I have been officially finished breastfeeding Duke and Jude for 4 days now. I breastfed the boys for 12 full months. But in the last few months, the boys have been weaning themselves as they eat more solids and were just losing interest. To be honest, I was also ready to be finished breastfeeding, and so at the end of my journey, I was only nursing the boys in the morning when they woke up. My milk supply was already quite small at the end, and when I tried to express, I only had a few drops coming out. Supply on demand, right?
I was a bit competitive with myself, and over the last 12 months kept pushing myself to keep breastfeeding. In the first two weeks, I wanted to quit, then I said, I'd go 2 months, when I made it to 3 months, I said I'd go until 6 months (solids) or until I got bit. Well, my boys are eating lots of solids, and I've been bit lots, but I was still breastfeeding. I don't know why I kept going. I guess it gets a bit addictive after awhile, and it got easier, WAY easier. Sometimes I enjoyed nursing, but most times it felt like a chore to me because there were two to feed and both had to be kept occupied whether they were feeding or waiting their turn. It was a lot of work, but in the end, I am so glad I did it!
But I have to say, as I slowly weened the boys, and now I am done completely, I absolutely LOVE the freedom of being able to wear a regular bra and shirt and outfit that isn't nursing friendly. I am also looking forward to my hormones regulating fully so that I can feel 100% myself again. I would say that I am 99% there, but there are some parts of me that aren't quite there yet. I am also looking forward to going back on my regular birth control too! And being able to not worry about what I eat and drink and what medicine or supplements I take. It's all the little things that I look forward to the most.
The best part of making it to 12 months of breastfeeding is that I feel proud of myself. Breastfeeding was so challenging, probably one of the hardest things I've done, and I really didn't think I'd make it as long as I did. I am happy that my babes got the nutrients from my breastmilk. I just want to note, that NO WHERE in this post am I saying that Breast is Best. Anyone that knows me, knows that I believe in FED is BEST. But, breastfeeding worked out for me: luckily my supply came in, and fortunately, I was able to overcome all of the hurdles of breastfeeding (twins). No one is in the same position as me, and different things work for different mamas. Just sharing my experiences here :) I've got two happy, healthy babies, and that's all that matters!
Being done breastfeeding was bittersweet to say the least. But, maybe I have will have another opportunity when baby #3 comes along :)
Things I learned/experienced during breast feeding :
-nursing pillows do not work for me. I found them finicky and uncomfortable. Maybe just the model I had
-I do not enjoy tandem feeding ... I felt like a cow!!
-I refused to feed my boys any more regularly than every 3 hours. Each feed took an hour, so I needed that 2 hour break
-Sports bras and nursing tanks worked really well for me
-I never used a nursing cover, maybe a little swaddle from time to time, but for the most part, I was comfortable nursing in public, it was other people's uncomfortableness that made me uncomfortable
-Nursing in bed is the best!!! For the longest time, I came out to the couch to breastfeed, and then one night/early morning, I started nursing in bed and it was so comfy!
-When I did tandem feed, the stacked position worked better for me than the football hold
-I did take a prescription to help my supply come in, but then stopped after a few weeks
-I also had a prescription cream to heal my cracked, bleeding nipples. But what really helped, was going braless, topless around the house to let them "air" out!
What was your breastfeeding journey like? Or should I say, feeding journey! How long did you BF for? What worked for you and what didn't? I want to know! Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for following along with me in my journey,
MRS. + MAMA