How committed are you to CLW vs. just 'extra extended' nursing? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes I wonder if I should post in here or in BBI instead... but the BBI mamas all seem to have younger kids so I have more in common with the mamas here. Anyway I was thinking about that and wondering if mamas here are 100% committed to CLW? Or, do you have an end date where you would initiate weaning if your child does not?

For me I can't imagine nursing DD when she is 6. We're approaching 4.5 now with no end in sight, she has nursed through 8 months of my pregnancy so far and soon there is going to be some serious milk supply going on around here. I was thinking I would initiate weaning in another year if she doesn't do it on her own.

Do other people have an age limit in your minds? Do other people have kids that just keep nursing and nursing and nursing? Kids who don't seem to have any interest in the *weaning* part of CLW?
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#2 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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My nursling is only 2 but she may nurse as long as she wishes, no limits.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#3 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 11:03 AM
 
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I don't have an age limit in mind. I don't have an age where I feel uncomfortable nursing *my* child because it happens so slowly that before you know it your newborn is 5 and it's just perfectly normal yk? I can't imagine nursing dd when she's 4, though ds was nursing at 4, but that's because mostly I can't imagine her actually being 4.

The thing is, your dd will cut down eventually. She'll wean eventually. She WILL because kids do. I guess it's up to you to decide how much of that you want to leave up to her. I'm speaking a ssomeone who is never bothered by nursing, but I guess if I started having strong feelings of aversion I'd have to weigh it all up very carefully. As it is now though, I'm 100% commited to CLW.
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#4 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 11:06 AM
 
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I am fine up to 3 but not sure if I feel comfy after 3. we'll see! when I was a new new mommy with my first infant, I thought nursing a 2 yr old was gross! (My how we grow LOL)

It depends on if the nursing relationship is still an enjoyable for BOTH of us.

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#5 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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I'm not really sure, I'm just taking it a day at a time. I never thought I would nurse past 6-9 months and here I am nursing a 3.5 year old, 20 month old, and another on the way. I'm sure somebody will wean at some point, so right now I'm content to just hand out and see if that happens.

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#6 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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I don't honestly know. There was a time I thought that after three and towards 4 would feel weird... usually just feels normal though.

I'm flexible. We'll see.

As long as she needs it as much as she does right now, I can't see MLW with a clear conscience.

-Angela
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#7 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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That's an interesting question and one I haven't had to contemplate. My DD weaned when I was 3 months pg with DS. She was only 15 months old and I cried and cried. She, however, was fine with it. So I suppose in a way that was CLW. I hope my DS nurses for a good long time and although I am committed to CLW, I don't know how I'd feel nursing a five year old. We'll see.

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#8 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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Its not so much an age limit for me but pregnancy does bring on strong feelings of needing to wean. Both times I've gently encouraged my kids to wean. I do this with their needs and wants in mind and its an extremely gentle process. I know its not CLW but its certainly not forced weaning either.

I didn't consider it because we didn't get that far with either kid (just over 2.5 with each) but I'm not sure if I'd be comfortable nursing a school aged child. I supposed I'd have to get there and try it. I'm not having any more kids so there won't be any pregnancy induced weaning this time! I just might make that journey and have a different experience than I imagine.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#9 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post

As long as she needs it as much as she does right now, I can't see MLW with a clear conscience.

-Angela
Yep, this is me too. That's why I'm kind of fretting even though it's a year away. The thing is that nursing her at age 6 is beyond my comfort zone. It's too culturally weird for me and it's easy to say 'don't let 'em get to you' but in reality it's a real issue and the limitation for me. Her dad has been quite supportive of us still nursing, although I think he would be much happier if she were weaned, and he wants her for overnights at his place which she is unwilling to do I think in large part because here she nurses and cosleeps with me. He will cosleep with her but it isn't enough to make her willing to be over there for nights. Plus other social pressure and blahblahblah but really nursing past 6 is just not something that is going to work for us.

Which is hard because yeah, she does need it. And I know that you never know what time will bring, it's a year and a half away, but I would initiate a slow weaning process at 5.5 to ensure she is done by 6. And... I kind of can't imagine doing that, I fear she will be traumatized as nursing does remain extremely important to her.

