You’re Doing WHAT??

on September 21 | in Extended Breastfeeding | by | with 117 Comments

[info_box]Guest Blogger #6: Dianthe Hall. dianthe (with a lower-case d) is Wifey to Kelley and Mommy to Sydney Jane (2) and Myles Emanuel (6 months) – in her spare time (ha-ha-ha!!!) she plans weddings, wastes time on Facebook and Google Reader, chronicles her life at OneOfThoseMoms.com and eats a LOT of ice cream![/info_box]

If you had told me 3 years ago that I would be nursing a toddler, I would have laughed in your face. If you had told me I would be tandem nursing a toddler AND an infant, I might have had you committed. But now that I’m in the thick of it, it might be me that’s headed to the loony bin.

When I first considered the prospect of tandem nursing it seemed easy enough. You’re already feeding one baby, so how hard could it be to feed one more?  Little did I know … there is a HUGE difference between breastfeeding a baby and breastfeeding a toddler!  Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a great experience and I don’t regret it at all. But I’m thinking, hoping, praying we’re headed towards the end.

Maybe I should start from the beginning.

There was never any question that I would breastfeed, but initially I only planned to nurse for 6 months.  I knew all about the recommendation to breastfeed for at least a year but my goal was 6 months.  Sydney and I hit our nursing groove almost immediately so when I hit the 6 month mark, I knew I could make it to a year … but that was it. There was no way I was going to be one of those crazy moms that breastfed walking and talking children!!


But in those next 6 months, something in me changed. And then I met a few of “those” moms. They weren’t hairy, unshowered, tree-hugging hippies. They were regular moms, just like me. And like me, they just wanted what was best for their kids. As Sydney’s 1st birthday approached, she began to wean herself from both the bottle and the pacifier and I figured she would wean herself from me fairly soon too. Our nursing relationship was still going really well, so 18 months became my new cutoff. But when Sydney was 16 months old, I found out I was pregnant.

Breastfeeding while pregnant was completely uncharted territory for me; and apparently, for almost everyone else too. Not only was I getting the “when are you gonna cut her off?” questions, there also seemed to be a big concern as to whether or not breastfeeding while pregnant was safe. My OB had given me the green light to continue breastfeeding, though she did warn me (as had a several friends) that there was a strong possibility that Sydney would self-wean due to the pregnancy related changes in my milk.

At first, I was happy to continue nursing.

Sydney and I had a good thing going and I wasn’t ready for her to quit nursing. But I did expect her to wean based on what everyone had told me. But not my girl!!!  My husband and I went on a 4 day Sydney-free vacay when I was 6 weeks pregnant and I thought that might be the end. But when we got back from Mexico, I don’t know who she was more excited to see: me or my breasts. And that’s when I knew I’d be tandem nursing!

Just in case you’re wondering, breastfeeding through pregnancy is no cake walk. Towards the middle of my pregnancy, I would not have been at all disappointed if Sydney had weaned. To say it was painful would be an understatement. If I could just get past the first minute after she latched on, I’d be okay. But that minute seemed to last an hour and it felt like shards of glass were being pulled through my nipples. I began to cringe every time Sydney asked to nurse. I would try and distract her but she had a one track mind. I had taught her the word nurse early on and she was NOT afraid to use it. And instead of nursing less, she seemed to nurse more and more.

On more than one occasion I considered forcing her to wean.

But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  It wasn’t like Sydney just wanted to nurse. It was as if she needed it. And the closer we got to my due date, the less I wanted to rock the boat. A new baby was going to be a big enough change for the Queen of the World and I didn’t want her to feel like I was abandoning her. And everything I’d read said that children who tandem nursed typically had close relationships with their siblings and I loved the way that sounded!  Plus, I’d actually had an oversupply the first time around and was looking forward to Sydney helping out with that. So outside of my own selfish needs, all I could see were positives – sure I’d be super tired – but who am I kidding?  I worked in morning radio for 6 years and I’d been a mom for the last 2 – how much more tired could I get?

Another tandem mama had suggested I read, Adventures in Tandem Nursing – and even though it had become my tandem nursing bible, I was still a little worried about how it would all play out – but as it turned out, my concerns were misplaced because the transition was seamless … at least in the beginning – I ended up nursing Sydney while I was in labor (which probably helped move things along – lol) and then a few hours later, I nursed Myles minutes after he was born (in the car!) – later that day i nursed Sydney for a few minutes when she came to meet Myles at the hospital (which I was told not to do, but whatever, I’m a rebel!) and then when we came home the next day, I just began to nurse them both – at first, I tried to nurse them simultaneously – the nursing part wasn’t difficult and it seemed to work for the kids, but I was never able to find a truly comfortable position.

So we began to take turns.

