Don’t Quit On A Bad Day

Danielle Pope, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Editor’s Note:  The author has shared this inspiring article for publication in the New Beginnings blog. It was originally published on the author’s personal website.

Danielle tandem nursing her kids
Danielle tandem nursing her children

I received so much advice as a new mother. Some was welcome, some was unsolicited, and some was downright amusing.

But the best advice about nursing was “Don’t quit on a bad day.”

The day we took newborn pictures, our photographer snapped a few nursing shots. It was such a good day, and we didn’t quit.

The day I went back to work flying as an Air Force pilot and figured out how to pump while the plane was getting fueled was a good day. We didn’t quit.

The day we took announcement photos for baby Number Two and I was so nauseated I could barely stand was a bad day, but we didn’t quit.

The day that we brought Little Brother home, and Big Brother decided he still wanted to nurse was a good day. My heart was filled to bursting as he gazed into my eyes after our longest-ever time apart. I whispered over and over to him “You’re still my baby” and we didn’t quit.

The day we figured out tandem nursing was a good day. We three spent the better part of 2020 teleworking in our own little bubble of blankets and milk. The world was scary, but I felt lucky that no matter what, I could keep them warm and safe. And we didn’t quit.

The day I went back to work after Baby Number Two was a bad day. Pumping in my car away from my babies felt awful. But we didn’t quit.

Now here we are, almost three years later. Big Brother is slowly weaning himself. He’s only asking to nurse every four days or so, and then only for a few moments. I knew this would be emotional and bittersweet, but there is a difference between knowing it and feeling it.

I’m happy for the increased freedom and fewer night wakings, but I miss our midnight chats.

I’m looking forward to fewer milk stains on my clothes, and I miss my little milk-drunk baby who would fall asleep hugging my breast.

I’m excited to watch him start pre-kindergarten, and I miss the days when we woke up on our own time in a tangled mass of arms and pajamas.

But most of all, I’m grateful for this journey. And I’m glad we didn’t quit on a bad day.

Remember, whether you’ve nursed, breastfed, chestfed, pumped, or found donor milk for your little one for a day, a week, a month, or a decade; you did it! And you are amazing.

Please send your story ideas to Amy at [email protected].

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