Thursday, February 23, 2012
one year of breastfeeding
So where are we at this huge time marker on the breastfeeding front? In a very different place than we were 364 days ago, for sure. Back then, I was still unsure, not so confident, and scared. Now? Breastfeeding has made me feel better about who I am. I have spent 365 days feeding my baby MYSELF. Nourishing her MYSELF. I have KEPT A BABY ALIVE. That is bad ass!
Sure, I've had support, but when it comes down to it, I did it. Together we have navigated those fears and anxieties to come to a point where breastfeeding is the most natural, easy thing in the world. It has given me so much more confidence in myself, period.
330 days ago, we were breastfeeding pretty much around the clock, spending hours at a time in marathon nursing sessions on the couch. Now? The sessions are pretty spread out. We wake up and nurse. Maybe a little snack mid-morning (more like she sucks for a couple of seconds between playing). A little after lunch suckle and then I'm off to work. She eats 2-4 ounces while I'm gone, and then nurses when I get home for a while. Some nursing after bath time before bed... and then anywhere from once to once an hour overnight (I think depending on her teething schedule). The more she eats, the less she nurses- but she's not giving it up anytime soon!
275 days ago, I was nervous about nursing in public. Now? I don't even give it a second thought. I found myself nursing in a chair in front of a full length window to the parking lot and all the cash registers at a thrift store the other day. There were easily 45 people in our direct line of sight, and I couldn't care less. We've come a long way.
180 days ago, I was stressing about pumping constantly. Now? A little, but not so much. I can leave for a couple of hours and not worry about having milk in the fridge. If she drinks less milk while I'm at work, she eats a little more (and makes up for it by drinking a bunch overnight!). She's still getting what she needs and not going crazy from hunger. This is a weight off of everyone's back. I'm still pumping at work, but I'm starting to think about how much longer I will have to. I have to admit, I'll miss my Kindle breaks!
Where do we go from here? The WHO recommends breastfeeding to 2 years of age and beyond, so I would like to make it to at least 2 years. My plan is to let her decide when to be done- I'm meeting many women that have gone to 3 or 4 years. We'll see where she takes me!
Happy Birthday to my dear, sweet nursling!