Sydney had no problems with the fact that Myles needed to eat first, and when the engorgement hit she was happy to take the foremilk so I could save the fatty hind milk for Myles. Even though she’s only 2, Sydney had no problems comprehending that her baby brother had to nurse because he couldn’t eat real food. Sure, sometimes she would ask Daddy to hold Myles knowing it would free mommy up to nurse. And sometimes she would ask me to put Myles in the swing because she knew she was next in line. But there never seemed to be any animosity towards Myles. She adores her brother and there haven’t been any problems on that front. The problem now is me.

In case you’ve never breastfed before, it takes a lot out of you … both physically and emotionally. In fact, it can be downright exhausting. So imagine what it’s like to breastfeed 2!  Those first couple of weeks, there were days when all I did was nurse – Kelley and I basically traded babies all day long and in between nursing sessions, I tried to remember to eat and sleep. Myles was still sleeping a lot and I was really engorged, so I would encourage Sydney to nurse for a few minutes “to take a little off the top” – plus it gave us some alone time that we might not have otherwise had, so I was okay with it. To be honest, I even enjoyed it – but I also assumed that at some point there would be an end in sight – and so far, that’s yet to be the case.

I’ve now been nursing Sydney for 28 months, and tandem nursing for 6 and she doesn’t seem to be any closer to weaning than she was a year ago – she still asks to nurse several times a day – and while it’s driving me crazy, I have to admit that she is quite polite about it (“Mommy, can I nurse?”). But she is also quite insistent:

“Mommy, can I nurse?”

“In a few minutes.”

“Mommy, can I nurse?”

“In a few minutes.”

“Mommy, can I nurse?”

“In a few minutes!”

“Mommy, can I nurse?”

“I SWEAR IF THIS CHILD ASKS ME AGAIN I’M GOING TO RIP MY ARM OFF AND USE IT TO BEAT MYSELF SENSELESS!!!”

As much as I would like for Sydney to wean, I still feel like I’m fulfilling an emotional need for her rather than merely a physical want – but I’m also starting to feel like there needs to be a light at the end of the tunnel

I am WAY touched out these days and Sydney has become even more touchy-feely if that’s possible. Unlike Myles, who is still content to be held and snuggled while we nurse, Sydney has to do the holding and snuggling – she has to move and reposition herself several times throughout our session and she has to touch me. Not just by resting her hands on me, but by fondling  my (jiggly) belly or arm or elbow or cheek or ear. And it can’t be over my clothes, it has to be actual flesh. Not good for a touched-out Mommy!  She’s also started to get a little lazy with her latch. It’s hard to explain the feeling and while it doesn’t hurt, it is irritating. If we get to the lazy latch point, I tell her that “Mommy’s going to count to 10” and then we’re done. Usually that appeases her, but sometimes it brings on a meltdown and then we have to nurse to calm her down – do you see the cycle?

Sydney also recently potty trained so she’s not sleeping as well as she had been and has taken to coming into our room at 2 or 3am and asking to nurse – and because nursing 2 babies all night long is more than I can currently handle, I’ve taken to lying to her. That’s right, I’m lying to a 2 year old to save my sanity. I either tell her that Mommy’s breasts need a rest (which is true) or that Mommy’s breasts need to make more milk (which is kind of true), so it’s not TECHNICALLY a lie, right?  Instead of nursing, I try to offer to hold her and sometimes that works – but usually when I tell her no, she gets upset and starts to cry which wakes up Myles – then I have to nurse him for at least a few minutes so he’ll go back to sleep which means Sydney still doesn’t get to nurse!! Another cycle. *sigh*

So where do we go from here?

Honestly, I have no idea. If it was up to me, Sydney would already be weaned and Myles and I would continue our perfect nursing relationship. It’s weird, but despite my being ready to end things with Sydney, I still feel like I could breastfeed Myles another year or so. I guess just like everything else with your kids, your nursing relationship is individual to each child. I wish it was as easy as just going cold turkey (which has been recommended to me), but I’m uncomfortable with that idea and I doubt it would work for us anyway. I’ve been told by all of my extended nursing mama friends that nursing is a 2-way relationship and that it has to work for all parties involved.

I’ve also been told that it’s okay to set limits and that it’s okay to tell Sydney “no”. Believe me, I’ve tried. I do a LOT of nursing til “Mommy counts to 10”.  I also tried to implement the “you can only nurse if you’re going to sleep” rule. But the only thing that has done is teach Sydney to say “Mommy, can I nurse?  I’m tired!!” Clearly this child is too smart for her own good!  I think if we could get it down to a session before nap time and bedtime and to calm the occasional tantrum, I’d be okay. But on the days when she is literally begging me to let her nurse all. day. long. Telling her no seems cruel and the guilt gets me every time. So for now, I’ll continue on and pray that I’m not inflicting irreversible damage on her fragile psyche (sarcasm) … and that she’ll wean before she turns 3!

