Stasia here… I blog over at Our Life on a Budget. I am wife to Andrew, mama to Bailey Drew (two years old) and Jameson who is due any day now! Those that know us or follow me over at the little old blog know that the hubs and I work with the college/20s age group. One thing that I have found really fun… is that when I am hanging out with the girls… the conversations almost always turn to all things birth and breastfeeding. So when the opportunity to share my whole breastfeeding experience came, I thought, "Why Not:)!"
To be honest, I did not really know what I was getting into with breastfeeding, but I just assumed I would make it to a year because that is what is recommended. I ended up breastfeeding for 20 months! That being said, we started our breastfeeding journey on March 23, 2013 when our daughter BD was born at a whopping 9 pounds 9 ounces. I thought for sure she would breastfeed right away (especially because I had a natural delivery), but no such luck. For the first 24 hours she did not breastfeed much, maybe she just needed time to adjust to the world. She was content (and big and healthy) so nobody forced formula on her and after a day or so she started really breastfeeding and I was so thankful!
Those first days were good all things considered. I never had to deal with supply issues and my little one that already existed on a growth chart of her own gained weight at an impressive rate that kept her above the 100th percentile in weight and looking much older than she was. Since things were going well and I was supposed to go back to work when she was 6 weeks old, I started to pump and we attempted to introduce a bottle.
*Cue frustration and tears*
*From the both of us*
I was spending valuable time pumping and she was not having any of it! We tried so many bottles and it did not matter- she would only accept milk from the source. After weeks of trying we took a break and I went into HR and said I was going to have to take to the end of the school year unpaid because our daughter would not take a bottle (luckily this was only three weeks).
Then when our daughter was two months old, we moved 9 hours away across multiple states. We had bags and bags of milk in our freezer… like pushing 100 ounces… and I left them all behind. This is ridiculous when I think about it in hindsight, but I was so frustrated at the time I guess it was my way of just letting it go. Now I know I could have donated.
Then the next week… after I threw out all the milk… she took a bottle… it figures, right?
When we got settled in our new location I started a new part-time teaching job and this is when I really feel like we began to hit our groove. She always nursed first thing in the morning, one bottle at school, once to nurse down for nap, when she was young again in the afternoon, and once again to nurse to sleep at night. Yep, we were nursers to sleep, and I became totally okay with that. She stopped nursing to sleep on her own eventually… just like with most other things with babies, they do it when they are ready :).
As time passed and we neared her first birthday people kept asking if I was going to stop. And we chose to keep going for a few reasons:
*BD was not ready. She still nursed to sleep and periodically through out the day.
*I was not ready. I still enjoyed the time we had together.
*It is recommended to go past a year, so why not try?
*Ultimately, why stop something that was working?
On we trudged in the breastfeeding world… 12 months, 14 months, 18 months, 20 months… and with each month that passed she nursed less. We were down to about 1-3 times a day and it was not even at the same time each day- sometimes morning, sometimes nap time, sometimes bedtime… it just depended on the day. She could now fall asleep on her own now no problem. Then we found out we were pregnant and cue incredible morning sickness. I knew for me, my body was spent making another human and that for my own sanity I needed to go ahead and let BD wean herself.
It happened so quick. We went down to once a day, then occasionally missed a day completely, then one day it just stopped. The last time I nursed her I did not even realize it would be the last time… I do wish I had.
Now with little Jamison (or not so little if he takes after his sister) I wonder if my experience will be similar. I wonder if it will be easier or harder. Will I just fall into the groove or have to work at it?Will we make it to a year again? 18 months? 2 years? I don't know… but what I do know is that for me personally it is worth working at through the good and the bad!
Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar.