i agree esp that your breasts are yours, not your dh's
i agree esp that your breasts are yours, not your dh's
Sorry to hear you're feeling conflicted. Our sons are the same age, so I can appreciate in the here and now how being on the cusp of one year feels ethereal. We brought tiny helpless babies into the world, and now they're developing some independence.
You might like revisiting Kellymom to hear some positive messaging about toddler breastfeeding, as I think your head is wrapped up in pro-weaning messaging. Maybe more importantly though, you mentioned regret about work and missing your son's infancy. I'd carve out some extra one-on-one time with your son to "reconnect". Just like any relationship, I find the emotional involvement in parenting ebbs and flows. For me, really capitalizing on the great days and making the most of special little moments gives me memories to carry me forward on stressful, conflicted days when molars rear their ugly heads!
Re: your "public" nursing persona, if you decide extended nursing is desirable for you, then I would take the attitude of being a trail blazer. Any cause worth upholding is worth withstanding flack for. Extended nursing conveys a respect for the dignity of children as individuals with legitimate needs. Children are no less deserving of love and nourishment than adults, and breastfeeding is an important way to fulfill those needs. It isn't the only way, and there are obviously many children who happily wean "early" by choice or accept mother-led weaning with little ill effect.
However, I believe expecting adult coping and reasoning skills from a child below the age of reason, as much of the western world does, is unfair and unnecessary. Just because parents were born first and are bigger and stronger doesn't mean that their concerns are more important. Rather, because we're bigger, stronger, and can reason, we're much better equipped to withstand the ego blow of not getting our way if we choose to serve our children's needs above our own. (And this applies, similarly, if husbands are feeling left out. Sacrifice is required by both parents at times.)
Just a few thoughts for when you meet with pressure to wean, in case you need support!
Oh, and for your husband, sex is messy sometimes. That's part of what makes it so enjoyable- the letting loose, celebrating the body. To me, a little spilled milk is akin to crying out in pleasure. You feel good, your body does what it will. Frankly, since it's oxytocin induced, it's a sign he's doing the right thing...
Mommal makes 2 great points. X3 on breasts = yours.
I hear all the time from DH about wanting them back. I don't feel like having the conversation yet where I tell them they are just not a turn on anymore. I get so tired of that though. Sometimes I feel like he feels left out so I try to be considerate of that and make sure he gets plenty of attention.
Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
for 20 months!
I am that breast play is not the same turn-on it was when I was, say, a teenager. It's more of a "oh okay, since you like them so much I'll be a good sport about it" thing. Not that I'm going to tell my DH that it's not the most mind-blowing experience ever- but I do simultaneously (and I think subtly) encourage him to move on to the more exciting areas.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"
Way too lazy for formula
I know you know this, but you have nothing to be embarrassed about. That doesn't mean you have to go around shouting it from the rooftops if you don't want to, but it's not going to do you any good to go around anticipating a negative reaction from others. It's the sort of thing that if you seek, you will find. If you are looking for people to disapprove, expecting them to disapprove, you are (a)more likely to notice it when they do (b) think it's there when it's really not, and (c) encourage them to let it show because they think you agree with them.
All that said, a lot of mothers cut back on public nursing as their children get older for many reasons, including the fact that older children are more active when nursing so popping on and off is an issue, older children understand limits and have alternative snacks/beverages available, and yes for some moms it is to avoid public scrutiny.
“We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
OP, I appreciate you sharing your feelings and I see that you are not trying to wean, but rather looking for ways to address your feelings of ambivalence. I think the suggestion that it could be hormone related is certainly possible.
My first thought was that, if it is the subtle negativity from your DH that is contributing factor to your feelings, you could consider letting him know that. Transitioning from the role of partner to mother/partner is one of the biggest changes you will face in life and it is not something you should feel alone in. It can be tough, no doubt. When it comes down to it, I think we all agree that a child's immediate needs must come before DH's (e.g., if baby wakes up to nurse unexpectedly, DH is not going to get any that night!). That remains the same no matter how old your child is and applies to everything, not just nursing. It sounds like your DH is sensitive enough to understand this, but it is obviously a big adjustment for him also.
A lot of the discussion has revolved around your DH feeling like he wants your breasts back. I don't think that has anything to do with actual possession of your breasts; it simply means he wants to play with them again, which is no crime. You are his wife and he is attracted to you - that is a good thing IMO! For me, I didn't like breast play when my breasts were still full all the time and it would get very messy. However, by this point (4 months), for me, they don't leak very much during sex so it's not a logistical issue. After DD3's nighttime nurse, they are usually pretty "empty." That is an issue you will have to navigate together but I would encourage you to try bringing your breasts back into your sex life and see how it goes. Your DH might be happy to be given the green light! And you won't know whether you will like it until you try. Sorry if that is TMI, just being frank about this issue. I think it is one of those things that everyone goes through to some extent as part of this transition.
As much as I believe in the value of marriage, open communication and support, I also agree with pps who suggest that developing outside relationships with people who support your breastfeeding without any conflicting feelings are super important in your life right now. Of course, you have us. Is there a local LLL group you could possibly consider. When I started nursing past the cultural norm (but not the biological norm - 2.5-7 years!) I found it very empowering to surround myself with supportive people. Sure, you can probably be strong and stand your own ground without extra support, but it could be helpful and help you deal with these feelings.
HTH Keep on keeping on, taking care of your baby and communicating with your DH (verbally and physically!) and you will find your way.
ETA: Whether your 1-year old seems like a baby is largely a matter of perspective. I can relate to that with the first child; however, after that the littler ones seem like babies for longer. Probably because you compare them to the older child(ren) and because you then fully realize just how quickly baby and toddlerhood pass you by. It seems like the blink of an eye in retrospect. It seems like those big kids in my sig pic were just babies!
Last edited by @llli*molly.b; October 3rd, 2012 at 08:13 AM.
Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on
Another thought I had after reading other's responses... have you talked to your DH directly about extended nursing? You may find he is in fact supportive of it. I assumed that my DH was against it when we were getting close to the year mark - but he in fact had no issue with it. I think he is ready for me to wean now... but that has been fairly recently and he was pretty supportive through out the 12 mo - 20 mo ages.
My DS is 9 mo and I just recently has some flutterings of the emotions you were talking about. It is nice to know that its normal and maybe even just hormonal (still no period for me). I was feeling rather bad about it but hadn't said anything to anyone. And after reading all the posts in response (I thought they were great) I realize much of it is from what I think others are thinking. Specially because certain groups made it clear when DS was only a month or so that 6mo was their limit of support. Luckily my DH squashed all the possible comments well in advanced. And the pumping sucks.
While I get putting the girls off limits. We always took/take it interaction by interaction: day by day. Maybe I'm weird but we both still enjoy boob play (just not every time). My DH was very good at being knocked down at times and then enjoying when he could. Maybe giving it a shot and letting him know that it may not work but its worth a try. You might like it instead of not. (Although djs.mom made me think there has been an obvious lack of real sucking that I think I'm glad about) Oh and I leak all the time but I've never sprayed during sex.
Married to the best husband ever since Nov 2009
DS born 1/7/12 at 36 wks after PROM and Gestational diabetes happy and healthy ~
Taking it one day at a time.
Currently and !!!