A very looooong time ago I wrote a post about the journey I was about to embark on, Breast feeding my new baby.
Never would I have thought that I would still be breast feeding Alexandra exclusively almost one year on. I remember setting myself little goals; six weeks and we’ll see how it’s going, three months is enough, right? When she gets teeth that’s it, one year and I’m calling it quits….but that one year mark is coming around next week and we both are showing no signs of stopping.
When your pregnant and the topic of breast feeding arises the same phrase is said by most ‘it’s hard.’ Although this is true in a lot of cases I don’t think this statement is particularly helpful. A new mother has no concept of exactly how ‘hard’ it can be, what exactly is ‘hard’ about it, they are left wondering. Then that joyous day they have been waiting for arrives and a precious baby is placed in their loving arms and for those who chose, the breast feeding journey begins.
You worry about latch, and if they are getting enough milk, you have no idea about the tiny amount a new born drinks. The baby wants to nurse constantly it seems, you don’t know that nursing a baby goes far beyond the roll of food. Well intending comments begin to play on your mind ‘you don’t want a baby on your boob all the time do you?’ And you start to wonder what you’re doing wrong, why does this baby want to be on me all the time? Then there can be pain, sores and infection. This must be the ‘hard’ part people talk of you think, but for me, the hard part was blocking out all of the noise and following my maternal instinct to nurture my baby the way that she wanted, which was constant contact and comfort nursing on demand.
The love, support and shared knowledge I received from this tumblr community is what really saw me through. Some mothers reached out to me directly, offering advice and wisdom. Sometimes a post that one of you had written about your own life came back to me as I cried in the middle of he night in pain. But mostly it was the pride you expressed through your writing when you reached a goal you had set for yourself that gave me the piece of mind that I was on my right track.
Today I get to make that same post and give myself a pat on the back but I also get to pay it forward, the knowledge that was shared with me. Helping friends who’ve recently had babies through their own struggles with getting breast feeding started is something that I am finding fulfilling.
So here’s to me and Alexandra, I have no idea when this road will come to an end but I know it will be when she decides it’s time.