|Could YOU say 'no' to this face?|
. . . THAT is the question. And really, I've been too busy breastfeeding to answer it.
But finally the time has come to ponder whether tis nobler to give the breast the flick, or suffer the slings and arrows of outraged onlookers who don't like the look of a boob in a mouth that can talk.
I've been weighing up the pros and cons of continuing breastfeeding for awhile now and here's where I'm at:
CONTINUE BREASTFEEDING . . .
- I adore the unique bond I have with my daughter when I breastfeed her. I feel so close and connected to her. Her mouth fits perfectly and as I watch her suckling, I marvel at how clever she is to be able to draw nourishment from my body so painlessly and effortlessly. I'm pleasantly addicted to my daily oxytocin hit.
- Up until getting a runny nose last week, Francesca has not suffered a day of illness in her 18 months on this germy, virusy earth. She seems to have the constitution of a Masterchef judge which I like to at least partly attribute to her voluminous consumption of breastmilk.
- I have become rather used to filling a B cup bra, indeed sometimes even SPILLING OUT of a B cup bra. Breastmilk is nature's silicon implant. It's free, looks natural and if it leaks? Hey ho, no problemo. You don't have to sue anyone! The moment I stop feeding, I'm destined for the A-cup and chicken fillets and that's just sad.
- Baby bumped her head on the coffee table? Boob. Baby grumpy because you've been at the mall all morning? Boob. Baby's ears blocked on the descent into Melbourne on the 9.20 flight from Sydney? Boob. Baby starts crying just as you've finally got through to Telstra after being on hold for 40 minutes? Boob. Trying to finish watching last night's episode of Offspring and the baby won't leave the annoying Fisher Price baby piano alone? Boob.
- I will never be this skinny with this great a cleavage again without a lot of sweating, celery and a scalpel.
QUITTING . . .
- Breastfeeding is tiring. I'm tired. I've loved every minute of the last 18 months but I'm starting to feel drained by it. I think my body is telling me something.
- Now that she's walking, Francesca is entering a more independent stage of her life, but she is still a clingy mama's girl and I think that has a lot to do with her breastfeeding habit. And it is a habit. She no longer needs the breast for nutritional value and often pulls at my top in social situations when she is feeling unsure of herself. This is not always convenient and is, I think, creating an association for her that isn't beneficial. She needs to learn to cope with low-level social uncertainty, not reach for the nearest nipple.
- Have you seen the latest push-up bras? Quite pretty. I've lived with them before and I can learn to live with them again.
So despite the almost overwhelming urge to continue feeding Francesca until she's 4 just to continue pissing off the outraged onlookers, I've decided it's time.
I just hope that Mistress Menopause isn't waiting around the corner ready to pounce on this woman who tried to cheat nature by getting knocked up in her forties.