Persephone: Parent

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My Breastfeeding Journey: 12 Months Later

on June 2, 2014

I might post this a little after 12 months, to see how the holiday affects our feeding, but I do know that I am so proud of myself. At the beginning, I could not imagine even making it two weeks, then one month and then six months seemed doable and manageable. In fact somewhere after 4 weeks, it all just clicked and everything blurred until I realised he was six months old and BAM! Now we’re at the ultimate goal, the finishing line I really thought I’d never even see.

In those first few weeks I read the horror stories – breastfed babies who only feed to sleep, breastfed babies who drop all of their daytime feeds at 4 months and feed every 2 hours overnight, babies over one who still need to feed constantly overnight whilst you’re trying to manage work, parenting and being a person. All of those fears coupled with the pain and the fact that neither of us were naturals, meant that the idea of keeping going for a year was just a dream.

But where my baby changed over the year, so did I and so did my motivations. At first I was breastfeeding because it’s the best and because it was the only natural thing I could seem to do. Then I worried that I would have a booby baby who would never want to wean. That was my worst nightmare. Even worse than failing at something else again. Let me clarify though, not breastfeeding is not failing; I perceived my body as one giant female failure and if I was too weak to stick it out then I was failing. I’m not a huge breastfeeding advocate – it’s a mother’s choice. I don’t particularly like breastfeeding, but then neither does my son.

I absolutely feared my son not wanting to stop. The fact that I kinda hate it, wanted to give up so much in those early days, the thought of Elvis not wanting to stop petrified me. And then he started dropping feeds.

I’ve never had to refuse him a feed to slowly wean him off of me.

I’ve never had to feed him to sleep.

I’ve never had to make the decision to stop, because even at a year, me choosing to stop is me giving in, in my head.

Twelve months ago, I truly never saw myself getting this far without formula and bottles. I, the ultimate control freak in every way shape and form, have given control of my breastfeeding journey to Elvis, it’s his breastfeeding journey, but it’s also my body. Which is why his birthday was the last time I fed him. 366 days. I did good.

~ P

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