Well, technically, I’ve breastfed my kids for a total of 30 months.
To be accurate, this is the count to date, but since I haven’t made the decision to cut off Zoie just yet, there is a high chance this figure will continue climbing for just a bit.
Sounds long, but really if I break it down, it goes something like this:
Jayvon: 18 months
Xavier: Under 2 months
Zoie: 10 months (and counting!)
Blink and you may have missed it.
After my pretty illustrious and pat-on-the-back and back-breaking 18 month breast feeding record with Jay, the 2 months I lasted for Xavier seems a tad… Underwhelming.
Well, on Mummy Madeline’s invitation to several blogger mummies to share their breast feeding journey, it has finally given me the impetus (read: kick in the butt) to blog about my own journey!
In terms of length of breast feeding, it might seem like Jay is the “success story”. However, I don’t really think of it that way, because that would imply that Xavier is somehow a “failure” and there is nothing that can be further from the truth.
Failure? My X? Nah…
My 18-month breastfeeding of Jayvon can be attributed to the following reasons:
1) I was a new mum, and totally new to the concept of breastfeeding. I had the usual nerves about “getting it right” – and was relieved that I managed to latch Jay on that very first time.
2) Nipple confusion? Teat confusion? Honestly – I think I was the only one confused. So many conflicting theories and people trying to give me advice. I only started to express my breastmilk when Jay was 2-3 weeks old, and even then, it was a pain to feed him from the bottle. I didn’t have a confinement auntie to help feed the baby, and so by the time I wanted to use the bottle, my little boy had grown a mind of his own. He hated the bottle. Hated. It. There wasn’t much choice, and I had to place him in the nursery and expressed for him – but it would take the aunties around an hour to feed him a mere 60 ml of breastmilk.
3) With all the screaming and hardship he endured whilst in the nursery, I felt so guilty – and so I continued latching him for the rest of the day.
4) And the reason why he was only weaned at 18 months? Inertia on my part. Oh, I was tired from waking up in the middle of the night to feed him, but the thought of having to make him sleep without latching, and the “drama”? Shudder.
5) How the weaning occurred? Erm, quite simply – I was just too tired one day, feeling all grumpy after work and I turned to my 18 month old and told him, “Mummy has no more milk.” Jay, all wide-eyed asked, “No more milk?” “Yes, baby. No. More. Milk.” And that was it. All the drama I anticipated from weaning dissipated as he learnt to sleep through the night.
6) So in short: New mom + Fussy Baby = 18 months BF journey
And whatever happened to Xavier then?
1) I was/am/remain the same blase self. Sure, I wanted to breastfeed my kid. I had no real concrete plans on how long I planned to do so – but I figured it probably would be somewhat similar to Jay’s.
2) The difference? I had a confinement lady. Whose job description included the night feeds. So Xav slept in his cot, in the same room and Jay slept with the hubs and I.
3) Xav was a dream child. At 5 weeks, he slept consistently from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. With zero feeds in between. ZERO. That is one mean feat.
4) And I was a totally lazy-ass mom. Part of breastfeeding requires you to be absolutely on top of 3-hourly expressing. Sure, you might only get 10-20 ml of liquid gold for 30 minutes of hard work (especially in the first week or so), but the regularity of the expressing gets those milk ducts going.
5) I didn’t enjoy expressing my milk. I felt like a cow each time I did it (even though my dual pump was awesome, it made me feel even more like one!) and it was so painful! Urgh! I have friends who set alarm clock through the night to remind them to pump every three hours. I admire their hearts. My spirit might be willing (somewhat) but my flesh was one with my bed. And once I realised how easily Xav took to formula milk. it was like there was no turning back.
3) So in short: Lazy mother + totally awesome baby = a short breastfeeding journey of 2 months.
With Zoie, it is somewhere in the middle. Knowing our move to Sydney (and not knowing the type of formula milk available), the easier thing was to simply breastfeed her. And for me, especially with my now domestic-helper-less status, there was no question about it. Latching baby better then expressing. The milk would be instantly available. And there were no bottles, pumps, knick-knacks to wash and sterilize. But having said that, I cannot wait for her to turn 12 months – when she can get to eat a whole lot of other food and drink fresh milk! Yahoo! Deliverance then!
So if you are a new mom out there, I hope my story serves to bring a smile to your face. There are pros and cons to how short or how long your breastfeeding journey is – but the important thing is that you keep your chin up and know that no matter how long it may be, it is but just one part of your kid’s life.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my story. Tomorrow, mummy Mabel will share her tale!
When Mabel first started out her breastfeeding journey with her firstborn over 3 years ago, she never knew what was right or wrong. The mixed messages she was given almost sent her down the slippery road of post-natal depression, as she battles with herself emotionally and physically. But, with the amazing support of her husband, and something her husband and mother said, Mabel emerged victoriously.
Read all about her breastfeeding journey tomorrow at Amazingly Still.
This post is part of a Blog Train hosted by Madeline at MadPsychMum. Head on over to read the other breastfeeding stories by Singapore Mom Bloggers!