So, my breastfeeding journey is almost over. My son is almost one. I breastfed my daughter until she was 19 months old, and had major nursing aversion. My son is almost one and the amount of times he breastfeeds in a day is almost down to once. This is a bittersweet feeling. On the one hand, I will have my body back to myself! That in itself is just a happy dance for me. But then that also means, I’m not providing for my children anymore (in that sense anyway) and them not needing me that much anymore makes me so sad.
When I first started this journey on January 29, 2013, I was just planning on making it through the first three months. When I first started, no one told me about the insane amount of pain that it would cause. I always heard “if it hurts, they’re not latched correctly.” WRONG. It just hurts. I would cry while feeding my daughter and my husband would beg me to give her formula, but I always refused. After everything that had gone wrong in my pregnancy, this was one thing I had to do. It hurt the worst for the first three weeks, after those three weeks it started getting easier.
When she turned one, I decided I was ready to stop, so I started the weaning process. Which may have gone easier if maybe I wasn’t a stay at home. But, I am. So, for a week, my daughter screamed and screamed and screamed and I just gave in. I hated it, I didn’t enjoy it anymore, sure there were some times where it was enjoyable. But, until you’ve nursed a toddler it’s really hard to explain, but let me try. Imagine you’re trying to keep a cat in the bathtub, or water in general. You know how they go all crazy and all directions? That’s basically what breastfeeding a toddler is like. It’s not fun, but I did it. I nursed my daughter through my whole pregnancy. I was hoping it would help me dilate and efface during the end of my pregnancy. But, it didn’t.
I was terrified to tandem breastfeed. It looks cool when other moms do it on Facebook, they are true rock stars, those moms. But, I was terrified. I went in to have my son, and I fed her the morning before I went in, then when she came and saw her new brother and me, she didn’t nurse, she didn’t try. When I came home two days later, she didn’t nurse, she tried once and we told her it was “bubba milky” and she left them alone and has ever since.
I was kind of sad about how easy it was, but also extremely thankful. Now, it’s time to wean my son, and I’m hoping it goes smoothly and easily. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it yet. He has FINALLY started sleeping through the night this week though, which is a nice change, and maybe a sign he’s starting to be ready to wean.
Through this whole journey with my children, I formed a passion for breastfeeding and helping other moms breastfeeding and trying to normalize it and make other moms know that it was okay to do, not just okay, but proud! That was my goal, it still is and it always will be. I have a lot of friends and family who don’t really understand it and still view it as a sexual thing, which is a whole other blog post in itself, but I’m hoping by sharing information, it’ll help to normalize it in my group of people, and go beyond.