NOTE FROM MOMMYPOTAMUS: Leave a comment below to help Dianthe win the Blog For Mommypotamus and Win Your Own Blog” Contest!

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117 Responses to You’re Doing WHAT??

  1. drunkenmommy says:

    dianthe, you are a superwoman! I don’t know how you do it, especially on 3 hours of sleep.

  2. Heather says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Dianthe! Having just begun the tandem nursing journey I read this post with intense interest. I appreciate how you depict your nursing relationship with Sydney and Myles as completely distinct. Even though I am barely a week into this I have already become aware of the complexities involved. There is my relationship to each child, my relationship to them as siblings, and their relationship to each other. Adding nursing in has so far both simplified AND complicated each dynamic!

  3. aria says:

    You’re crazy, but that’s why we love you! :)

  4. EMT says:

    I’m hairy & unshowered and I still couldn’t do it. :-)

  5. Kate C, says:

    Thank you for posting on a subject that is quite foreign to me. I’ve always said that tandem nursing is not something that I’m up for…..but I guess you did too! Who knows what will happen when we get to that point?? Never say never I guess….

  6. Morgan Mayes says:

    Oh.my.goodness. Reading this was like reading my own mind. I had always intended on extended breastfeeding, not thinking it odd to go close to two years old, and tandem nursing didn’t bother me in theory at all. Our first, Emma, was (wait a second, IS) a TOUCHER… Skin skin skin. Nurse nurse nurse. She’s finally down to stirring only 1 or 2 times a night, but up until she was 14 months old, she was waking 6+ times a night, normally just to nurse a little. I allowed myself to become her pacifier (much to the shock of my friends), which was so draining at times and yet felt so right. There were times when I resented it, the worst of which was right before a 5 day workshop I had to attend alone when she was around 14 months. Being away from her that long reminded me of why we were still nursing (her comfort, security, and our relationship…not nutrition) and that I couldn’t resent her for that! My friends said “She doesn’t need it anymore. She’s old enough for food.”… But she did (and does) still NEED it, but just not for nutrition. And I think it’s ok that she needs that.

    She was 11 months old when we found out we were pregnant again (weird, since we nurse ALL THE TIME, right? pregnant at 10 months. weird body). When my milk dried up, she started self weaning, and I thought ‘awesome, now I don’t have to worry about jealousy”….then my colostrum started producing. She looked up at me the first day “NUM NUM” and then nursing was back on…a lot.

    I debated weaning her before he was born, and then we picked up and moved (3 week notice) and lived with my in-laws for 6 weeks (woah), and then we were just 1 1/2 months from EDD…all those things made me feel like I shouldn’t wean THEN…so many stresses already, why push it? So we didn’t.

    Logan is 8 days old today. Emma wasn’t around a whole lot for the first couple days (she stayed with Grammy), so I was able to get settled into nursing with Logan (he’s a pro). The first night she was home my milk came in (porno boobs!), but I didn’t get engorged. Day two was another story, but in the morning Miss Toddler drained both right down. She’s having yellow diapers again and not wanting to eat much (milk filling her tummy I guess), but I’m not too worried. She hasn’t acted out against him yet, but at 19 months it is hard to explain that if she just waits a minute, she can have “stack” next… (it was going to be ‘snack’, but she changed it and now I’ve got 2 ‘stack’…). I’ve done 2 naptimes (without daddy to help this weekend) alone, and both have gone really well. Nighttime she’s weaned and daddy helps her back to sleep if she wakes. Mornings are interesting (this morning I was side nursing Logan, and she was laying up the side of my body to nurse the other side), and she asks for ‘stack’ a lot during the day. Mostly I’m trying to distract her, because I’m holding him so much and can’t, and I’m also trying to make it more of an occasional thing.

    I also did the ‘only in bed’ thing…. and she proceded to pull me upstairs, lay down on the pillow and yell out “STACK!!!” with a big grin…

    Anyway, lots of comments, but this post was SO what I’m living right now. I had to share back.

    • dianthe says:

      one thing i was very surprised at is that Sydney has not reacted negatively to Myles’ nursing at all – she knows that he has to nurse first and that they have to take turns – she will ask me if he’s finished – and the second he closes his eyes, she deems him “asleep” and asks if i can put him in his bed – but no reactions to Myles at all! good luck! we need it! :)

  7. Rena says:

    Oh Lord I would rip my arm out too. LOL

  8. Tiffany says:

    As someone who is struggling just to nurse 1 right now – your “shards of glass” analogy gives me hope that I can handle a few cracks and exhaustion.

    • dianthe says:

      i had some cracks with Myles and discovered it was because of his latch – he had a good latch but i was holding him too low – i bailed on the Boppy because he was so big but that caused me to hold him too low – once i brought him up higher, it solved the problem – and to heal the cracks, i rubbed breast milk on them and slept topless (lots of air) – they were healed in a couple of days! also, if you’re having any problems with breastfeeding, check kellymom.com – it is my “go to” for all things breastfeeding!

  9. Sarah says:

    Too funny!
    I thought I’d be tandem, too, but my daughter stopped nursing a couple weeks ago. Guess my new little boy will have me all to himself. :)

  10. [...] head over to her blog and read my post about tandem nursing – then post a comment! then when i win (positive tyhinking!!), every time you read my fancy, [...]

  11. Jeanne says:

    You’re a Rockin’ Mama! I nursed both mine for 3.5 years each, but I managed to get ds weaned while I was pregnant, due to a medication issue, that I later found out was no big deal. But, since he’d weaned easily already, I only felt a little guilty about it. I had given him 3.5 years, after all! :lol

    I would say, 6 years later, the jealousy is in full force, though I’m thinking anyone who knocked him off his princely throne would have been in the same position, whether they nursed or not.

    I think tandem nursing is still a fine idea if you can do it, for all the reasons you mentioned, and also because it helps keep both kids healthier. My kids were barely ever sick, and when they do catch anything from school now, they hit it “out of the park” in no time. I really think it helped them, especially since they were both allergic to cow dairy. I’d already heard it wasn’t good to give them too much soy, so other than goat dairy, they got their Mama’s milk, and a whole lot of human skin to skin contact, which I think humans need a lot of.

    If you are getting touched out, then you might need to find ways of getting time to take a walk, or go sit by yourself and have a cup of coffee or tea, or get your hair done, or a pedicure, and relax while a trusted person handles kids.

    No one can be on 24/7, and that’s exactly what you’ll end up doing, if you don’t get yourself out of there.

  12. Tina says:

    Way to go for sticking it out. I would have given up long ago.

  13. 2girl_mom says:

    Imagine my surprise when one of my favorite bloggers and radio personality (dianthe) is featured on one of my newest favorite blog sites! This has to mean it is going to be a great day!

  14. Virginia says:

    Dianthe, I think you are crazy but sure do love reading about it!

  15. amie says:

    it’s your unabashed honesty that keeps people coming back to you for advice. it’s love, but it’s certainly not easy!

  16. Penny says:

    You iz crazy. :-) I’d collapse in a heap of exhaustion if I had your life. I have no idea how you do it! But it clearly works for you and those adorable kiddos! :-)

  17. shannon says:

    Wow! you’re blog made so much sense and is so well written! :) I hope it works for you and if it doesn’t you can find a good way to end it with Syndey. She sounds like a blast though!! (I’ve started the 10 minutes for 10 days, 9 minutes for 9 days, etc method for my son and it’s gone well so far, but he’s very laid back) thanks for sharing. I’d love to hear your birth story of the car!!! (and myles as well) :)

  18. Jen R. says:

    Wow, kuddos to you for tandem nursing! I was going to try doing this, but my little guy got frustrated about the drop in milk supply during pregnancy and weaned. Overall, I’m happy about it and am glad I’m just nursing my newest little guy. But I’m in awe of the mamas that tandem nurse. Great job!

  19. Megan says:

    I admire you – crazy and all!

  20. Lynds says:

    I used the “like pulling shards of glass through my nipples” to describe nursing during pregnancy, too! For what it is worth, my daughter was 25 months when her sister was born. She nursed for another two years or so. And, yes, I did the nurse-until-the-count-of-ten thing. I also recognized that it was a need rather than a want and that is what kept me going. Keep it up, dianthe! You’re doin’ great!

  21. Allyssa says:

    After 18 mos, I ended our nursing relationship because I wasn’t happy with it anymore. I admire your resiliency and wish you luck in the weaning process. I hated weaning, but was so happy with the results in my own life. Each mom has to figure out what works best for herself and her child/ren, and its not always an easy process, so I wish you much luck!

  22. sars says:

    D – only because it’s you do I not think this is weird. Anyone else, though. I breastfed until I was 21 months old & my mom says that’s why I am so funny.

  23. Dianna says:

    Thank you for sharing! I can’t imagine doing it but I think you are amazing for doing it!

  24. Debbie says:

    I really appreciate your post. My 3 kids all weaned themselves around a year to year and a half. But my heart was always to make sure that they were welcome to nurse. I love how dedicated you are to your daughter’s heart. I just wanted you to know that I think you are a really special mom. I know none of us are perfect, but how can you fail when you child’s heart is a priority in your life.

    praying that you find moments to be refreshed and “untouched” ;-)

  25. Lety says:

    I love reading your blogs and miss you on KKITM! Being a mom is no easy task but I think you are doing great! I wish you the best in your tandem nursing journey!

  26. Amy says:

    Well written and informative from someone who only gets 3 hours sleep! So jealous. I appreciate you sharing your experience. I think you are SuperMom!

  27. Valerie says:

    I’m on my second round of tandem nursing with baby number 3. The first two tandemed nursed for over a year. Now the middle and the baby (almost 6 months) has been nursing for that long (6 months). So it’s tandem nursing – round 2. Congrats on what you are doing and welcome to the jungle. =)

    • Heather says:

      Welcome to the jungle – LOVE THAT!

    • dianthe says:

      Round 2?? you’re my idol!! i’m trying to talk my husband into a 3rd baby but the thought of tandem nursing again? i’m beginning to feel faint … ;)

      • Valerie says:

        It gets easier and then harder then easier. =) Then all of a sudden you have friends over (who are not even used to being around breastfeeding moms) and you start nursing both kids. The look on their faces and your own casualness about it makes for a pretty interesting situation. =)

  28. Rebecca says:

    What will happen when you have #3?!

  29. Kim says:

    I don’t know how you do it! I love to hear your point of view on things. Us mommies go through a lot fot the same things…even when we feel like we are the only ones.

  30. Wendy says:

    Love, love, love reading your blog! Hope you win, Dianthe

  31. Sarah says:

    I had children young and was never interested in breast feeding. If I would have been better informed I am sure I would have made different choices!!!! My children do not have any problems, but I wonder sometimes if I would have a different relationship with them if I would have breast fed.

    • dianthe says:

      i have often said that if i’d had children when i was younger, there’s no way i would have nursed this long – my friends that had kids young all nursed for 6 weeks – that’s what we thought was the norm – it’s all about what you know!

  32. Celeste says:

    Dianthe and the Mommypotamus, even though I’m single and only 20 years old… you girls are such an inspiration to me. I feel as both are like mothers, because I would never talk so openly to my mom about breastfeeding, but it feels so comfortable with both of you. I read both blogs daily, anxious to hear what these babies are doing. Can’t wait to be married and have kids in the future!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Celeste – Your comment is just about the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me on Mommypotamus! You know, I didn’t know anything about breastfeeding until a woman a few years older than me talked about it during my college psych course. What she shared changed everything about how I parent and I never even told her!

    • dianthe says:

      awww!! you’re so sweet – that brought tears to my eyes! if i’d had a baby when i was 20, i would have done things MUCH differently – i just didn’t know then what i know now – just file it all away for future use – one day, you’ll be an amazing wife and mother!!

  33. I always said I could never tandem. I just don’t think I have it in me. I’m hoping that by the time No. 2 comes along, my son is so big it won’t even be an issue. Although he’ll be 3 in December and is still nursing. Sigh.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Elita – Thanks for commenting! I love/admire/read your blog and can’t believe you’re actually HERE (although I’m not surprised . . . Dianthe rocks). I may take a screenshot and ask you to sign it ; – )

  34. Michelle says:

    You’re crazy, chica!!!

  35. Daisha says:

    Diante,

    Wow! An amazing story & journey you are on!! I have been nursing Savannah now for 16months and I’m still trying to figure out how to wean her…your story kinda of scares me to thinking there will NEVER be an end, however I do feel like I have developed a bond that is so warm & loving between us, and I’m giving her the best possible start of a healthy life. I wish you the best of luck! Thanks for sharing!!

  36. Anna says:

    Holy milk flow batman! You are for sure incredible. I nursed #2 while pregnant with #3 and for about 2 months after #3 was born. I totally did a no, no trick and bought a huge bag of the dum dum lollipops – Everytime #2 wanted to nurse (he was 3 at this point), I gave him a dum dum instead. After about 4 days he just quit asking to nurse and I think got sick of the dum dums. To this day (he is 13) he doesn’t like lollipops.

  37. Lisa says:

    WOW! i wanted to nurse for a year but i only made it 6 week but only bc i could not pump enough and i had to go back to work:( So again i cay WOW! You are amazing!

    • dianthe says:

      nursing is SO hard for working moms – when i was working, i couldn’t get away to pump – i pumped in the morning while i did my hair and makeup, ate oatmeal while i was at lunch and then pumped the second i walked through the door – after 8 hours with no nursing or pumping, my breasts would feel like boulders and i’d be leaking all over the place – and don’t even get me started on the pain!

  38. Kerry says:

    Dianthe,
    You are amazing! I tried to nurse through my pregnancy but I just couldn’t produce the milk. My son began losing weight (he was only 6 months) and I had to go cold turkey with him. Not my plan at all! Good luck and I will be looking forward to seeing what happens!

