Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why Doesn't Anyone Talk About This?

After the boys were born, I never really experienced the 'baby blues.' Sure, I had a couple weepy days, but I attributed it to being sad that I had to keep leaving them in the hospital and it pretty much went away after we brought them home. I'm sure I'm lucky in that way, and I'm sure that many women have a long road to travel before their hormones regulate again.

More than 12 months later, the boys have decided that they are pretty much done with nursing. We went from three times a day for the last several months to only once a day, almost overnight. What that has left me with is a hormonal imbalance that I can only equate to the baby blues, 12 months late.

In addition to losing way too much hair every time I pull out my ponytail, being left with raisins under my shirt where my milk machines used to be and feeling very, very sleepy, I'm also feeling down on myself in areas where I have never really struggled before. I'm letting 'being the new girl' affect me too much and feeling overwhelmed at trying to meet new people this time around. I am reading too much into people not emailing me back right away and feeling like no one appreciates and/or enjoys my new blog because most people aren't leaving comments (Diapers to Diplomas - please leave me comments! : )) It's ridiculous, I know, but it's how I'm feeling right now.

Worst of all though, is that sadness that comes from the boys not *needing* me anymore. There was an intimacy and dependency that we shared while nursing, and now that I just hand them a cup full of milk, I'm left feeling unsatisfied with their level of need for me. I know that many women are excited to finish nursing, having an added freedom that they hadn't felt in many months, and I'm sure I would have felt similar if it would have been a more gradual transition. I miss the feeling of someone depending on me. If you add the time on that I was pregnant to this past year, that's 20 months of knowing that I was an integral part of the boys nourishment; now that it's just about over, I'm realizing that it's a harder adjustment than I thought.

I know that most of this comes from the hormonal letdown of stopping nursing, but I wonder why more women don't talk about these feelings so we don't feel so alone when we experience them ourselves.


suzannah said...

it IS hard to stop nursing, but it will get easier. i was pregnant when dylan and i stopped, so i didn't experience such a dramatic hormonal shift, but it was still a sad transition. of course, your boys still need you, and once you finish mourning, you will cherish the snuggles and putting them to bed without them needing to be nursed; they'll just need YOU--the security and comfort of knowing that they are loved.

"i have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with his mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me." psalm 131:2

Blogless A.R. said...

I love you and miss you, Beth! Sorry I haven't remembered to check the new blog--I just bookmarked it so I'll be there daily now and PROMISE to leave comments. :-) The babes I nanny turn one next week (!) and their big sister just turned 4, so I probably do have thoughts to contribute and definitely have reasons to visit your cool blog(s).


~Autumn B.

Kelly said...

Hi Bethers! I agree with Suzannah, your boys still definately need you and will enjoy many snuggles and cuddles even if they get their milk from a cup :) My AJ still climbs up on teh sofa or jumps onto my back just to cuddle me. Though nursing is a wonderful thing, this new season you're entering is just as wonderful :) xoxo

Anonymous said...

Bethy McQuethy...
You know we all love you! This is just another part of motherhood. Of course, my solution for everything is to just "come home" to Pittsburgh. You know I read your blogs everyday and find a lot of interesting things to read...a lot of great new stuff that I never thought of as a mom of young children. You'll find that your boys need you in new ways now. Like learning to read! Keep up the good work. Much love and kisses.

Becky said...

My excuse for not commenting is that I breastfeed while I read blogs, so it is hard to type then! Your entry comes at a good time. I just had to rush home from errands to feed the little stinker and sometimes I can't wait for a little more independence. Your post reminded me to slow down and enjoy it while I've got it. Jack just started eating cereal, so I know its around the corner. :(


Janice said...

So sorry you are having such a hard time:-( I wish we could just call each other up and hit the Mills for a few laps...that always left me feeling better. It is hard dealing with the kids' new independence, but even though they may not "need" you physically anymore, you will find more and more that they need you emotionally and LOVE you for you, not just your breasts. I guess I had the opposite problem when nursing Abby...somedays I felt that that's ALL I was to her - a big pair of boobies. Now that she is older and can express herself more, I relish those moments when she will leave her toys just to come over a give me a big hug and a kiss and then go back to playing. Your boys have feelings for you that they will never have for anyone else, and as soon as they are capable of expressing those feelings, it will just be awesome. Hang in there, mommy! And call me anytime if you need someone to remind you what an awesome mom you are:-)

Amanda said...

My advice, being a non-mother -Don't think everything through so much -I have friends with kids who have far harder challenges -as in everytime the mother tries to do something good and right the kid whacks out??? Bathe, brush teeth, feed, wake up -everything is a tantrum. You are doing great and they will always need you. I know you -take the time they are not breast feeding and make them a killer meal or game? xoxo Amanda

Trisha said...

I had such a hard time thinking about the end of nursing with Sam. When I ceased (due to his lack of interest) at 14 months I was sad for a few days but then I realized it was kinda nice to be done with that stage. Those boys will always need will just be in different ways! Thanks for sharing Bethie...I love you!