Like, what's the deal with these kiddos who just nurse and nurse and seem to have no inclination toward stopping? At least, not at an age I would think would be the age to stop? Yk? I wonder how many of us have kids like these, and just what is it about? Mine has high attachment needs, she is an easy kid for sure but her whole life has really depended on her attachment relationships to feel secure. For her I think continued nursing is part of that. But like, dude... there is a line! I had mentioned to her that we will wean when she is 5.5, to plant the idea in her head before the baby comes so she doesn't see the two things as connected. But her teacher called me and told me to stop talking about it! As apparently it's giving her anxiety and she was at school muttering about it. Like, what kid has anxiety about weaning at 5.5??? I told DD that many kids get weaned at 2 and she was shocked.
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#10 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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I have the same age in my head as a cut off age. I think that if my dd has progressed on her own to not nursing daily by the age of 6 I'll be ok, but if she is still nursing 4+ times a day (as she is now) at that time, I will initiate weaning.
Right now I'm having some strange feelings about her nursing but going with the possibility that it is caused by me being 6 weeks pp and tandeming so I'm just trying to ignore them in hopes that they will go away.

Anyhow. I know how you feel.

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#11 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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I'm not sure. DD1 weaned herself right before she turned 4y, I was still very comfortable with it. She is 5 now, and when I look at her and can't imagine nursing her today, but if she needed it I'm sure I would, and would be fine with it.

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#12 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have the same age in my head as a cut off age. I think that if my dd has progressed on her own to not nursing daily by the age of 6 I'll be ok, but if she is still nursing 4+ times a day (as she is now) at that time, I will initiate weaning.
Right now I'm having some strange feelings about her nursing but going with the possibility that it is caused by me being 6 weeks pp and tandeming so I'm just trying to ignore them in hopes that they will go away.

Anyhow. I know how you feel.
What strange feelings are you having? I'm soon to be postpartum so I'm extra interested! I've found I've been getting the creepy crawlies a bit from nursing DD lately, which is new... or at least which i haven't experienced in awhile. I'm 8 mos pg.
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#13 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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I am fairly committed to CLW but I am not totally zealous about it. I nursed my toddler through my twin pregnancy and then went on to triandem nurse for 18 months. I finally weaned my toddler when he turned 4 because honestly I had had enough of nursing 3 kids. It was gentle and gradual and he knew it was coming on his 4th birthday. It went pretty well. I am still nursing my 2 year old twins and I'm pregnant again, so we'll see. I don't really want to nurse 3 kids again but I'm open to it. We'll see. I don't worship CLW and I am not going to put it above everthing else in life, but I do think it's important to do, if possible.

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#14 of 91 Old 03-30-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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What strange feelings are you having? I'm soon to be postpartum so I'm extra interested! I've found I've been getting the creepy crawlies a bit from nursing DD lately, which is new... or at least which i haven't experienced in awhile. I'm 8 mos pg.
I never got the creepy crawlies. I just get really irritated with DD's nursing. I look at her and she seems to huge and like she should be way past this nursing stage by now. I never felt this way before DD#2 came along so I assume this is a pp/tandem nursing thing.
Her latch also sucks. I didn't realize it while I was pg cause it just hurt all the time to nurse her and I figured it was a pg thing. Now that I have a new nursling with a perfect latch I know that my ODD's latch isn't great but I haven't got a clue how to teach her how to latch better. She still gets lots of milk, she just uses more teeth than I would like.

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#15 of 91 Old 03-31-2008, 12:37 AM
 
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I go back and forth between wanting to CLW and...not. DD will be 3 in June and normally nurses 3+ times a day, and for hours at night once she comes in with us. I love the idea of CLW and hope to be able to do it, however thoughts of "maybe I should gradually wean her" have snuck up lately.

Most of the time I am fine with it, but there are moments I get frustrated....especially at night. I'm also not sure if I totally believe that CLW is entirely natural because most animal mamas push their babies away at some point.

I also have just recently gotten embarrassed about DD so loudly proclaiming her need to nurse while in public places. I don’t think I will pursue MLW anytime soon, it just feels so wrong and would make me really sad. Time will tell.
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#16 of 91 Old 03-31-2008, 03:03 AM
 
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*pokes head in*

Hi... I have a question...

If your milk supposedly changes per baby's needs, how on earth does your body know how to tandem nurse? If you nurse a 4 year old AND you have a newborn, does the newborn's needs "win", and your 4 year old gets "newborn milk"?

Or does your body keep producing toddler/child milk?

Just wondering whether that's a factor.
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#17 of 91 Old 03-31-2008, 03:47 AM
 
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I don't know, MilkTrance, but I sure hope I get a chance to ask my boy if/how milk changes during a pregnancy! I figure the body is really smart, smarter than our thinking brains could ever be, and can figure it all out on its own.