  39. Rachel says:

    As always I enjoyed reading your blog. I only have one child so tandem nursing was never something that I personally experienced. In fact, my daughter never BF due to a few reasons. I am however a strong supporter of BF and extended BF and now have even more “ammo” to support my cause when I get into debates!

  40. mnr says:

    Oh Lordy!!! Dont know how you do it!! Oh wait…you’re my crazy White sister : ). Hang in there!!!! You know who the boss is inthat house!!

  41. K Ruhmann says:

    Love your blogs Dianthe! Loved you on KissFM, can’t get enough – your stories are wonderful

  42. Mica says:

    I definitely admire you, but I also think you’re crazy! I have an almost 5-month-old, and the clock is ticking for his nursing era. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can get to 6 months! I guess I’m not one of ‘those’ moms!

    • dianthe says:

      of course you’re one of “those” moms – you’re either one of those that *only* made it to 6 months or one of those that made it *all the way* to 6 months – it’s all about perspective – either way, you’ve done a great job!!

  43. Jennifer says:

    WOW! You are super-woman! I guess it would be a little like nursing twins except they aren’t the same size. Maybe you could just eventually tell Sydney that the milk is slowing down and since baby Myles can’t eat regular mil, you have to save it for him. Good luck! I can’t wait to see how you pull yourself out of this one! Jenn

  44. Paula says:

    love dianthe and her “occasional” blogs :) bet if she had a new site she’s post everyday!!

  45. Em says:

    Dianthe, thanks so much for sharing this. Nursing a toddler and tandem nursing are topics many people don’t talk about, even if they do it. I have a feeling I’ll be taking on the challenge someday, and knowing I won’t be alone is hugely helpful. That’s also why I’m still active in our La Leche League chapter- preparing for future toddler nursing :) Thank you!

  46. Melinda says:

    Oh Dianthe I had no idea! No wonder you’re always tired!! I only got to breastfeed my daughter for a short while due to health issues & I’ve always felt robbed of that special bond we could have continued to build. I admire you for letting Sidney do it for so long, but I don’t think I would have ever lasted this long! Good luck girl! : )

  47. Stephanie says:

    I love your blog Dianthe! You are super-mom!

  48. Lori says:

    You are Wonder Woman!!

  49. Eva says:

    Dianthe–your story reminded me of when I breastfed my children. However, I did not breastfeed two at one time, I was so exhausted hearing the details you shared with us! Thank you for the story, was very interesting to read and I ALWAYS enjoy your blog!!!

  50. Star Hill says:

    Dianthe you are so selfless which I know is harddddd
    for a Cancer! I think you should allow yourself to wean her
    and know that’s it’s ok and she’s ok. That just may be
    her crutch to insure she doesn’t get left behind in the shuffle.
    Just makes sure she knows she will always be your first true love
    at first sight. Myles won’t change that and neither will
    baby # 3. You have to leave enough of you for your marriage
    and yourself in order to be good to anyone.
    You’re my idol ;)

  51. Margit says:

    So let’s see…Sydney is a girl that knows what she wants, and goes after it. This will serve her very well in life. It’s like she reminds me of someone else who doesn’t capitalize her name.

  52. Amy Hook says:

    I am tired just reading about all the nursing! Keep up being the great mommy that you are.

  53. Anne Marie says:

    WOW! I breastfed 3 kids (not all at once=) ) All three kids are 3 years apart . The best advice anyone could give you is to be consistent. She is too old to slowly wean. She Is old enough to offer rewards (this is coming from a Kindergarten teacher). Think about offering small stuff from a party store every time she can follow through with not bugging you. She now needs another “thing” to comfort her. Maybe a new special stuffed animal?

    Don’t make the mommy guilt bring you down…you have done more than anyone could ask you to do…Be a strong Momma!

  54. Lupita says:

    Good Luck!

  55. Jo Jo says:

    LOVED IT!!!! Thank you SO much for sharing!!!!

  56. What a GREAT post! It’s so nice to know I’m not alone :)… Isn’t it funny how we all make plans in our head, and then life seems to direct us on a different course. I keep telling myself I’m going to stop planning and just go w/ the flow. Easier said than done! It’s so great to hear about the pros of this and watch you considering Sydney’s needs over just yours. I would also love it if you win this contest because your blogs crack me up.

  57. kate saab says:

    This sounds just like me and my babies! I have a 26 month old daughter and a 2 month old son (with birthdays four days apart). I had my daughter only nursing before naps and bed until my son was born and then she went back to nursing a little more often for a couple weeks. Now we are back to when she wakes up, before nap, and before bed. My pediatrician told me to have her weaned by the time my son is 3 months or “she will think she is still a baby and not progress” – Whatever!? That is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard! As tired as I get of nursing her sometimes, I dread the day she is weaned. She is growing up too fast! But I totally know what you mean about the “lazy latch”! Soooooo irritating! I never thought I would tandem nurse either :). I read your birth story, by the way – way to go! Such an amazing birth! Dr. Cindy helped deliver my first baby- she’s the best!

