I've made it! I flew past my goal to breastfeed for six months and I still haven't needed to supplement with formula. I'm actually beginning to think I won't have to. I've got the pumping rotation down pat, and with my daughter starting solids, it's given me a little wiggle room, so I'm never short milk, and actually am now freezing about three ounces more every week than I'm taking out in my rotation.
So now what? I've achieved my goal, so naturally I should set a new one right? I guess I'll go ahead and jump another six months. My new goal is to breastfeed a year.
As I set this goal I'm thinking "then what?" Breastfeeding is so natural and normal to me now, it's hard to imagine having my boobs back. Some days I think she'll never stop breastfeeding. Actually most days I wonder how we'll ever break the habit.
An online friend asked me about night weaning. I'm not even fully there yet. My daughter can sleep 6-10 hour stretches when she wants but a majority of the time she's still waking up to snack.
It does annoy me a little in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning when I realize I didn't get much sleep, but the word "weaning" gives me a strange feeling of sadness.
I never thought I'd be one of those people who breastfeeds past a year. Actually, I still don't think that'll be me, but what if it is? What if my daughter wants to breastfeed until she's four and I can't say no? I'd make up for the generations of kids in my family who weren't breastfed with my first baby. Now my imagination is running away with itself. I just think it's safe to say that I've grown to appreciate breastfeeding so much more than I thought I would, and I'm just going to have to make decisions as we go along.
But can I be honest and confess a few of my insecurities with breastfeeding now? The last couple of months have been a breeze, but it's been more difficult for me to nurse my daughter in public. In fact, I don't really like to anymore.
With her age she's gotten louder, so it's not as discreet when I'm about to start nursing her. She yells when she's hungry and sometimes will stick her face onto my chest so I, and everyone around me, know she wants to eat. It's a little awkward.
She also pops on and off when I'm feeding her, and she doesn't like being under a cover. I'd like to say I have yet to flash someone but I'm pretty sure that would be a lie. Granted, it's just a boob, whatever, my child needs to eat, but I'm just stating the facts.
Lastly, my daughter is bigger. Bigger than she already was, and in the 90th percentile, she's bigger than most eight month olds. The fact that she's large, and that it's all because of me, is a boost to my pride, but it does make me a little self-conscious when I'm nursing her in public. I feel like people are looking at me thinking "give that baby some FOOD" even though she's just six months and I know good and well my milk is the best food she's got. As she grows I'm a little worried I'll feel strange nursing a toddler-looking person around others, even though I know I shouldn't.
But I'm going to work on that!
Six months down, six months to go. If these next six months are anything like the last two have been I'd say it's going to be a breeze.