OP, I don't have an age where I'd like him to wean in mind, but I've always had an age where I couldn't see weaning *before*. And that's 4. I was nursed until I was 4, at which point my brother self-weaned and I was made to stop b/c my mom had to go back to work (single mom at that point too). I was discussing on another thread how as soon as I was weaned, I started getting sick. scarlet fever and things like that. I personally am so thankful that my mom nursed me that long, b/c I'm not totally sure I would have made it otherwise. When I had DS, my mom's lifelong (literally, she died 8 years ago) friends all contacted me to make sure I was going to nurse that baby as long as I myself was nursed. So obviously FOUR has been pretty big in my head!

In the last 6 months DS's needs have decreased fairly dramatically, but when he needs it he NEEDS it. And no matter how obnoxious the way he asks or demands is or if he pokes me to tell me what he wants...when he nurses and gets that sweet baby-face again, I know that even if it's beyond that year I have in my head, I'm not sure I could deny him.

I can't quite picture nursing beyond 4, but I can't quite picture how to wean, either!
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#18 of 91 Old 03-31-2008, 04:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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*pokes head in*

Hi... I have a question...

If your milk supposedly changes per baby's needs, how on earth does your body know how to tandem nurse? If you nurse a 4 year old AND you have a newborn, does the newborn's needs "win", and your 4 year old gets "newborn milk"?

Or does your body keep producing toddler/child milk?

Just wondering whether that's a factor.
I'm quite sure the newborn's needs win, because at least for me my milk dried up in early pregnancy, and for the first half of my pregnancy there was almost nothing. Second half there has been what my DD calls a 'yummy and weird' milk and the drops I have expressed (hardly any) have been clear so I think that is colostrum. I've had breast pain, and fully expect the whole engorgement thing early post partum. I think the body sort of 'resets' with the pregnancy hormones, and the older chid gets newborn milk.
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#19 of 91 Old 03-31-2008, 10:08 AM
 
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I'm pretty committed to CLW in my mind. Up to age four I feel totally comfortable. I've seen other four year olds nurse and I didn't find it weird or anything, and in any case, it will be my dd so I assume it won't be weird between us! How could it be when we've been doing it all along? After age four... it depends. I'd like to think I'd still leave it up to her, but if I do start getting impatient or less anxious about bfing, I'll probably just not offer/not refuse. It depends on how attached she is to it at that point.
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#20 of 91 Old 03-31-2008, 12:16 PM
 
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Yep, the body resets to meet the needs of the newborn - the toddler gets bonus colostrum round 2! (though it can come at the price of newborn like dipes at first)

CLW worked beautifully for my DD - she just eventually went longer between asking to nurse, first skipping days, then weeks, then one day at age 3.5 I realized she hadn't asked in a month. And never did again. Still remembers nursing with fond memories.

I'm planning to CLW with my 2nd. Since he'll be 4 in 2 weeks, and is still nursing 2-3 times a day every day it looks like his weaning may take longer, but so far I'm ok with that.

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#21 of 91 Old 03-31-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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I'm having this same problem... I don't mind if she nurses longer but her latch is horrible... think teeth resting in top of nipple. We've been trying to change it for some time. A little part of me wants the rest for the nipples before the next babe comes and a little bit I'm felling touched out and done.

She's only been nursing morning and night and the odd other time for awhile now. And for the last little while it's been only one of the two morning or night. More recently it's been maybe one out of three or four of her regular nursing times.

We just got another follow up blood test done on her allergies. They had gone down a significant amount in August and suddenly they are back up. I don't eat peanuts for my DD and this next babe, and I don't eat an abundance of egg but I know it's in stuff I eat. It was never a problem before and now it seems it is again. So I think this is playing into the weaning. She doesn't need the fat from the milk anymore so we can give her straight rice milk if she does want milk. She's usually just a straight up water kid.

But I know she needs that bonding time too. She's been sick lately and really cuddly. I would love to CLW but between the pain and the allergies it's seeming more like a both led wean... I'm distracting some of the time and limiting other times. She's quite content to nurse for 2 minutes on one side and a minute on the other. I can't fully say no more, I don't think that's fair to her. But she is slowly stopping and for me I know I'm getting touched out and am thinking ahead to the new babe. If she still nurses once in awhile it will be ok but I'm finally at some peace at gently leading her towards weaning.

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#22 of 91 Old 03-31-2008, 04:40 PM
 
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Ok, my issue with CLW (although, I love it in theory) is that I HATE tandem nursing. I really really hate it. I'm surprised, because I expected it to be a beautiful experience. Creepy-crawlies, big time. I thought it was bad while I was at the end of my pregnancy, but the first three months were complete h-e-double hockey sticks. It was horrible. I don't ever want to do that again, even though I'm still doing it. I can't see triandem nursing (um... I'm on pregnancy freak out mode, right now, hoping for AF, finger's crossed). I know I will keep going with my younger nursling (even though I'm hoping he'll want to wean before a baby's born), but my older nursling will have to stop if I'm pregnant. For my sanity. It's a horrible horrible thing, but I don't like the way I reacted to my daughter when I started tandeming and I honestly think it was detrimental to our relationship. Please don't flame me for this.

