Before I had kids I never really wondered about breastfeeding, pregnancy, and weaning. I knew I wanted kids. I knew I would breastfeed. I had never heard of breastfeeding past 12 months. I had this picture in my mind of magically birthing a small human, putting them to my breast to nourish them, and then suddenly on their first birthday they would look at me and say, ‘No thanks Ma! I’m good.’
Yeah, naive, I know. Imagine my shock when I learned that this isn’t how it works. The first time I saw a toddler breastfeeding I was shocked, to say the least. Of course, by the time my first baby was a few months old the idea seemed almost normal. And I had plans to allow her to self-wean, or at least continue breastfeeding as long as it was working for both of us. I changed my goals from 1 year to 2 years and I never looked back.
Now we had our ups and downs, and moments where I thought if I had to let this child nurse for one.more.second I might explode, but I was confidant in the fact that I was doing what I believed was best for my daughter. I got pregnant with her younger sister shortly after her 3rd birthday. We continued nursing, though by that point she was nursing only 4 times a day, first thing in the morning, before her nap, after her nap, and right before bed. I’m sure most of the people who knew us assumed she was weaned by that point, and that’s ok.
At some point during my 1st trimester breastfeeding became painful. We worked on her latch over and over again. Eventually the milk started become less plentiful and her nursing sessions became less frequent and before I knew it we were down to 1 morning session. If I were to get up and get dressed before she got out of bed, she wouldn’t ask.
Eventually it was a few days between sessions, and then it would be weeks between sessions. Finally a friend asked me if she was still nursing and I said I couldn’t remember the last time she nursed, so I guess not. The next day she asked one last time, as she climbed into my lap. I said ok, and then she looked at my breast and then looked at me, as if she was unsure of how to proceed. It had been about 2 weeks since her last nursing session and she had forgotten how to latch. It was a slow process, but at the end, I knew that it was just what both of us needed.
This post was part of the Breasfeeding Blog Hop –