  58. Dawn Jones says:

    Dianthe – You seem to be a wonderful mommy! You always try and do what is best for your children. I don’t know how you manage to be able to nurse 2 kids!! Keep up the good work! I always look forward to seeing that you posted a new entry!!

  59. Monica McHaney says:

    Dianthe, I think your such a great mom and person. I have followed your blogs since your days on KKITM. I work for WIC and we promote BF as much as possible. If only all our moms could do as you have and breastfeed. You are an inspiration. Breast is best, Every ounce counts, even at Sydney’s age!!

  60. Kristie White says:

    Love love your blog…it’s so fun to read up on everything that’s going on in your life. Your kids are precious by the way!! Keep the posts coming!

  61. Mika says:

    Wow! You’re a better woman than I! Way to stick with it :)

  62. piTA says:

    i read all your blogs.. most times i sit in my office and laugh to myself with the occasional tear. but this morning.. i sat here thinking omg shes hit a whole new level of craziness. i dont know how you do it. just sitting here reading, my boobs hurt. and you’re thinking of #3… ESTAS LOCA!!! lol

  63. Breanna says:

    when i have kids i want to breastfeed too but idk about almost 24 months! lol maybe who knows….life has it’s own plans! love you D! :)

  64. Amanda says:

    Oh goodness! I was exhasuted after breastfeeding my twins for 2 months, and remember the soreness of it all. I can not imagine still doing it for a toddler..OUCH!

  65. Sharon says:

    This sounds like an awesome adventure, and your children will cherish this special time that they had with you when they get older. Best wishes to you

  66. alexis ramirez says:

    Hey you are burning alot of calories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  67. Sarah says:

    Wow girl, you are my hero. Sydney and Myles are two lucky kiddos.

  68. Amy R. says:

    dianthe–while I was reading this, I kept thinking “I hope she sent this to Kellie Rasberry.” It’d probably make her throw up just reading it. lol. (Is she still totally grossed out by bfing?)
    Like you, I never dreamed I would nurse a child through toddler-hood. Nursing a newborn and a sweet little infant, yes. I couldn’t imagine nursing a child who was old enough to run around all over the place and climb play structures or lift up my shirt to ask for it. I certainly couldn’t picture having a child who would actually reach into my bra for self-service. ha! But here I am nursing child #4. I have been pregnant and or nursing my 4 children for 7 yrs now. (Only one is nursing currently.) My 14 month old is an active little girl who has loves PBJ with a little milk to wash it down. She doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to give it up. I am looking forward to the day I can reclaim my breasts as my own, but for now I am happy to use them for the purpose for which they were intended. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I entertain the thought of making them “perky” again once it’s all over though. ;-)

  69. Kirsten says:

    I think it’s so interesting and I love hearing you talk about it. But I don’t envy you! Ha.

  70. Tammy says:

    I love you, your a great Mom! Keep on doing whacha doing. I’d still be nursing my 8 yr old, if she had it her way, she was 2.5. Hugs from Fort Worth!

  71. Kelly says:

    I have completely lost track of how many things I’ve ended up doing that I said I would NEVER do. Funny how that happens! :)

  72. April says:

    This is so Awesome! I love reading anything you write. With a 12 year old and a 2 year old it really brings back memories of what I have already been through and what is around the corner! Your great!

  73. Ok, so I have a question and this may be WAY too personal to ask, but you also don’t have to respond. All you Mommy’s that do tandem nursing, it would seem to me that you would be on “touch overload” and “sensory” overload due to SOO much contact. I realize its sweet, but I also know that toward the end of my year long adventure of nursing, I got a bit weary of being “the boob”. So my question is, how have you been able to maintain closeness with your husband? Especially when two people are demanding SO much from you.

    • Heather says:

      Kathryn – I can’t answer for everyone, but I will say that I have been feeling very “touched out” in my first couple of weeks as a tandem nursing mom. Katie wants to nurse as often as my newborn, which is a huge 180 from just a few weeks ago. I know it is part of how she is coping with Micah’s arrival, but it’s really challenging for me! With that said, my relationship with my husband is somehow totally separate. It’s almost embarrassing how much I look forward to getting the “green light” to end our postpartum celibacy : )

  74. Great article. Really enjoyed reading it!

  75. Chrishawn Phillip says:

    Dianthe,
    I have been a huge fan of yours since your KKITM days! I love reading your blogs and admit I LOL while reading most of them! I love your whit and honesty to say what’s on your mind. You have a warm heart and a selfless spirit. While I’m not a mama yet, I hope to be one day and aspire to be as dedicated as you are to your children. Good Luck and I hope you win!

