This is not Omar but it sure resembles him. Adam would not like me posting a picture of me breastfeeding. Thanks www.mommajorje.com for this pic.
I really wanted to stop when he was 18 months old. That was the plan. I started to wean Omar when he was 15 months and it was really difficult. I was still in my first trimester, pregnant with my second child-a bit crazy. I am not the sanest of pregnant women. I realized after experiencing it twice that I have perinatal depression. It sucks. I am much better but it still sucks.
I couldn’t take him crying and screaming and begging for my milk. I was alone in the house with him and I thought knocking my head through the wall would be a better option. I never did that. I just stopped trying to wean him. Without the physical support from my husband or anyone else I couldn’t do it alone.
I cut down on the milk by having him fall asleep in the car instead of in his bed while I nursed him. I took him out to the parks more often and he would forget about my milk supply. All he wanted to do was play.
I had somewhat of a break.
My mother came to stay with us for a month and a half and I thought surely that would be the best time to wean him and potty train him.
I was wrong.
I found out while my mami was here that my unborn child has a single ventricle heart defect. I went to get the ultrasound by myself and knew when the technician wasn’t so cheery telling me all the details as she moved through examining my daughter’s body parts that something was just not right.
I began nursing my son more. How could I not indulge him? I weaned him from night nursing. It only took one night of him crying and yelling at me for an hour while I sat patiently next to him. He still wakes up a couple of times a night. I lay next to him and pat him on his back. I mainly sleep in his bed.
Sometimes I go to this playgroup in my neighborhood. The mothers are Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican, Guatemalan, Moroccan and Eritrean. It is a diverse bunch that sometimes splits off by language. I go between the Latinas and Muslims.
The Asian women were surprised with my big belly. Omar was 9 lbs and 1 oz when he was born. I am only 4’11 1/2. This belly is smaller than when I carried him. They tried to give me more food because I am eating for two. I told them, three-I still feed Omar. They gasped and then got on my case about still nursing him while pregnant. I nodded and smiled. The polite thing I’ve learned to do when people give me unwanted parenting advice.
I haven’t gone back.
Now I am in my last trimester and stay home when I am not at the three doctor’s appointments I go to weekly. We go from room to room, to the backyard and sometimes go on walks in the neighborhood. Being so physically close to me is a great reminder for Omar that I can still give him milk. He asks more often and I nurse him. Not because he wants it but because I want the opportunity to lay down, read a book and maybe take a nap. Sometimes he wakes up around 5 in the morning. I am so exhausted in the morning that I make him go back to sleep around 9 A.M. I can only do this if I nurse him. We sleep for another two hours and I thank God for this precious gift of milk.
Knowing that I may be in and out of the hospital because Azalea, my unborn child, may need heart surgery right after birth I figured I would still nurse Omar through this process. I won’t be home as much and I want to be able to bond with him when I am home. I want to hold him like a baby and tell him that I love him while he nurses and looks into my eyes.
By Islamic standards it is a great benefit for the child to be nursed until he is 2 years old. 2 years 4 months the max. I always told myself two years and then have wanted less than that because I am pregnant.
Sometimes it hurts. My supply is low but it is still there. I figure this is the best I could give him. I can only pray that I will be able to give Azalea the same. I don’t know if I will be able to breastfeed her. I don’t know what she will drink. If she will latch. It seems odd to me that a baby who will need so much nutrition may not be able to breastfeed. InshaAllah that won’t happen.