Oh sweet Susanna Mae. She has been such a joy to my heart. I think I have this special little connection with her because she's my only girl, and she's the 2nd born like me. Two nights ago was Susanna's last night of "num num's or "nummas" as my kids started calling it as babies. I have been wanting to write this post but also dreading it in a way, because I know I'll probably cry. We had a rough start but we made it far. If you read my blog you know how important breastfeeding my babies is to me. I KNOW it's hard! My first two babies were no easy cases! BUT it's my TOP priority, and I make it through. Susanna seemed to nurse well immediately. It was so amazing to give birth to her, and then start nursing her before her cord was even cut. She latched on right away and looked into my eyes. She did well and got chubby quickly. But, when my milk came in fuller she had trouble keeping up, just as Story did. As a 2nd time mom, I was a bit more laid back in my approach. Ok, so I decided to take the complete opposite approach, remembering how sad and terrible it was for a long time with Story. I am very thankful that God has given me abundance to supply the needs of my babies, we'll start with that. I tend to have what they call a "forceful letdown" or and oversupply of milk. Story learned quickly that he hated to breastfeed because he would gag and choke every single time. With him I would lull him near to sleep then he'd suck gently and it would be OK, he'd eat. But I had to do this every single time. We spent a lot of time crying together those first 5 months. With Susanna, I decided no, if she gets hungry enough she'll eat, I am not going to put her to sleep. And that's exactly what the girl did. She wouldn't eat but every 4 or 5 hours and after that sometimes I have to really urge her to nurse. Well, she started to lose weight, and the Dr's were not happy. She got down to the 5th percentile for weight!! But we worked at it, and about that time she was big enough to be able to start handling my oversupply without choking. Eventually Susanna really loved nursing, and so did I. As soon as she could say words she'd say "num num." After that it turned into "nummas, oh God, hair down." I will explain. "oh God" is referring to a song that I sing her every night, so she wanted me to sing her that song while she nursed and played with my hair. That was her routine. :) It makes me smile to remember her saying "Nummas, oh god, hair down." Susanna, as many of you know didn't being to get ANY hair really until she was two! And even then it's taken awhile to grow in. I think that was part of why she always has loved my hair. I usually have long hair, and so she would play with my hair as she nursed.
When Noble was born I debated whether or not to wean Susanna. When she was born I weaned Story at 25 months because I actually felt at that time, that to keep nursing him would have been the selfish thing for me to do. I really wanted to nurse both kids, but I wanted a fresh start with Susanna and I wanted her to have that chance with Mamma. Well, you all know that our ideas and goals as parents change as we change. When Noble was born, I decide heck yes I want to nurse both babies. In fact, maybe it will help my milk supply to be easier to handle for the newborn! And I didn't feel selfish doing it. I felt like it was best for us all.
Awhile ago I decided that three was sort of my personal limit for breastfeeding. Susanna will be three in a little over a week! It's really hard for me to believe she's that big! Sweet little girl! At about 2 1/2 I found that Susanna was getting really demanding about her paci, so away it went, and she did great. Recently she has been getting really demanding about nursing too, and since she's almost 3, I felt it was good timing, and Scott agreed. So I talked with her about it for about a week, then told her Ok tonight is your last night. I held her in my lap for almost and hour (here is where the tears begin) and rocked her. I prayed over her, sang to her, and looked into her eyes. She played with my hair and smiled at me, as she's done for the last 3 years. Oh how I will miss you baby Susanna. I love you sweet girl.
Today Susanna picked out a special dress for "graduating nummas." She has asked to nurse about twice a day since that night. It's sad for me, but I know it's good, and she has done well.