Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Mammogram

Just in case the world doesn't end tomorrow, I went ahead and had my mammogram today. It's been a few years since I've had one. I've been a little busy having babies and breastfeeding. Which brings us to a couple of interesting conversations at the radiology place.

Tech: Any chance you could be pregnant?
Me: Not a chance. I still breastfeed though. Not much, just a little.
Tech: Oh. When was the last time you breastfed?
Me: I don't know. Maybe three days ago? He's pretty sporadic now.
Tech: How old is he?
Me: Almost three.
Tech: So how many times a day are you breastfeeding?
Me: Oh, not even once a day. Just when he comes in at night and I'm too tired to put him back down.
bbbTech: Um, how long have you been breastfeeding?
Me: Five years.
Tech: No, I mean just this time?
Me: Five years. I have two children, and I never stopped breastfeeding.
Tech: *blank stare*
Me: *stares back*
Tech: Um, I'm going to have to talk to the doctor.
Me: Okay, but they said it wasn't a problem at my doctor's office.

insert Jeopardy music while I wait in my little open front gown.

Doc: So I understand you stopped breastfeeding three days ago?
Me: Well, it doesn't exactly work like that. The last time my son nursed was probably three days ago. I don't know if he will do it again or not.
Doc: And how old is he?
Me: Almost three.
Doc: Huh. I don't have kids. But I have a dog who is almost four. I guess I can understand wanting her to still be a puppy.
Me: *blank stare*
Doc: You know, still my baby.
Me: Ummmmm, okay. It's actually called child led weaning, and it's quite common.
Doc: Well, I don't recommend that you get a mammogram today. I won't deny it to you , but you really should wait three to six months after you stop breastfeeding. I mean that can't be long from now, can it?
Me: *blank stare*
Doc: But it's up to you.
Me: Thanks. Let's get this done.

Yes. I still nurse my son because I want to continue to think of him as a baby. WHAT?

No. I still nurse my son because sometimes he still asks, and it's the least I can do for him to let him decide when to be done for good.

No. I still nurse my son because sometimes I want to sleep as much as possible, and I don't want to get up and sit in his room while he goes back to sleep at 3:00 in the morning.

No. I still nurse my son because I'm lucky to have been able to do so.

No. I still nurse my son because I damn well want to.

We are essentially done. It might have even been a week since he last nursed. It doesn't matter. There isn't any milk left. It's just the comfort of it that I can offer him.

But really? Please.

It didn't make me mad or angry. Maybe a little irritated. I was mostly just surprised. Surprised at how little yet another doctor knew about a real nursing relationship between mother and child.

There is a lot of work to do, ladies.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thank a teacher today

Each December, the children at Arts Together put on a brilliant production of The Nutcracker. A little spontaneous at times, and a little abstract at others, it's a tradition and a treat.

Last year, Christopher didn't want to participate. He was the "music helper." I knew that was what his dance teacher did for him to help him feel included even though he refused to join in a lot of times.

This year, here he is as a Russian Dancer:

What a difference a year makes. What a difference a teacher makes. What a difference a class dynamic makes.

I appreciate that they didn't give up on him. 

Then, tonight, our sweet friend Kara gave us tickets to a fundraiser for the Carolina Ballet (we are so sorry for your loss, Kara). We got to meet dancers, eat cupcakes for dinner, and both boys fought the Mouse King fearlessly. And Christopher? He showed a real Russian Dancer from the Carolina Ballet how to do the Russian Dance, preschool style.

When the dancer asked him how he learned to do that? Christopher said, "Four year olds can do anything."

Thank you, Amy. Thank you, Karen, Renee, Nan, Rebecca, Emma, and Brenda.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Nurse nurse

He slips into my room in the middle of the night. Or in the very early morning. Either way you look at it, I'm still in a deep sleep.

I know he is there even though he doesn't make a sound other than his breathing. He stands at the side of my bed and waits for me to lean over the edge, scoop him up under his arms, and lift him into bed with me.

Most nights, he slips into the crook of my arms and falls right back to sleep. A few nights ago, he quietly asked, "Nurse nurse?"

He is almost three. During the day, he couldn't be bothered with nursing. There are bad guys to fight, dogs to chase, costumes to wear, cars to race. He doesn't have time for the "nuh-nuh's." When I put him down for a nap, he usually likes to nurse to sleep. I let him, and then I slip out of his bed and back downstairs to get some work done.

Only, lately, he has been too busy to nap. No nap, no nurse nurse.

So a few nights ago, he asked, I obliged, and we rolled over onto our sides and scooted into position for a little side lying nursing. I barely even woke up. I don't know how long he tried. All I know is that the next thing I hear Colin saying is,

"Mama? I really want for the milk to come out."

Then my heart broke just a little bit.

My last baby. My last nursling. And the end just snuck up on us.

It's alright. I knew it wasn't going to last forever. I've sold the cloth diapers. The crib and the toddler bed are long gone. Cups don't automatically have lids snapped on them before being given over to the small people. Booster seats have replaced convertible car seats.

It's been a long time coming. He's almost three. I love who he has become in his three years. He is smart and funny and I wouldn't trade him in for a newborn for anything.

But, just, ooooph. It's just a little bit hard to be letting him go. My baby.