28 April 2011

My Body, My Temple

This post is part of The Peaceful Housewife's Natural Parenting Blog Party.
The Peaceful Housewife

For the past 3 years, I have been either pregnant or nursing (or both). Though this has been a time-consuming experience, I believe I am immensely blessed to have been able to nourish two other life-forms continuously for so long. I thank my body every day for the work it has done to ensure the health of both of my children, but it has been a long time since I knew my body as only my own.

My original goal for each child I would have was to nurse for a year and then take it from there. My belief was that the child would self-wean when desired and that would be it. Unfortunately, that did not work out with my first daughter who was forced to wean when my milk ran out during pregnancy. I think she was looking for milk, not colostrum, so the day it was no longer what she wanted was the last day she nursed. She cried and I felt like a failure. It was because of the anguish I felt at not being able to nurse her for at least a full year that my resolve to nurse her sibling as long as possible was strengthened.

When my second bundle was born, I knew what to do. I pumped excess when I could and froze it so that I would always have enough. I made sure to nurse her frequently, she slept with me, and when I went back to work part-time, I pumped (something I did not do previously). I also made sure to drink water consistently all day long and eat as many times a day as I could remember. Whatever I did, it worked and I have successfully nursed her past 1 year.

Last Easter
Now that my goal has been met, I feel a little odd. I have been allowing her to have control over the nursing relationship and with that control, she has gone down to nursing only once a day, in the morning when she wakes. It has been very gradual, getting to this point, but it brings the close of this relationship into light. I know that it is only a matter of time before I am no longer providing nutrition for her and though I prepare myself for it every day, I still have very mixed feelings. I look forward to having my body belong solely to me again, but I also feel like maybe I didn't try hard enough to keep nursing, knowing that the full benefit of breast milk extends well into the second year.

Whatever happens, whenever it happens, I will work with it. My body is my temple and I have been fortunate enough to share it with two children, giving myself to them the way mothers have for centuries. When this second nursing experience concludes, I will still be a mother. I will still make breakfast, change diapers and focus my energy on things that matter. Though my temple will no longer be physically open to rejuvenate the stomach, it will still serve as a place of worship, a place with welcoming, open arms and a place where each child can go to receive comfort and stability. 


  1. Well said! Just because the nursing relationship will be over, doesn't mean you will no longer have anything important to offer your child(ren). They do/and will continue to recieve so much nuturing and comfort from you. The care and love that a mother provides is irreplaceable!

  2. I love your final paragraph! You've done such an awesome job, mama!

  3. Love it. Elsa weaned herself at 12 months 2 weeks, and then I got pregnant with Dixie when she was about 15 months old. Dixie still nurses right before bed, so this is something that has been on my mind too. I am ready to have my body back, but I have left her in control. It is bittersweet from all perspectives.

  4. Thank you Charise!

    I was wondering about that Terry (how Dixie was doing) so thanks for answering my question :) You're doing everything right :)

  5. Thanks Amanda haha glad I could answer that question for you.