That said, (and assuming I'm NOT pregnant) we're hoping to not get pregnant again until they're both weaned - on their own, so hopefully this will not be an issue.

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#23 of 91 Old 03-31-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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I think child led weaning is a wonderful thing but I certainly didn't take every step in the book to make sure my kid nursed for 3 years or more. I chose to get pregnant shortly after Henri turned 1, even though I knew that the loss of milk supply could make him lose interest and that's what happened. But that was my decision to make and we made it through most of the pregnancy. I'm open to letting him nurse again if he ever shows interest, but it isn't the end of the world if he doesn't.
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#24 of 91 Old 04-03-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, but I honestly wouldn't borrow trouble by wondering how you might feel about weaning if your dd doesn't initiate weaning in a year. That year between 4-1/2 and 5-1/2 is such a huge one in terms of maturity. Honestly, at 4-1/2 I couldn't imagine my dd voluntarily giving up nursing (why should she) but she was weaned by 5-1/2. Things may change more than you can imagine in the next year, so try not to fret too much!

I wouldn't describe myself as hard-core CLW, but I am deeply committed to meeting all my children's needs with love and gentleness. And that they really get to nurse until they've outgrown the need. My two children have taught me that this path is very personal to each mama-child pair, so just try and trust your heart about how to handle this.
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#25 of 91 Old 04-03-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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thismama, I think you will know what to do when the time is right I couldn't imagine nursing my dd or my ds as long as I have. Ben doesn't seem to want to give it up, even tho he nurses just a couple times a day. So, yk, what's the big deal? He is happy and healthy. Ellie slowly weaned so I expect Ben will do the same. I really loved tandem nursing, I hope it is a positive experience for you too

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#26 of 91 Old 04-03-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilkTrance View Post
*pokes head in*

Hi... I have a question...

If your milk supposedly changes per baby's needs, how on earth does your body know how to tandem nurse? If you nurse a 4 year old AND you have a newborn, does the newborn's needs "win", and your 4 year old gets "newborn milk"?

Or does your body keep producing toddler/child milk?

Just wondering whether that's a factor.
There is feedback from the saliva of the child and that is how the milk changes depending on the child. It is also how it changes between each nursing session and how it knows which antibodies to produce.

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#27 of 91 Old 04-03-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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We practice natural weaning. I've been nursing for over 9 years...since my first was born in Dec of 1998! He naturally weaned on his fifth birthday (he plans things ... but it was totally up to him and that's when he decided to wean). My second weaned a few weeks before his 7th birthday. I'm currently nursing my 5.5 year old dd, my 2.5 year old ds and my 6.5 week old dd. This is the third time I've triandem nursed.

The thing is ... I started out "giving breastfeeding a try" to appease my dh (son of a LLL Leader!) and planned on initiating weaning at 3-6 months (weaning to formula). Now I can't imagine forcing my child to wean before he or she is ready. It's amazing how one's perceptions can change with time and experience!
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#28 of 91 Old 04-03-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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My nursling is only 2 but she may nurse as long as she wishes, no limits.
exactly that for us! DS is two and it's his call. DD is 1 month and it's her call.
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#29 of 91 Old 04-03-2008, 08:03 PM
 
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my lo is only 5 months but i love nursing him and i definitly plan to do clw. i hope he will nurse for a long time and i hope i will keep loving breast feeding for a long time

mama to two amazing children son 10/27/07 and daughter 07/07/11

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#30 of 91 Old 04-03-2008, 09:50 PM
 
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My dd1 weaned a little before 2 1/2 on her own with some gentle encouragement from me. By that point, we only really nursed at home unless she was hurt or something. She had already night-weaned(that I did actively do, I have bad teeth and it was important to me that she start developing good dental habits early.) If I sensed she was asking to nurse because she was bored or wanted my attention, I would suggest reading a book together or some other activity. I would always nurse if she said no, or really wanted to. But slowly she stopped asking to. I did not care much for nursing her at this point, she was a rude little nurser, but I haven't placed any artifical time frames on dd2 as a result. Every child is different, after all, and I have seen some really polite 3+yr old nursers. I can say that when I look and talk to my almost 4yr old dd1, I can't imagine nursing her. She seems like such a grown up kid! Dd2 seems like she needs me a little more already than dd1 ever did, so I imagine that our nursing relationship will continue longer than my first.

Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...

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