Extended Breastfeeding: Why I breastfed for 2 years
Jaxzen and I had a much longer breastfeeding journey than I had anticipated. I honestly hadn't planned on nursing past 3 months, let alone 23. The first part of our journey was hard, like literal blood, sweat and so many tears that I gave myself a deadline goal of making it to three months. It took 9 weeks but we made great strides, the pain had stopped and we were only just starting to get a handle on it, there was no stopping us now! The following 6 months flew by. It was easy, my milk was flowing and it helped ease my worries about illness, diaper rash and whether or not she was getting enough nutrients, win win win.
I had it in my head that I was weaning at a year old mostly because of societal expectation. One year came around and she was nursing just as much as ever, neither of us were ready to end our journey and it didn’t seem to make sense to put a stop to something that was beneficial for her health while being a source of comfort for her. I figured if I made milk I wanted to continue to breastfeed rather than switch to formula. With all the hardships I went through to be able to breastfeed *click to read* I wanted to continue nursing for as long as possible. She wasn’t ready and neither was I.
As we continued it became habit and continued to comfort her. She fell asleep on my breast almost every night. How could I stop feeding her this magic milk if it was saving me countless hours of sleep!? It was my way of nursing her back to health and hydrating her, soother her and bonding with her for a few moments every couple hours. I always knew she was getting everything she needed because after continuously reading breastfeeding articles and research on breastfeeding I was made aware that breastmilk never stops giving them what they are lacking and since Jax didn't really like food it reassured me that she was getting the nutrients she needed.
I can’t remember when it happened. I think it came on quite suddenly. I remember becoming extremely touched out. Fed up with being a human soother, like a human soother attached to a very short paci-clip. I wanted a little space. It had been 22 months + 41 weeks of sharing my body, even though I knew I’d always have a child on my lap, hanging off my leg, on my hip and holding my hand (and heart) I was ready to #freemynipple! I had been freeing my nipple anywhere and everywhere (even while peeing) for just under two years. I was ready. Was she? Totally. She knew it was coming and became very clingy but, her latch was very fast. I mean like a sip on the run. Sometimes she would even try to run with my nipple in her mouth. Ouch.
Our weaning process wasn’t “cold turkey”, it took just over a month of gradual weaning, we spent a couple nights apart, discovered interesting distraction methods and plenty of snuggles without the “nummies” on the journey to the last latch. It was a Sunday morning, October 22nd we were just waking up. She latched, looked up, laughed her mouthful of milk laugh then rolled out of bed and went about her day, and every day since. She still asks for “nummies” every now and again but, she laughs it off and says “boobs, babies not Jax.” I guess it was never really planned, we had no book or guidelines, just her and I on this journey.
Stay latched for our weaning process…