  76. Sarah says:

    I am late to the game but have been following along. I didn’t tandem nurse but did nurse my daughter until she was 19 months. I always said I would let her self wean but I too was getting touched out. I very slowly started weaning her from each session until we were down to one, the one before we start the bedtime routine. She was losing interest in nursing fast at this point and I eventually stopped offering and she didn’t ask. I couldn’t believe the last time was behind me and it was actually a lot easier than I had envisioned. The last one before that that I dropped was the middle of the night.

    I look back now and often miss it but I am also happy that we had such a long wonderful nursing relationship for so long and have such a wonderful bond still. Good luck with whatever ends up happening on the nursing front with Sydney. I commend you for sticking it out for so long.

    I second the kellymom forum for great gentle approaches to nursing and parenting. That place is a wealth of information.

  77. kelley says:

    dianthe, you are an amazing woman! i think you are a superhero or something! reading your blog inspires me to want to be a better mom! i hope you win the contest!!!!!!!

  78. Amy says:

    that’s it…..you are SUPERMOM!! I love you, girl!

  79. angie says:

    you are an amazing mother! your babies are so lucky to have you. you know i only nursed 8 weeks with bri and 5 with cason and honestly at the time the doctors just said as long as you try to make it to 6 weeks your are golden. anyway! i hope you win honey! love you!

  80. Motherof2whew says:

    I nursed both girls for a year. Cece could’ve gone longer….but my supply was less with Pax. All I can say is God bless your breasts and the doctor that will make them perky again! ;)

  81. kellie says:

    I’m just wondering where you found the time to write this blog!! Always love to read what you write. Will you take over for me, too? XO

  82. Carlos says:

    Dianthe, this is an awesome task and I don’t envy you! Your perspective in invaluable though for moms in similar situations.

  83. Angela B. says:

    My goodness, Dianthe. I agree with the posters above. You are Supermom…with boobs of steel. :)

  84. JBall says:

    Dianthe,
    You are super mom. I had four kids and didn’t nurse one; it hurt!!!!
    So my hat’s off to you.

  85. Sister says:

    WOW Donatello…………YOU ARE BEYOND AWESOME! Thanks for taking such good care of my niece & nephew! :)

  86. Jess says:

    I’ve always wondered the details of how mamas make this work. You are an amazing mama!

  87. Tara says:

    Dianthe
    THANK YOU for sharing this part of your life and mommyhood with us. WOW, I get irritated when my lil ones make me stop doing something to get them a sippy cup of milk. ;) Good luck, it sound like your kids have an OUTSTANDING mommy! Hugs from Texas, Tara

  88. Danea says:

    Dianthe you ARE superwoman!! And I always love hearing your stories, you’re a great writer!!

  89. Joana says:

    You’re a rockstar mom! It sure feels like forever when you’re in the thick of it but some day sooner than we will believe, it will all be a distant memory.

  90. Jamie says:

    I think u are supermom! Thanks for sharing your story!

  91. Gigi says:

    Girl, I don’t know how you do it, but I am amazed. Like others said you are a rockstar :)

  92. Angie Miller says:

    you are carxy, but good for you for even attempting this! not even sure how you do it !

  93. Amanda says:

    Wow! I couldn’t make it past 4 months, 3 times. Congrats & good luck. Amazing. Keep up the Rockstar Mom status.

  94. [...] winner of our amazing blog contest, with 90 unique commentors on her post, You’re Doing What?,  is Dianthe Hall. That’s one influential [...]

  95. Vickey says:

    You’re one tough woman. I think it’s great.

  96. Katy says:

    I’m totally living this too. My son is SUCH a toucher…I found once I was tandeming, I had to lay down some boundaries. He likes to play with the other nipple while he nurses and that was making my skin crawl and I was getting angry…not the way I want our nursing to be. So, I had to end that. It helps that my daughter is on the other boob most of the time. I also night weaned while I was pregnant–it was fairly painless, and though now he has regressed and comes into our room asking to nurse in the night, I just stayed firm on the “we don’t boo at night time” anymore. I think your lie about the boobs needing rest is actually not a lie…YOU do need rest. I am torn and guilty like you, but I also am aware that when I can’t stand nursing him, it’s not really giving off the vibe I want him to feel when I’m nursing! So I have set the boundaries that allow me to do it without being resentful. It’s so hard. I too find myself hoping he’ll give it up but I see no sign of that!

  97. [...] i wasn’t going to be nursing a toddler – and definitely not tandem nursing!  and who would have thought i’d be sitting my baby boy on the toilet before he could [...]

  98. Heather says:

    Hi, my name is Heather! Please email me when you can, I have a question about your blog!

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