Back in those first few months I kept reminding myself of my goals... 6 months, a year... maybe more. I'd never have imagined we'd make it to 22-months (next week) and still be relishing in our nursing time together. There are some moments when I feel as though my body isn't my own, nights when I'd rather sleep without part of me being co-opted by another human being, but for the other 90% of the time, I'm so happy she's still nursing.
I'm often asked when we plan on stopping. My answer? She'll stop when she's ready. I know in my heart that weaning isn't for us. My child's personality is very much like my own & I can only imagine what that would mean if I tried to take her "baks" away from her.
I feel quite fourtunate. Working from home and living on the same street as our fabulous daycare provider means that our nursing career can continue uninterrupted until the day when Gretchen has decided she's had enough. On some days she's still nursing anywhere from 5-8 times a day. Morning, nap & night -- and a few snacks along the way. More if she's not feeling so well or if we're home together all day. One daycare days she nurses when she wakes up, once at 11am (I go and bring her home for a little top up) and then, even after she comes home from daycare, she might not ask for milk at all until bedtime. Other days she can't even look in my direction without wanting a few gulps.
It varies so much, but she knows what she likes/wants/needs and, to a reasonable extent, I won't deny her.
Now that she is older I am less likely to stop everything and breastfeed just because she's asking. She'll be two in just a few months and I know that she is perfectly fine to wait til we're out of the grocery story, or until we've left the park, or until mama's finished eating dinner. Sometimes (like tonight) we were out a bit later and I did nurse her in the sling while her daddio & I did groceries, but usually I'll ask her to wait til I have a couple free hands. Generally she's ok, and can be distracted, but there are times where there's just no sense in saying "wait", because she's absolutely not up for it.
When we're at home, my favourite place to nurse her is on our couch in the living room. I snuggle into one corners, she sits on my lap and tucks in for some "bakays". She can say "milk" quite clearly now, but she doesn't like to use that word for MY milk. She also loves almond milk now, which she likes to sip from her tiny Gretchen sized cups.
Breastfeeding is my go-to for everything. It makes her happy, it calms her, it helps her sleep, it helps her get going in the morning, it soothes her when she's hurt & it makes us both feel really good.
In the future I am definitely considering becoming a lactation consultant, and even further in the future, I'd love to be a La Leche League leader. I'm also really excited about helping my future doula clients with their breastfeeding journeys.
I never could have imagined that this would become such a huge and amazing part of my life, but now I can hardly imagine a day without it.