Breastfeeding………..but she’s 19 months old……..
Yes, yes I am still breastfeeding my beautiful daughter.
When I started on this journey I said I’d feed her for maybe 9 months, but early on thought well if you go to 9 months, why would you give her formula for 3 more months, might as well go to 12. So that was it – 12 months, I’d go 12 months of breastfeeding her. Good plan ……right? I mean that is a long period of time, it’d give her what’s best for her for the first year of her life and then we could wean, she’d switch to whole milk and life would carry on – RIGHT?
Well, let me tell you something, this new adventure we’re on, called motherhood, it doesn’t always go according to your plans. In fact, I am relatively sure that very little has gone according to our plans.
In Gradie’s first few days at home we were faced with a very hungry little girl and my milk hadn’t come in yet (this breastfeeding thing isn’t as easy as just whipping out a boob and putting it in their mouths, who’d have thought? 😉 ) In utter desperation we busted out one of the many bottles of readymade formula I’d collected, I had an obsession with collecting formula even though I had no intention of using it. I was grateful we had it, she needed it, and she drank almost 2oz and proceeded to fall asleep. We repeated this about 2 or 3 more times until my milk came in on Sunday (Gradie was born on a Wednesday).
She had no problem drinking from a bottle and going back to the breast, we assumed we were good to go – no nipple confusion, we’d have no problems going from breast to pumped milk from a bottle. That’s what we thought, but I can tell you we were WRONG, oh so very wrong!!
Gradie successfully refused a bottle from roughly 1 month old until, well she never did take a bottle. Our daycare provider, bless her soul, managed to bribe her to drink a couple ounces of milk here and there, but overall she was perfectly content with waiting until I arrived to pick her up to feed. If I had a dollar for everyone who told me, “When she gets hungry enough she’ll drink” I’d be a very rich momma. I can, with complete certainty, tell you that NO – no she will NOT drink, not matter HOW hungry you or I believe she might be.
Gradie became set on a schedule of reverse feeding – she nursed from when I picked her up, and throughout the night and that way was completely ok to last without feeding a lot while at daycare. This took its toll, at 19 months we are still not consistently on a ‘sleep through the night’ routine, but we’re getting there.
This brings me back to the – “You’re still breastfeeding her, at 19 months old” point of this post. My daughter is 19, actually 19.5 months old, and she shows no signs of wanting to wean. In fact she now says boob, boob, boob, when she wants to feed. This is another thing I said would never happen, if my child can ASK for boob they’re too old to feed – right? WRONG!!
Motherhood is unpredictable – all the things I said I’d NEVER do, I’ve done most of them. (That’s another post in the works). The absolute kicker is this – she’ll say boob, boob, boob, walk over to me, and if I am not quick enough she will pull my shirt up. She knows how to get to what she wants, when she wants it.
This child is nothing if not determined and strong willed.
She will also now stand in front of me as I sit on the couch and feed standing there, then unlatch, turn around and go right back to playing. YES – it’s true, she feeds while standing up, she says boob, boob, boob, she has a mouthful of teeth, ALL the things I said would mean NO MORE breastfeeding………
Would I change things, I mean if I could, would I? I think some things I would. I’d have given anything for her to take a bottle. The amount of stress, anxiety and guilt I felt while away from her has caused me a lot of gray hairs, and likely a stomach ulcer. This I would, if I could, change. With that said, however, I am not the type of person who thinks of the “would of, could of” possibilities. This is what it is, we’ve learned from this adventure with breastfeeding and we’ll apply what we’ve learned with baby #2, when that day comes.
One thing I can say is this – if I had it to do all over again, I’d still, without a single doubt in my mind, chose to breastfeed Gradie. While our breastfeeding adventure has caused myself, Jeanna, our family as well as others (who have babysat her, etc), stress, anxiety, and concern, I wholeheartedly believe that our choice to breastfeed Gradie was the best decision we could make for her first few (ok a lot) of months of life.
I am proud to say that Gradie has (barring the first 3 or 4 feedings) never had formula. While I realize that breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, it is for us and our family. I am also proud to say that I’ve survived through the cracked and bleeding nipples, the endless hours of pumping, the extremely painful biting – I have survived it all and I am still going strong.
So before you ask again…….YES – I am still breastfeeding my 19 month old toddler, and at this rate I’ll still be doing this with my 24 month old. She’ll wean when she’s ready, let’s just hope it’s before kindergarten – I’m kidding it will be before then………right?
Proud Momma with Platinum Boobies, signing off!
Breastfeeding Duration Awards!