Continuing on from Round 1 of My Breastfeeding Goals.
When I got pregnant again, my goal was similar. Only having to nurse one baby, surely this would be easy. And lucky me, he was a great nurser from the start. Sure we had some challenges, but for the most part, smooth sailing.
The experiences from my first time were still very present, even though things were going well. I pumped frequently, even though I had plenty of milk. I couldn’t shake the fear that something might happen and I needed to have enough to take care of my baby. Plus, wouldn’t it be great if I could actually donate milk this time!
Eventually I finally started to trust that I had too much milk…a very foreign concept to me! So I added a new goal-see if I could donate enough milk to “repay” what we had used with the twins. Again, there were days I really hated that pump. But reaching that donation goal was important to me, all while keeping enough in the freezer to keep the what if’s at bay.
The months passed, nursing went great, pumping a bit extra for donation every day. Then something unexpected happened: at about 9 months of age, my baby didn’t want to nurse anymore! Apparently I forgot to tell him about my goal, so we had several talks about it. He got better, but continued to have days and even a week when he really didn’t want to nurse.
Gradually over the next few months, he really did wean himself. I remember during those last few weeks when we were just nursing at night thinking I was pushing him. Wanting to make it just one more week while brother is recovering from the cold, then one more week when there was a strep outbreak at the elementary school. But then it was just time to be done.
I’m going to call breastfeeding the second time around for 18 months very much reaching my goal. And though I didn’t donate as much to the milk bank as the twins took in the first place, I was only a few ounces away, so that’s a win as well.