At first, I said six months.
At six months, I said one year.
In a few months, it’ll be a year and a half, and it seems like Miles isn’t trying to stop breastfeeding any time soon.
I shrugged when I typed that out, but my feelings are nowhere near blasé. I am exhausted. Being able to feed and nourish Miles for as long as I have is nothing short of amazing. There was a point where I wasn’t sure I would be able to, and I really hoped that I could—but nothing prepares you for the mental, physical, and emotional toll of breastfeeding a child.
Writing about my experiences breastfeeding Miles was always something I thought I’d do. My plan was to wait until I was no longer doing it, so that I could reflect on the experience—but the longer we go, it felt almost necessary to share what we’re going through while we’re in the thick of it, so I can’t paint a rosy picture of the “magic” of breastfeeding.
I mean, does it kind of feel like magic? Sure? But it’s also fucking painful, draining (in more ways than one), and isolating. I’ve often looked at Kane and envied/resented his useless nipples, especially in the early days of 1, 3, and 5am feedings.
Most days, I just want my body back. I’m ready to have full autonomy again—to finally start to feel completely separate from my kid. Other days I look down and I want to cry at the thought of the ending of this specific bond Miles and I share. One day soon he won’t need me in this way anymore, and though regaining that freedom will be so great, I’m already mourning the end of such a significant chapter of my life as his mom.
I’m grateful for all the ways we’ve been able to feed/nourish Miles. At one point, Kane was helping me with a milk-filled syringe attached to a tube, and taping the tube to me. None of it is easy, so if you’re a parent feeling guilty about the way in which your child is fed—stop it! A healthy, happy, and nourished child is always the goal, regardless of what the often harsh and judgmental online parenting community will have you believe.
You got this!