At around 4-5 months, Verity went from only nursing for 7-10 minutes on one side to nursing 15 minutes on both sides (she just needed more milk as she grew bigger). However, this is where the cracks started showing. Nursing a baby 6 times a day is hard enough but nursing a baby 6 times a day, for 30 minutes each time, while also trying to entertain a 2-year-old is damn near impossible. I began getting so frustrated and so overwhelmed every time I nursed her - I was basically immobile, stuck on the couch or chair, while Silas touched everything in the house he wasn't allowed to touch. 10 minutes? He was fine! 30 minutes? It was pretty much a free-for-all at that point. I just got angrier and angrier every time I had to feed her.
One night in particular, when she was around 6 months old, I was headed to a friend's house and sobbing on the phone to my mom.
"I don't want to do this anymore! I HATE IT. I'm dreading feeding her every single time."
My mom said, "Brenae. You know you don't HAVE to nurse her, right?"
Uhh. What do you mean?! I CAN STOP??
"But it's so much healthier for her," I choked out between sobs.
"Honey, it's actually healthier for everyone for you to be a happy, loving mom. Not angry. Not frustrated. And if that's what I takes, THEN DO IT and be free! There's nothing wrong with being done."
It was like a 100lb weight was lifted off my chest, hearing those words. I genuinely had never considered the fact that I COULD stop anytime I wanted. I nursed her for 6 months, I enjoyed most of that time. And I had the choice to stop if it was no longer healthy for me, which it wasn't. WHAT?!
Up to this point, I had been feeling so resentful of Matt and his freedom, to go anywhere he wanted, whenever. To be gone for 6 hours, golfing, if he so chose to (I mean, it's rare he does that, but still! He had options). I was feeling so claustrophobic, so STUCK, and it was making me such an angry person. My mom was 100% right.. breastmilk might truly be "better", but my kids having a mom that wasn't ready to fly off the handle at any given moment? THAT is the best thing, by far.