Friday, 10 February 2017

FFS Friday - Breastfeeding

After three years and five months, Eljay is finally weaned. Yes, that's right, I breastfed Eljay for almost three and a half years. It's not something I planned, it's just how things worked out because I wanted him to wean himself when he was ready. Turns out he wasn't ready until a few weeks ago. He still asks for a feed every now and again, but I say no now, he's more than old enough to wean.

Chai weaned himself at seventeen months. He was only feeding at night time and wasn't very interested in it so one night I didn't offer him a feed, he never asked for it again and that was it. I was envisioning something similar with Eljay but it didn't happen. Eljay has always loved feeding. Chai loved feeding but was easily distracted. Eljay wasn't. Until he was two he was still feeding during the day. When he turned two I started refusing if he asked for a feed during the day. I continued to feed him to sleep. A few times I tried to talk him out of having a night time feed but he wouldn't be in it. I wasn't going to deny him a feed and have him cry to sleep.

A few months ago he decided that he wanted to start sleeping in the same bed as Chai. I told him that he could either have a feed or cuddle to sleep in Chai's bed. Sometimes he'd cuddle to sleep and sometimes he'd feed to sleep. He started choosing to cuddle to sleep more than he chose to feed and over the last few weeks he only fed to sleep once. It's been about a week now since he's had a feed. He asked for a feed once and I said no. When he asks for a feed I offer him a cuddle and he's happy enough with that. I've told him that he drunk all the milk and there's none left, he seems happy with that explanation.

I'm sure the reason he fed for so long is because it's time where it's just the two of us. It's time where he has me all to himself and he gets a long, uninterrupted cuddle.

Between both boys I've breastfed for five years. My breastfeeding journey, whilst difficult at times, was very satisfying. I'm glad that I was able to exclusively feed both my boys and glad that they both weaned when they were ready. 

I'm one of those fortunate people who only had positive breastfeeding experiences. I fed both boys anywhere and everywhere, in cafes, restaurants, walking around the shopping centre, wherever I happened to be. People were always nice, accommodating and helpful.

There's only one time something happened and Tiger quickly sorted it out. We were at a shopping centre and I was feeding Chai. A man had been sitting on the same side as us but as soon as I started feeding he moved opposite me, put his sunglasses on and sat there staring. He quickly moved on after a few choice words from Tiger, hahaha. 

Feeding Chai was really difficult for the first three months. It was really painful. I didn't get cracked or bleeding nipples but feeding hurt for three months. I saw a lactation consultant who said that he was latching correctly but it still hurt. For the first six weeks getting him to latch correctly was difficult, but in week seven one day he just got it and after that it was easy. I had sore nipples for three months and then it magically stopped hurting. 

Feeing Eljay was a lot easier. I knew what I was doing, he could latch properly right from the start and my nipples only hurt for four weeks. 

I'm not one of those people who loved breastfeeding. I hear people talk about it like it's the best thing in the world. I don't really understand that. I was happy to breastfeed but it's not something that I loved. I liked being able to nourish my babies and loved the convenience of not having to prepare bottles. I'm also very grateful that I was able to successfully feed both boys, I know a lot of people who aren't so lucky. 

I'm ready to stop feeding however it is a time I'll look back on fondly.

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