Monday, June 13, 2011

Tandem Nursing

This weekend, I'll hit 11 months of tandem nursing, unless you count the pregnancy as tandem nursing- and some people do. Then it'll be 20 months. I've been nursing for 38 months straight total. Wow. That's almost longer than I was in college.

Early on, tandem nursing was difficult: I had thrush. I was healing from a birth in the early days and needed help just maneuvering. The first while when McKay went back to work, getting two kids to sleep was an adventure. But then again, mothering in general was an adventure and nothing got done.

And now that I've been doing this for almost a year, it's not a big deal. Nursing is a part of the mothering package for me right now and I feel like I've got a handle on both nursing and mothering. That plus the fact that I'm in better shape and we're almost moved in, I feel like we're doing pretty well!

I do get touched out. I never felt that way with Margaret until the pregnancy and I've never completely lost that sensation. For example, to put the children to sleep for their naps in the afternoon, I nurse Isaac until he's full, then I turn over and nurse Margaret. Ideally, Isaac will fall to sleep on his own at this point. Less ideally, he'll climb onto my head. Then, just when I start feeling touched out by Margaret's nursing, she'll either be asleep or asleep enough  that I can say, "Margaret, it's Isaac's turn. You'll get a turn when he's done." And then I go back to Isaac. Most of the time, Margaret ends up falling asleep before Isaac's done. And my touched-out-o-meter resets with Isaac because his latch is different and he's on the other side, so the touched out feeling isn't an issue. Then once they are both asleep I get 2-3 hours to myself, excluding the 1 or 2 times Isaac stirs and needs me to nurse him back to sleep: 1 if he's not teething, 2 if he is. The whole nursing to sleep process takes a little over half an hour, during which time I read and try not to get diverted by my smart phone.

I don't nurse both kids at the same time very often. It takes extenuating circumstances like injuries to bring that on. I have nursed both at the same time in public, but only a handful of times. Isaac gets lots of public nursing experience whereas Margaret doesn't get quite as much, but she does nurse once in sacrament every week and once at library story time or the park or wherever we go out for the day.

So that's tandem nursing right now. I'm not any more tired than I would be having two kids. And it doesn't keep me from doing all my normal activities except when it takes an extra long time to get the kids to sleep, but even if I wasn't nursing, they'd be extra needy those days.

I've brought up the idea of weaning in conversation with Margaret a few times just to get her used to the idea, though I don't feel like weaning is necessary yet. Just a few, "When you're big, you won't nurse any more" comments. She knows she'll grow big like Mommy and Mommy doesn't nurse. It's out there as a vague idea for the future.

But she loves breast. Last week, I asked her what it tasted like.

"Chocolate."

4 comments:

  1. Love this post! I am triandeming and can relate so well. :) Thank you so much for sharing!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your experience. I love what toddlers say milk tastes like. A few weeks ago mine said it tastes like apple juice.

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  3. 11 months- Congratulations.

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  4. Thanks, Denise! Maybe I'll get to three, six, or however many years you did it. We'll see how this goes.

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