For every triumphant breastfeeding story out there, I’m sorry to say, this is not one of them. For every woman that has gone above, over and beyond the reasonable call of duty to breastfeed, I’m not one of them. Although my story is not one of the exciting ones, I still think it’s important for me to share the very ordinary happenings on my breastfeeding journey, thus far.
For me, there were no tremendous hurdles that I jumped in those early days of breastfeeding. I had a single, full term baby, with no lip or tongue ties. My milk came in no problems. I was tender and sore for a bit, but nothing earth shattering. There was no pumping everyday to get my supply up. Later down the track, there was no pumping to try and feed a young baby while I was at work. (I went back to work when my kids were older and by then, I didn’t have to pump). There was nobody telling me I should go breastfeed my baby in the toilets… I fed my babies wherever I damn well pleased. I’ve had full support from my family, friends and husband. There was nobody hard on my case telling me that I should wean. I’ll remind you again, it’s really the most uninteresting breastfeeding story out there… and, just for that reason, I think it’s important to share.
My older daughter just turned four years old the other day (and the little one is 19 months). Four years is one thousand, four hundred and sixty days. Besides the one day when she was about 2 years old and we just plain forgot, it’s been every day since she was born, of hauling the old girls out for breastfeeding. The one day we did forgot was when I was about 7 months pregnant with her little sister and I had worked all day. She fell asleep that evening without even asking. I thought maybe it was the first signs of weaning but, oh, was I wrong! Once my milk came in after after the birth of her little sister, it was game on, all over again.
I never set out to accomplish any tremendous breastfeeding goal. I never planned to breastfeed for X amount of months or years. I just took it one day at a time. One day at a time. One day at a time.
There was one little rough patch, when my older one was about 2 1/2 years old and her little sister was about 2 months old. I was feeling some pretty strong toddler nursing aversions (it’s very common to feel this way, I wrote a post on it) , and I was sort of over it with her. But, rather than wean her because she was annoying me, I just decided to limit our sessions to a few times a day, and it solved the problem within a few months. I still get the annoying aversion on occasion… It’s this toe curling, blood boiling feeling, and when I do, I just tell her, “Sorry, we’ll have to do it again later.” Sometimes we even skip a day or two, and it’s really no dramas.
I certainly don’t go bragging to anyone that I’ve been breastfeeding for four years… because it’s not really an ‘accomplishment‘ in my mind. It’s just the way things have happened for us. I’m not doing it for selfish reasons and I’m not a martyr… it’s just the way it is.
People have such strange ideas about how long the ‘appropriate‘ durations of a breastfeeding career should be. Breastfeed for too short (or not at all) and you’ve got people criticizing you… breastfeed for too long (ahem, four years?!) and again, people start thinking you’re bonkers. Breastfeeding two kids of different ages, like I’m doing and…oh boy, I’m a lunatic, right?!
Well, stuff ’em all. This is just my my ordinary breastfeeding story.
Sometimes, breastfeeding is just a non-event. Although we often hear about the struggles (and I’m not trying to take away from those stories because there are some real tear jerkers out there), it’s not ALWAYS a difficult journey. Luckily, I’m surrounded with people who support me. I never have to defend my decisions.
So, when will she wean, I’m sure there must be a FEW people out there who wonder that… Geez, I don’t know, but I do know that she won’t be going to her first job with a boob in her mouth. What do you think?