23 months and 2 weeks, wow! That is how long I breastfed, over the past week of vacation all the excitement of the days and exhausted toddler at night most nights meant she didn't even think about asking for her nightly milk. I am surprised and thrilled that we made it this long especially considering all the issues I had in the beginning and the number of times I nearly gave up. After the low milk supply, newborn with 15% weight loss in the first 3 days of life and concerns for her health and considerations of hospitalization. We made it, I still look back on the sleepless nights, my countless hours attached to a breast pump, supplementing, course of Reglan and gallons of fenugreek tea and stress. I knew at the time I was making every attempt to do what I felt was best for my daughter.
Despite taking a breastfeeding class during my pregnancy I went into it completely naive, expecting that everything just worked out. It is a natural thing, right? so why not. These are the things no one really tells you, the tough side of breastfeeding, pain, tears and feelings of inadequacy when you can't give your newborn what they need to survive. I wish I had known all this in the beginning. Something that seems so natural and simple isn't that way for many women. It amazes me how many women have problems breastfeeding but never say anything until someone else talks first. I remember being at a wedding about 1 1/2 years ago and talking with other new moms and the conversation turned to breastfeeding and how some had quit early due to problems, some only pumped and we were all suprised at the "secret" kept from new moms regarding the difficulty with breastfeeding.
These early days I counted down every moment until I would quit and never left the house during feeding times without a bottle in hand, then it all clicked. My supply was great and she just got it :-) I still only planned and expected to make it 1 year at the most, that came and went and I retired the pumping at work. Boy was I ready for that thing to be gone! I knew it would end eventually (never planned on being the woman breastfeeding a 5 year old) and let her take the lead and it just worked. Part of me is happy that she no longer needs this and I have my body completely back but another small part of me is a little sad to see this bonding experience end.