Yes I Am Still Breastfeeding

It’s funny how over the years my opinions on so many things have changed. Maybe I have mellowed with age, or maybe I have now just lived enough of life to understand that the world isn’t black and white.

Whatever decision we make there are multitudes of shades of grey. We are all just winging it, making it up, taking one step at a time.

When I had my eldest, I was somewhat of a Breastfeeding Nazi.

She and I took to it like a duck to water, it was easy, effortless. I honestly couldn’t understand why anyone would do anything else.

After all, I figured. Why would anyone really want to get up in the night and make bottles? Mums who bottlefed (in my naive opinion) were either saints or crazy! There was no way I was sacrificing any more of my hard won sleep, my boobs were attached, life was easy….

Roll on the arrival of Number Two, some eight years later.

I was terrified of giving birth, anxious about juggling the needs of two children. But Breastfeeding? That was easy. I had it covered.

Breastfeeding I knew how to do.

Except I didn’t.

The second time around things didn’t go to plan. Number Two struggled with his latch and he couldn’t locate the nipple. In fact, most days he didn’t really seem to understand that he needed to open his mouth at all.

He began to stop gaining weight, was unhappy a lot of the time and I began to realise that maybe my principles were getting in the way of what was best for him.

Amidst many tears (mine) I began to express. Mission bottle feeding began.

Except, bottle feeding was even worse. He choked on every mouthful, quickly becoming aversive to the sight of the bottle anywhere near him.

I was a failure.

I was his mummy, but I had no idea how to feed him. He was no longer about what was right or wrong. I had no idea where to turn.

Eventually he learnt to feed whilst sleeping, asleep natural reflexes seemed to take over and he managed to gain weight. We continued to breastfeed. It was no longer a choice, it was necessity.

At five months, he eventually seemed to learn. I’ll never forget the moment, we were sat in the middle of Covent Garden and suddenly he started feeding. And there he stayed, in excess of five minutes, which in those days was unheard of.

Our friends were starting their weaning journeys just as we mastered breastfeeding. We had overcome our first hurdle just as another began.

Weaning, as those who are regular readers of the blog will know, didn’t exactly go to plan for us. Food is – even now – a daily challenge. Weight gain is slow, few foods are tolerated and even fewer are swallowed.

The bottle is no longer our enemy, but neither is it our friend. Number Two will take tiny amounts, from bottle and cup. But not enough from either to keep him hydrated and nourished.

So, we still breastfeed. Twice nightly, but also during the day. At home and out and about.

Like a much younger baby, breast milk remains Number Two’s primary source of nutrition. We have been told that in the coming months he’ll need a tube. Breast milk alone won’t keep him going much longer.

I have no idea whether I would still be feeding him now if our lives were different. It’s entirely possible that I would be at least at night.

But our extended breastfeeding journey would then have been more discreet. I would not have been pulling my top up in cafes, or park benches beyond what is considered the norm.

I would have had more choice about where and when I fed him.

But this is not the case.

So this is my answer to those that stare, to those that tut, and to those who look away with disapproval in their eyes.

I wish with all my heart, my son could sit and eat like yours. I wish I could give him food and know he’d eat it, I wish I didn’t spend every waking minute worrying if he had enough calories inside him.

But our reality is different.

And that is ok too.

So yes, I still breastfeeding. And I will continue to do so as long as my son needs me to do so.

I am not making a moral point. I do not judge you for how you fed or continue to feed your children.

We all walk different paths. Life is not black and white.

One day, I will no longer be able to snuggle him in my arms as I feed him. I will be reliant on wires and tubes.

But that day isn’t yet.

So please don’t judge me.

Our feeding days are numbered, our journey has been one of necessity but that doesn’t mean I don’t relish those moments holding my boy close.

Knowing that for now at least, I can give him what he needs.

