Breastfeeding: 12 Months 13 Days Down
You know, I realized just a week or so ago, that I haven’t really talked about my breastfeeding journey – or even if I’m still breastfeeding! I talked openly about my diet change due to Savannah’s intolerances in her early months of life, but once she grew out of those I kind of just stopped talking about it all. Which is kind of startling when I think about, because I truly have become passionate about a woman’s choice to breastfeed – or not – and finding the resources necessary to help on that journey. So, why I haven’t actually talked about my own journey is probably because it’s honestly gone so well! Don’t get me wrong, it was a massive learning curve that took weeks to get comfortable, and I got 2 doses of mastitis within 1 month (which is honestly the absolute worst thing that can plague a breastfeeding mom – think fever, massive body aches, and an intense pain in one or both your breasts that you are then *forced* to drain over and over again to try and rid your body of the infection – honestly, hands down the worst pain I’ve ever felt when sick) BUUT its been an incredible bonding experience between Savannah and I – truly. I think it could’ve been that I didn’t want to plague your feed with more chat on how wooonderful breastfeeding is and I feel so lucky to be able to do it and I just wouldn’t change a thing about it! Because while that talk is annoying even for me and even though this year has been one of the most challenging I’ve ever experienced, I really wouldn’t change my breastfeeding journey For anything and I do feel lucky that I had minimal challenges. It has taught me an unbelievable amount of patience, with myself and with Savannah, it has taught me how to be selfless with my time and my body, and it taught me to be damn proud of my body and trust that it will do whatever it needs to do to keep us both alive- which is a really odd thing to say, but its true. Which leads us to now – Savannah is just over a year old and I am experiencing very real…indecision.
To put it plainly, the girls got 2 sets of chompers and its nearly impossible to get her to hold those suckers back when its time for a feeding. I feel myself bracing for the inevitable bite down when I feed her and I can truthfully say that for the first time since we have began this journey, I almost dread each feeding. I have thought many times that if I had felt this pain, fear and dread in the beginning of this whole journey, I seriously don’t know if I would have made it! It’s such a conflicting feeling, all I have wanted from the beginning was to give everything I possibly could to ensure this little Bee’s best chance at a healthy life, but at what point do I take a step back and ask myself – am I actually living a healthy life? I mean, shes a baby! While she may have some understanding of what she is doing when she bites me, we can’t exactly have a dialogue about why biting her mama is noooot funny and if she wants to continue, she has to learn to stop. On one hand, I could just wean her now. I mean we made it a year – a whole damn year folks! I remember when I first had her I just told myself, “make it 6 months, just make it 6 months and then you can reevaluate if you want.” Then 6 months came and went and with her super fun development of refusing the bottle and any formula of any kind, I thought to myself good think you don’t mind breastfeeding at this point because looks like you’re gonna have to do it for the rest of her first year! As far as how long I wanted to do it, I really had no idea. I had heard that there are amazing benefits to breastmilk when a baby enters their second year of life because it changes along with them (which is so fascinating) but then I had also heard quite a few people say that when a baby can ask to drink from your breast, then its time to stop because its just weird. I’ve become a person this past year who doesn’t get scared off by unpopular opinions, but it was interesting to see when the people who supported breastfeeding *stopped* supporting breastfeeding – you know? Truthfully, I had always just hoped we would gradually wean together – I mean that’s just fairytale thinking at this point because this girl is showing zero signs that shes ready to wean!
On the other hand, she has been teething for the past 3 months and Lordy if I haven’t tried every trick in the book to help her out, but the only thing that gives her some comfort and relief is – you guessed it! – breastfeeding. Which is where it brings us to our current predicament today. As a mother, you really do want to do whatever you possibly can to make your baby feel good. I tell myself that she really wont be breastfeeding for forever and this teething phase will also end – so why not help her out until its all over? Will it suck for me, yeahh – but I brought her into this world. I feel an immense desire to be the person she turns to for comfort and safety because before long, she wont need me for that. You can say, “awh but she will always need her mother!” But in the nicest way possible, please spare me. It just wont be the same – so why not hold on to it for just a while longer? We have been doing our best to transition to getting her nutrients predominately from food rather than breastmilk, which is advised at a babies 12 month mark, but she still has about 6 or so feedings a day/night which last around 5-10 minutes. So, her feedings aren’t time consuming in the least and if it weren’t for her biting, I really would just keep going until she was ready to be done! But alas, that’s not where we find ourselves.
Any who, I don’t think I will be figuring this out today or even this week, but it’s always so nice just to get my thoughts out there. I do really want to be more open and honest about breastfeeding Savannah so I think I will do more posts on that here! I’d like to talk more about breastfeeding in public, how I have done it and have no problem doing it, but I still prefer to breastfeed in private when given the option, and if I want to try it again if we have any more babies! This topic is endless and you can bet Taylor and I will be talking at lengths about it during our lives! It’ll be a real treat!
what are your thoughts on breastfeeding with a teething baby? Have you experienced it before? I would love any and all advice on this topic!
Also, be sure to Check out the next Instagram live with myself and Taylor from thatmotherlifestyle on Thursday, January 28!