For me breastfeeding and food have always gone hand in hand, which makes sense. Breastfeeding is food and nourishment for a baby or toddler. I've always associated breastfeeding and food, even in some unconventional ways.
My first breastfeeding experience was at my birthday dinner. I was pregnant with my first at Benihanas with my family. Midway through dinner the lady across from us whipped out her boob and started nursing her baby. Okay, she actually so discreetly put her cover on and quietly nursed her baby at the table. Either way, at the time, I was in shock. After all I had my whole breast feeding journey mapped out ....
My child would be born. I would breast feed in the comfort of my home. Bottle feed when out and about. If absolutely necessary, breastfeed covered in a private space. This would last one year. By my child's first birthday, I would easily wean him or her. Obviously it would be time for solids.]
So here I am now, laughing at my pre-baby plan. Wishing I could go back in time and tell that mom at Benihanas she is doing awesome and while I am there, kick myself in the shins!
Fast forward to almost 2 years later, and here I am sharing my breastfeeding story....
Graydon was born at 7:39 AM, and he latched on right away. My breastfeeding struggles did not come from his ability to latch, or any pain. My breastfeeding struggles came from my own personal feelings. This child was here, and all of a sudden I wanted to do what was right for him. My pre-baby breastfeeding plan (as seen above) was thrown out the window. It went a little more like this...
Graydon wanted to breastfeed 24/7, he was colicky and I had to change my plans right away. Bottles were a no-go as well, so my plan to bottle feed in public was also out the window. This was scary for me!
I should also mention that my husband was playing baseball for the NY Mets, followed by the Minnesota Twins though Graydon's first year and a half of life. This meant we were constantly traveling, on planes, road trips, and a lot of baseball games (so many places that were not nursing friendly).
This mom who thought she would never breastfeed in public (me) was now breastfeeding her son, wedged between two people on an airplane. She breastfed her baby in airport waiting areas, she breastfed her baby at baseball stadiums, gas stations, fast food restaurants, target food courts, Starbucks and even at the 51's tourist alien stop outside Las Vegas!
Graydon is still breastfeeding at 22 months old, I don't see him stopping any time soon either. I'm also pregnant, due in August. I never thought I'd breastfeed past the first year, and here I am almost to two years, and even looking at the possibility of tandem nursing.
My breastfeeding journey wasn't at all what I expected, but it's been amazing! It's been an amazing bonding experience and I've enjoyed almost every second of it. We've had our challenges starting with over supply, and currently the pain associated with being pregnant. It's nothing that we haven't been able to get through though!
I am excited to go through it all over again with my next, with more confidence! I'm now going into it with less fear, and knowing what I'm doing (a little bit). Obviously it will be a whole new journey, but my expectations this time around are so different.
So here's a shoutout to all those breastfeeding moms, formula feeding moms and pumping moms! Feeding our babies may not always turn out how we expect it, but we always do the best we can for our babies!