Friday, August 31, 2018

The end of an era.

(photo of me breastfeeding Everett next to the Merced River in Yosemite on his one month birthday)


As National Breastfeeding Month comes to an end (it seems like there is a month for everything these days), so does my journey with breastfeeding. For almost five years, I have either been pregnant or breastfeeding (or pregnant and breastfeeding). It feels like an accomplishment and a reason to celebrate. 

I was twenty-nine when I got pregnant with Everett, and he breastfed until 21 months. At that time, I was twelve weeks pregnant with Cambria. Then, she breastfed until she was 21 months. And now I'm done, which feels monumental.

I feel like people share their birth stories, and I read my fair share of those while pregnant with Everett, but there was so much emphasis put on trying to plan for a "perfect" birth experience, that I didn't really plan anything about breastfeeding, except that I would do it. I was a bit naive about the whole thing. Breastfeeding Everett was one of the most challenging things I have ever experienced in my entire life. There were many meetings with lactation consultants, a lot of extra equipment to make it work, a tongue tie, a breastfeeding support group, a bout with mastitis, and lots of tears.

With Cambria, I was prepared to go to battle to breastfeed, because that is what it had felt like with Everett, but it turned out we had other battles to fight. Breastfeeding Cambria wasn't challenging in the beginning more than the normal struggle that comes with having a human attached to your body every couple hours 24/7. Even when it was relatively easy compared to my experience with Everett, there was still a bout with mastitis and thrush in the first couple months, and I got such severe and sudden mastitis when she was eleven months old that I ended up in the emergency room. 

With all of that, breastfeeding my two babies has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I am grateful that I pushed through the challenges to experience the joys that come along with it. I am impressed by the power of the human body in that it can grow a life, birth it, and then sustain it solely on breastmilk for the first six months.

Matt and I are still undecided about adding a third child to our family, so this could be the end of my journey with pregnancy and breastfeeding. It feels like the end of an era, and it felt appropriate to document this milestone. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. The one thing father’s cannot do besides birthing a baby is breastfeeding; that in itself is a blessing. You have done a monumental job as a mother and that can never be taken away from you. Everett and Cambria are better for it!:)