although, I never thought nursing was disgusting, I just never thought it was quite right past, whatever I thought babyhood was gone. As my DD reached 6 months, then 9, then she had her first birthday. I thought I was not ready, and she surely felt the same. I looked at her and knew that our nursing was nothing wrong. It’s actually something I wanted, almost needed her to remember.

That is when it was final, I was nursing until she was through. That is when everything changed. I was proud when she told me nursing stories, even in public and around other people (who might not like the idea). I became more vocal about breastfeeding and our love for it. I became empowered by growing my own child and wanted everyone else to experience that same joy. I could not wait for her to give nursing a nick name, and I smiled while nursing in public. Nothing and no one will tell me different.

DD is going on 4 in April. She still nurses. She is slowly weaning and boy is she the most independent child I know. She is funny and smart, she will spot out other nursing mothers and children and say how lucky they are. She appreciates it just as much as I do. She makes funny stories, and she asks me to nurse different things. Just yesterday, I nursed a river rock, because it was sad and “Mommies makes things better”. Through nursing, I taught her something that I never thought was my goal. She turns to people for comfort and not things. It’s taught her what breasts are really for. I have no doubt in my soul that, from her nursing into childhood, she will not have as much body issues as I did growing up.

Please don’t take this as an attack to anyone who formula feeds. I can only tell you my experience and what I think about it. I now encourage all mothers to breastfeed for as long as it’s mutually needed/wanted. If a mother has doubts about weaning, I tell her she is not ready and I share our story. To me, age is just a number and no matter how old your child is, they will still be the precious soul you had no clue why they let you be alone with to care for. They will still melt your heart, they will allow you to cry happy tears and amaze you with their thoughts. They will always be your child, your baby. Enjoy this, try to put societies issues aside. Once you do, you will be free to mother the way you feel is right.

PS: I would like to share with you a link to beautiful stories of Nursing Past Infancy. http://codenamemama.com/?s=nursing+past+infancy Our story is #15.