Two weeks ago, we reached a milestone I never thought I'd see. I have breastfed BabyT for 11 months! 11! That's one month short of a year! When I wrote this, I never imagined we'd make it this long.
Around 4 months it actually got EASY, and quick. Easier than pumping and heating up bottles. So when we hit 6 months and I gave myself permission to quit, we kept going.
I've still never been comfortable nursing in public - I've done it a few times in a pinch, or at a mom's group where other people are doing it (lemming, I know). But T is way too big and wiggly to be happy under a blanket or nursing cover so we just nurse at home, and give her a bottle or cup when we're out and about. Every time I see someone nursing in public, I want to give them a high-five for being brave and kicking ass but of course, they'd think I was crazy.
The weird thing is that I'm not planning to quit at 1 year, which I totally thought I'd do (if I ever imagined in my wildest dreams that I'd make it this far). BabyT is still allergic to dairy so no cow's milk for her. We started her on soymilk which she likes - I tried it and it's YUM. We buy the vanilla flavor so it's nice and sweet.
Plus, September is going to be super-busy for us, with trips and parties and starting daycare, so introducing another transition might not be wise. So for a few more months, we'll keep nursing. Of course, where we live, it's totally normal - I've known tons of people who kept nursing until 18 months, 2 years, or older.
I know a lot of people just don't get the extended nursing thing. Heck, even I didn't get it until the last couple of months. Someone commenting on AskMoxie nailed it- she said she had been planning to wean at a year, but when her baby turned 1, the mama realized that she was *still* a baby. That's where I am.
BabyT is not yet reliably drinking a large volume from a cup and we've tried several different kids of sippy and straw cups with various beverages: water, soymilk, watered down juice. I think she's just not ready yet, and will get there on her own time, like everything else. In the meantime, I don't want to offer her *more* bottles since we're trying to phase those out. So nursing it is.
I am phasing out pumping milk at home - if she needs milk when I'm not around, we've got formula to finish up, and of course, the yummy soymilk. I'm really excited about not having to buy any more formula - I didn't love feeding it to her, with all of its special handling rules and how processed it is. I do think it helped get her iron levels back up to normal, so I can't hate on it too much.
My next step will be to phase out pumping at work, and then I will do my happy dance. Because there is nothing stranger than sitting in your office hooked up to a breastpump while trying to answer work email.
I know we've been working towards weaning since 6.5 months when we introduced solids, but quitting the pump seems like an even huger leap forward. Like many paradoxes in this new life of mine, I'm both happy and sad. Yes, I'm actually sad to contemplate that in a few months, BabyT will no longer be nursing. Did I really just say that? Who am I??