I just added it up in my head- I've nursed my children a combined time of 5 1/2 years*. And of course I don't plan on Ivy weaning any time soon so I could make it into the seven year mark. I only took a very short break between nursing Gray (he breastfed 2 1/2 years) and having Ivy. He weaned a few months before I had her. (He even stopped for a while when I had really bad morning sickness and then started up again.) I admit that I know he would have nursed longer, but I found it to be difficult and too uncomfortable for me late in pregnancy. And as wonderful as I've heard tandem nursing can be, I also confess that I was ready to only nurse a newborn by that time. (And I also confess we did try it tandem once or twice and that's it.)
One thing that I've always felt cheated about with breastfeeding is the "promise" that it uses up extra calories and the baby weight falls right off. I always keep on extra padding all over when I'm still breastfeeding. Especially in my arms and face. And then it's like right when they wean I finally lose those final clinging pounds. But I'm not really complaining because it is so so worth it.
I have never used a breast pump. I have never left my nursing child long enough that they needed a bottle. The thought of it makes my heart race and my knees shake. This is just me.
While I'm confessing, here's an embarrassing breastfeeding moment from a while back:
When Gray was just a newborn, hubby and I were at a wedding in a very large, old Catholic church. During the ceremony I needed to feed the baby, and since you could hear every little rustle or shoe click in that place, I thought I should take him in the back just in case he made too much noise. I walked into the first open room I found with a chair, sat down, and began nursing right away. I looked up, and to my horror- I was in the confessional! Now, I am not Catholic and have only seen these things in the movies, but I knew what it was and was afraid I would get thrown out of there if someone found out! I hopped up so quickly and searched for a less sacrilegious nursing area. When I got back to my seat I tried to whisper to hubby what had happened, but I got the church giggles and was laughing too hard! (This story originally published June 29, 2006)
Ivy has started to crawl up to me and ask to nurse and I love this age. She'll be busy and come seek me, and slow down and get in my arms. Sometimes I just sit there on the floor with her. Her eyes roll back. She plays with my hair, my necklace. She is comforted and so am I. So am I.
*Originally posted August 2009. I breastfed a total of 7 1/2 years.