That’s the length of the nursing relationship between my baby and I. I always knew I would breastfeed, not a question or doubt in my mind. My mother was an extended bf’er and a La Leche League leader. I was nursed myself and then was around nursing mothers for most of my childhood. Two of my close friends had babies and nursed before I got pregnant and they were an unending source of support for me. I was lucky to have my husband, my mom, my mother-in-law, my friends, everyone around me behind me and supporting me in this.
I first fed Brady when he was about 20 minutes old and he latched on without a hitch and ate up. I can’t even describe the elation I felt when he ate – I was feeding this little human being! I won’t pretend it was easy. I had horrendous plugged ducts (thanks to an evil woman at a lingerie store who convinced me underwire was fine) and at first I felt like I couldn’t go anywhere because Brady might need to eat. There were nights when I felt like I never slept and my boob never left his mouth. There were times when I just wanted my body back.
But I got used to feeding him in public (thanks to my bebe au lait) and soon enough it wasn’t a big deal at all. When I started taking a class I pumped and Brady took a bottle. And the eating all day didn’t last as long as I thought it would. He started eating solids and dropping feedings. I planned to nurse him for a year and hadn’t really thought about what would happen after that. At 13 months he weaned himself down to just morning and night and then at 15 months he weaned himself to just night.
And then it stayed that way, and stayed that way, and stayed that way. It didn’t bother me. It was a few minutes of snuggling every night. I didn’t nurse him to sleep. I didn’t need to be there and he went to sleep fine for someone else. Then on our recent trip, he barely nursed at all. My boobs started to feel like real boobs again and I liked it. When we got back, the husband told me to just take this chance. So a few nights after we got back we did our bedtime routine and when it got to be “boobies time” we said “sorry buddy, we don’t do boobies time anymore.” He protested for a minute or two and then laid his head on my chest for a little bit and then asked to go to bed.
He asked for the next few nights and didn’t protest when we said no. Then after about 4 days he stopped asking and hasn’t asked again (of course I wrote this earlier today and tonight he asked, no protest when we said no though). My little baby is really no baby anymore. He is officially weaned and on his way to becoming a little boy. He’ll be 2 whole years old in just two and half weeks. It’s kind of hard to believe.
He’s a healthy, smart, big, amazing little guy and he got that way at least in part because I fed him and kept him alive and healthy. It just baffles me that I was able to grow a whole person in my body and then keep using my body to keep him going. Just incredible.