I made the decision to breastfeed when I was pregnant with Olivia. My target back then was to breastfeed until six months and then the goal became twelve months. Twenty six months later (and counting), she is still breastfeeding.
I Stopped Pumping at Work…
I had felt a sort of separation anxiety with my breast pump equipment when I decided to stop pumping at work. The two-year routine had become a part of my system which I was reluctant to let go of at first. My body still wants to pump but my mind told me I have already done my best the past two years. I was afraid that my milk will run out if I don’t pump.
However, my yield was no longer reaching even an ounce that it became futile to pump. So, it was one way my body was telling me it’s okay to stop.
… But I Still Breastfeed
I just consoled myself that Olivia is still nursing at night and whenever we are physically together. Moreover, she’s eating an ample amount of food, so she really doesn’t need that much milk as before. I know my milk is still enough for her needs. Sometimes, I hand express my mammaries just to check if I still have milk. Yup, it’s still there.
Love/Hate Relationship with Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is my way of expressing how much I care for my daughter’s well-being. I have read from an article that the composition of breast milk does not really change even though I’ve been breastfeeding this long. It’s comforting to know that I’m still able to provide one of the healthiest food on earth.
It’s also a way for us to bond after being away for 14 hours from work every weekday. By the time I enter the door, her “welcome home” language is “dede”. Sometimes, when we play with her toys or read stories at night, she will stop, look at my bosom and will blurt out “dede”. She will spend 20-30 minutes nursing and talking to me at the same time. It’s also her sleeping pill. There are times she will request me to sing her favorite bus song while she nurses herself to sleep.
But there are times I wanted to sleep without letting her nurse. I want to lie down on my back like the way I used to. I long to have an uninterrupted sleep without having to wake up in the middle of the night to nurse.
Sometimes, it can be annoying especially when we are in public. If she got bored in transit or when walking in the mall, she would demand for her milk with an audible “dede”. At home, I have to defer doing chores because she wanted my attention and of course, her “dede”.
And those teeth! When she is in a very naughty and playful mood, she’d sneak a bite just to see how I’d react. It was awfully painful! ?
Yes, it can be annoying. But who am I to complain if it means getting snuggles and cuddles in return ? ?
Why Not Wean Now?
It has been a traditional notion that toddlers should no longer be breastfeeding because they are already, well, big. Similarly, it does not look “nice” for toddlers to be doing it because it might make them clingy and over-dependent to their mothers.
Well, I beg to disagree.
She will wean whenever she is ready. And, I will breastfeed as long as she wants, as long as it gives her comfort, and as long as it makes her happy. ?