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26 Comments

  1. Reply

    Bread

    May 15, 2017

    You breastfeed that kid for as long as you need and as long as you can! I hope that things settle but more than that I hope you have the support you need.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 16, 2017

      Thank you so much, we are very lucky that we have a great team in place now x

  2. Reply

    the Curious Pixie

    May 15, 2017

    People should mind there own business. You ahould always do what’s best for you. I could only breastfeed my girls for a couple of months, as I just wasn’t producing enough milk. Everyone is different and we should all accept that.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 16, 2017

      I totally agree, like with so much of parenting there is no right and wrong x

  3. Reply

    Julie Syl Kalungi

    May 15, 2017

    Aaah story of my life right here, only it was the otehr way round. My first one was a finicky eater from the get go…Todate we have to remind her to eat her food, she is 18 lol! My son latched onto the breast like he would never let go and wanted to keep brest feeding wven when he was chomping on solid food. He would demnd to go to sleep on the breast,…I never allowed myself to feel like a failure thougt To me no one had gven me a parenting book so I was the teacher and student and I wasnt allowed to beat up on me. No parent should. Its a journey tp be nurtured and cherish. You are enough! We mothers rock!

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 16, 2017

      What a lovely message to receive, thank you so much x

  4. Reply

    Jo

    May 16, 2017

    I admire you for this. I’m a bottle feeder due to medical reasons so think it’s great you persevered x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 16, 2017

      I think the conclusion I’ve come to, is as long as they are fed it doesn’t matter how x

  5. Reply

    Becca Talbot

    May 16, 2017

    Thanks for opening up about your breastfeeding journey – continue feeding him for as long as you want and can x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 16, 2017

      Thank you x

  6. Reply

    Colette

    May 16, 2017

    You do what’s right.
    I’ve been so lucky that all three of my babies have breastfed with relative ease – and like you couldn’t understand why people would want to faff with bottles when they had boobs – but again, like you, I’ve realised over time that it’s just not always that simple.
    I fed each of my children for longer than the last, and found it so hard to stop each time.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 16, 2017

      Thank you, our experiences certainly do shape our views x

  7. Reply

    Sarah

    May 16, 2017

    Oh lovely. You both keep going as long as you need to. I used to be so naive thinking breastfeeding was so simple and easy, why didn’t everyone do it?! You keep going, and stay strong mama!

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 17, 2017

      Thank you so much x

  8. Reply

    Ana De- Jesus

    May 17, 2017

    Like you said we all grow at different rates and people shouldn’t be so god damn judgemental. Your body your choice, your baby your choice x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 17, 2017

      Thank you x

  9. Reply

    Ickle Pickle

    May 17, 2017

    Oh what a difficult time for you – and baby. You are doing the best thing, it is your life and I wish people would keep their noses out of other peoples business. I hope all goes well. Kaz x x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 18, 2017

      Thank you so much, that’s very kind of you x

  10. Reply

    Thena

    May 18, 2017

    Thank you for this post! I struggled breastfeeding as well with both my girls, neither one ended up a success and I was very hard on myself about it. Much love to you!

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 18, 2017

      I truly believe there is no right or wrong, as long as our children are fed and happy that is what matters xx

  11. Reply

    Ayesha Farhad

    May 18, 2017

    I dont know WHY people have an opinion about mothers ALL THE TIME. Its like we are judged every single second of our lives. To feed or not to feed? to exclusive breast feed or to combine. I think raising kids is LESS stressful than trying to dodge people’s judgement.
    He’s your baby and your body! Feed him until you deem is right! A mothers knows best. To all those disapproving glares, stare them right in the face with a smirk on your face! All babies are different and take time accordingly! Stay strong mama! You re doing wonderfully well! x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 18, 2017

      Thank you so much x

  12. Reply

    fashionmommy

    May 20, 2017

    I couldn’t breast feed due to medication and it made me feel a failure. Now I take a more pragmatic view, you feed your child the best way to suit you. I hope it gets easier.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 21, 2017

      That is my opinion too, thank you so much x

  13. Reply

    Lisa prince

    May 23, 2017

    wow weldone you , i tried so hard but only managed a few months x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 23, 2017

      Ahh thank you, as long as you are doing what’s right for you, nothing else is important x

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