Attachment parenting, Breastfeeding, Parenting

The day my booby monster baby went on strike

11 December, 2011

We are at Singapore airport, killing 12 hours before the next leg of our flight to New Zealand. I have been dreading this flight- Ramona’s first, and what an epic one to begin with- thinking it would probably be fine, but if it was bad it would be INSANELY AWFUL. So far, it hasn’t been that. Phew. She has mostly slept.

We are immensely excited about this trip to Tim’s homeland; Ramona’s first meeting of many family members, including her Grandad and newly minted cousins. We also get to escape the bleak midwinter to bask in glorious sunshine and swim in cooling lakes.

However there is something a little bittersweet about it, as it marks the end of my maternity leave. The week we return to England in January is the week I return part time to work, and where Tim steps in for Daddy Daycare half the week. Splitting the parenting exactly in half is ideal, don’t you think? But I still feel quite heartbroken thinking about it.

This last week has already heralded a  transitional period for Ramona, since turning one she is becoming much more a child and much less a baby. She is speaking words and less dependant on me for things like sleep – which everyone always told me was the reason I shouldn’t breastfeed to sleep. In fact right now she is not nursing at all. I am pretty sure we have entered a full blown nursing strike.

Before I began breastfeeding I always assumed I’d just do “the norm” – be that a few months or whatever. If you had told me back then that I’d be upset when at 12 months old Ramona would stop nursing I would have found that massively odd.  “Nursing a baby over one year is just a bit too keen” I would have said.

But it has now been 24 hours since her last nurse in the dead of night and 36 since her last concious nurse and it is really quite devastating. She is completely uninterested. It is an abrubt, unexpected rejection of breastfeeding that is leaving me with painful lead boobs the size of the packed parachutes under our seats. And I am totally gutted. I miss her. And she is right here with me. My brain is on overdrive wondering what could be happening and my heart aching with the prospect that she might never nurse again.

I should get off this lovely free computer for another session in the loo hand expressing into her Tomee Tipee cup.

So sad.


So. I hit SAVE DRAFT instead of PUBLISH and am now on the other side of the world  and joyously on the other side of the strike. About 4 hours after I wrote this post she just accepted one of the millions of offers and calmly nursed as if “yeah, actually, I could do with a dash of milk right now, thanks!” I almost cried with relief. And now she is nursing just the same, in fact today she is on a bender. What was the story? Her bunged up nose and cough?  Her upset at me leaving her for an hour while I went to the dentist? I’ll never know. But I now see our breastfeeding relationship as so deeply precious. Thank God I have met people along the way who have encouraged me past those “norms” I mentioned earlier.

New Zealand is being good to us. Ramona absolutely LOVING her new cuzzies, the warmth, being outside, her Grandma’s baking. The second half of the flight was INSANELY AWFUL!! We had powerchucks, crying, no sleeping. We had that baby. I am not the one to write the book “How to survive 35 hour journeys with a one year old and your sanity intact”, that’s for shizzle.

Photos coming soon hopefully!

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  • Liz 11 December, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Casey did the same thing the other day! I know exactly how that feels. I was so greatful when she went back to normal. Am thinking I am now keen to wean in my time not hers which might be cold turkey. I’ve heard that the weaning milk is really important so am starting a bit more cows milk during the day in case we get another strike.

    It’s great to have you back in NZ. Hope you are getting some lovely sun and family times.

    Happy Christmas to you and your crew from the Baynziz!

    Love Liz

    • lulastic 19 December, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      Ahhh, really? It is such a shocker eh.
      Re weaning- I have read that if it is abrupt like that it isn’t self weaning, more a strike for some reason or another, I think self weaning comes more gradually anytime from 18months?
      Not many people here in NZ feed much after one year it seems, would you say?
      Happy Christmas too!

  • Valerie 12 December, 2011 at 10:09 am

    My sister lives in NZ I wish I could go see her, maybe some day. Have a wonderful time.

    • lulastic 19 December, 2011 at 9:54 pm


  • Amie 16 December, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Amazing Lucy! Well done on surviving and reaching the Golden prize at the end! I cant imagine what taking a baby on a mega flight is like! have an excellent time and come back with a Tan!
    Amie 🙂