Breast Milk Lemonade

November 21st came and went. Nary a tear was shed by moi. In fact, I didn’t realize that yesterday was my day – even as I watched a commercial for the new Exodus: Gods & KingsExodus movie (nice timing 20th Century Fox!).

Look at that!

This, people, we call acceptance and closure.

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Celebrating the big O-N-E October 12th, 2014

For those of you who did not read my last blog post, my delicious little thirteen month old boy – who was an avid nurser and exclusively breastfed baby – stopped nursing, cold turkey, on October 12th at 11pm. After running around like a chicken without a head and not knowing if this was a nursing strike or just the end of an era, I decided I needed to pick an end date and prepare to move on.

That date was yesterday.

I chose the date November 21st – which was 40 days and 40 nights later because it sounded round and good. Right, Moses?

Truth be told, after using my beloved pump for a month and unsuccessfully trying to keep my supply up in case he returned, I gave up. Bless its little sucka sucka Little Engine That Could heart, my milk supply plummeted and I had to let it go.

And I am OK.

I am.

I am surprisingly OK.

It was extremely helpful having an end date in my mind and I thank all of my friends who suggested it.

I can move on now.

My little baby has become a little man in the last month. He is about to walk, he is using a fork, he knows exactly what he wants and he even started nodding ‘yes’ and ‘no’ like a little oracle. In fact, a few days ago I asked him if he was over nursing and he nodded ‘yes’. Then he smiled somewhat condescendingly at me, like it was time for me to move on too.

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I felt at that moment, he gave me closure.

This was not a strike. He was done.

He was not going to cross the picket line.

I should also mention I asked him if he had pooped and he nodded, I went to change his diaper and upon opening it and seeing no poop he started laughing maniacally. This kid has got some sense of humor!

So why lemonade?

While this was not what I wanted, I have to look at the positive side of it. I must admit so many positive things have happened once I decided to move on:

1. I’ve taken all of my nursing bras and shirts out of my dresser, making room for the new clothes I bought as a gift to myself for the good effort (although I refuse to give up my Glamourmom tanks which are the perfect length (past tush) and have a super supportive shelf bra – they are seriously the most perfect tanks on Earth. It’s cold people: layer, layer, layer).

2. I can finally use cream to get rid of my stretch marks, which I wholeheartedly don’t expect to work at all, but a girl can dream… War wounds my arse.

3. My boobs look fantastic! I’m completely fine announcing this to the world. In fact, you should really look next time you see me. As someone who has fought body image issues my whole life because of the size of my breasts, I can finally say they look great! After nursing my daughter they just got bigger and (fill in a negative adjective of your choice) but now, I feel like I’ve got myself a nice pair. Like the ideal reduction minus the co-pay and recovery time.

4. My hair, which is still falling out by the fistful, looks fantastic thanks to my new Healthilocks hair products.

5. I can go into the city for holiday events and let someone else put my son to sleep.

6. I can take my daughter to events and spend the whole day in the city without feeling engorged.

7. I can sleep late on the weekends! (Thanks honey!)

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Having fun at the KidzVuz Holiday Party!

I even changed my health insurance due to a “change of life” event (OK, not for this reason but I appreciate the theme) and I finished a huge bottle of moisturizer – which is a big deal in my house because I am a complete skin care junkie and finishing a bottle of moisturizer so I can try a new one is a big deal for me. If you are like me you totally get that too.

In conclusion, renewal all around. Too bad it’s not the Spring.

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In Rome, April 2013

The saddest part for me was that my son didn’t seem to want to cuddle with me anymore. But thank goodness, I can happily say that returned. Cuddling 2.0 – we read books and snuggle. Equally delicious, just without the libation. Plus he is really, really into hugging me right now (yay!).

Would I trade it all in for my son to start nursing again? In a heartbeat. However, I’m OK and accept that he is just not that into me (and by me I mean my milk… he is actually quite fond of me).

I don’t think I will ever know why he stopped nursing. Whatever “virus” he may have had is long gone, the teeth I anticipated popping out never came, I just don’t know. I still find it so weird that something between 7 pm – after a full day of nursing – and 11 pm, when he woke up screaming, caused him to stop. But he is OK, growing and healthy – and in the end that is all that matters.

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Cue the music.

In the great words of Jesse Frederick:

When you’re lost out there and your all alone
A light is waiting to carry you home
Everywhere you look.

Published by The Mint Chip Mama

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (10, 6, and 4). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. Stacey is also an active PTA member (and former president) as well as a Girl Scout troop leader. Her musings on motherhood, Manhattan, the suburbs, and more can be found here and on Facebook at The Mint Chip Mama. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. For more updates, follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

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