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As I breastfeed my last baby at 16 months I am reflecting on how far I have come.
I don’t know how long she will continue to breastfeed but I know she is my last and the thought of weaning for good is kind of daunting!
There was a time when I wanted nothing more than to be done with breastfeeding. And, that is back when my first baby was less than six weeks old ha. I struggled a lot in those first weeks and spent every day searching the internet for tips on how long it would take to get easier. This is partly what inspired me to start a breastfeeding blog after a couple of successful years of breastfeeding.
So, as I look back on those early days with my first baby I realize how far I have come. I have now been breastfeeding about four and a half years, with only a brief break while I was pregnant with my second baby.
Despite early struggles I breastfed my daughter for about 15 months. I got pregnant while nursing her and she weaned when I was about 12 weeks pregnant.
I breastfed my son much longer. He was still breastfeeding at over 18 months when I got pregnant with my third. I thought for sure he would wean once I was pregnant just like my daughter had. But, nope.. he wanted to keep on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding throughout an entire pregnancy was challenging. There were times I really did not enjoy it at all and wanted him to wean. At the same time I did not want to force him when it seemed like something he needed. Plus I knew a new baby would soon be taking even more attention from him.
So I kept on and once my third baby was born he continued breastfeeding. I tandem breastfed them both for a long time. I believe my son was over three and it was sometime in the winter of 2017 that he finally weaned. I helped it along by having my husband put him to bed more and more because bedtime was the only time he was still nursing. Isn’t it crazy I can’t even remember exactly when he weaned? It’s because it was that gradual. But with my first baby, my oldest daughter, I remember her weaning almost down to the day because it was sudden and unexpected to me.
Luckily I did not find tandem nursing hard at all. In fact breastfeeding while pregnant was much harder for me due to all the discomfort.
Now that my son has been weaned quite awhile it’s been nice to be only breastfeeding my last baby. Knowing she is the last baby is bittersweet but I am also ready to move on from all the baby stages in good time. Right now she is still breastfeeding and shows no signs of stopping. I will let her go as long as she needs to and hope she self weans just like my others.
So, that’s my breastfeeding journey. When I sat in a breastfeeding class while pregnant with my first I never could have imagined how far I would come. Back then breastfeeding seemed like this daunting and strange thing I was going to do out of duty. I had no idea how it would change me and cause me to grow.