Thursday, January 20, 2011


What--you haven't seen the WWJD companion bracelet: WWYBD?

Of course not. Because I clearly made it up, and unfortunately, Jesus cannot help with this one...

What Would Your Breasts Do?

(Did you really just go there right after mentioning Jesus's name? Yup.)

Here's your innappropriate pun for the day: Felix doesn't suck. He bites.

I've mentioned it before, but Felix is a "sink your teeth in and grit your fangs around until your teeth touch and your Mama bleeds" biter. And it's not out of anger. I'm pretty convinced he thinks outside of feeling good on his gums, it's funny. Funny until Mom winces, screams, and rips you off...along with a chunk of tender flesh.

(You are welcome for the graphic visual.)

With the erruption of teeth #7 and #8 FINALLY underway, I was hoping that the biting would subside. Shoulders, legs, Miles's back, my chin...his mouth does not discriminate, and hasn't slowed down. (He's dubbed the "people eater" at childcare!) It is like this visceral need he has when he is excited. The bite is always preceeded by a smile, so it is hard to get angry at him, but it hurts. And telling him in a stern voice as I put my finger over his mouth "NO BITING" has done nothing but incite laughter. So now I do the gentle cheek squeeze (you know, making him the "chubby bubby face") and say "NO BITING." It hasn't helped, either. (Help?)

And I don't have a lot of tissue to be donating to his mouth; child #2 is already responsible for downgrading the mammary jungle gym to the size equivalent of 2 baby swings and a toddler slide (read: TINY). So, last night I stopped nursing at Felix's one (and mainly only) night waking.

Instead, I do what I call the "booty truffle shuffle": hold him in this horizontal fetal position where he sticks his bum out, and I cradle his neck, totally excacerbating his "tort neck." I'm pretty confident the position is what he was in during his 35 week vacation in my uterus as he has always managed to contort into the position from birth. It's just a little more awkward now that he is 1. And then I bounce and hum. I usually count to 111, and then do it again if he hasn't settled. And my thighs BURN. It's a ritual that I'm not thrilled with (collapsing onto the spare bed, popping him onto the boob, and falling asleep for 10 minutes while he nursed was FAR easier--until he realized he could bite in the middle of the night, too.)
And now I am grappling with what to do at bedtime and upon waking as any time he's offered, he will bite.
Peeps, it *hurts.* And I think I did some psychological damage again 2 nights ago when I yelped as he drew blood. He can't help it. Apparently we have a recessive vampire gene in my blood line.

But I think we're coming to the end. If you had told me I would pump longer than breastfeed, I would slap you in the face.

But my body cannot handle the biting anymore.

Miles lived to nurse...
Felix nursed to live...

And now that he thinks he is 1 going on 3, he's pretty much told me he's done. I knew we would probably never make it to 18 months like with Miles because Felix didn't do hours of comfort sucking. He was efficient. Pop on, pop off, get on with life. Too many people to see, girls to court, and other soft surfaces to bite.

And it was like once he hit 1 year, he read some sort of toddler manual that was like, "okay, today you take your first steps. Stop nursing like a baby, and start saying 'Mama' and blow kisses."

He doesn't really like bottles, either, never has. He is a "I want what HE has" kind of kid (ie, Miles's Tilty cups), and has been on his own Tilty cup for months. It makes the drama of "how to wean from breast and bottle" a whole lot easier...

...but will I go into mourning. A little over 1 year is a long time to breastfeed--part of me wishes it was longer. But I had to have an intervention between my mind, heart and nipples, and the truth is, pushing it and finding solutions to get him back nursing withough biting would purely be an attempt to satisfy my needs. His are pretty much already met.

Outside of December 2009 (I stopped nursing Miles on Thanksgiving 2009 after it sent me into the hospital with preterm contractions), I have been nursing since May 2008 when Miles was born. Folks, that's a long time! And even though my nursing relationship with Felix and Miles have been really different, they have both been so satisfying.

If we don't have any more children, the idea of never nursing again kind of makes me sad. Really sad.

(Anyone need a wet nurse? Just kidding!)

So, that's what I am contemplating and starting to grieve. At least Felix is making it easy and not really complaining.

And I still have a freezer full of milk that I can give him to provide the antibody benefits. And I've decided to pump one time a day still to give him a little extra Mother's Milk to get through cold and flu season. But I think I'm going to ditch the equipment, and go with mother nature's tools--the hand. I'm a hand expressing extraordinaire. Fewer parts to clean.

So I guess it really doesn't matter WWYBD, because mine have already made the decision: to remain intact. I don't blame them.


  1. Even all these years later, I can relate to the mourning involved with giving up nursing (no matter what the circumstances - you and I had a much more peaceful end). It's a loss of intimacy for sure, and as you've realized firm young woman's breasts are history. You will recover some "playground equipment", but it is never the same.
    Take joy in not having to wash all that pumping paraphernalia nor listen to that incessant milking cow sound, and most of all celebrate the delightful toddler Felix has become.
    There are not good solutions for need based biting. The cheek squeeze is what we used along with a firm "no", and you could try to add giving him a "teether" instead, but the immediate urge for him is stronger than any negative consequences. Once he's not teething so hurtfully, it should abate on its own. Do keep up the consequences, though. Poor victims (you chief among them) and poor him!

  2. Good for you, Ali! I am sure it is hard, but I am glad you are doing what is best for you!

  3. Whoa. Can I just say brava to nursing since May 2008!! I didn't realize that you have been nursing that long! Are you shocked to read that I haven't been thinking of your breasts- HA! Take all the time you need to mourn, I imagine it's similar to going through a break up.

  4. Wow! First of have totally hit one of my major nursing fears! Biting! I'm terrified about kyler getting his first tooth for that reason. Number two, you have been truly inspirational when it comes to nursing and have helped me SO much this year. So thank you. And three, I can totally relate to you being sad about ending your nursing time with Felix. I am going to be weaning at a year too, and I know it will be difficult. Thanks for sharing this.