Reaching 18 months breastfeeding – don’t ask me when I’m stopping.

We’re getting close to 600 days breastfeeding, and reached 18 months breastfeeding last month.

Wait until I lift my chin off the floor.

Did I ever plan or expect this to happen?

Quite simply no.

I planned to breastfeed for 6 months, that was my target. Then when it was so hard to get there, call me stubborn but I didn’t want to throw the towel in just as it was getting easier.

I kind of expected things to get in the way, teeth, sex, going back to work, but they didn’t.

It was hard, yes, but we transitioned and got through it.

I had planned to celebrate, but life got real and in the way.

This is where the mum guilt kicks in, I was so busy and consumed in moving house, parenting, working and not falling to pieces last month, I didn’t celebrate Harrison’s milestone or 18 months breastfeeding at all. It came and went without so much of a party popper or cake.

I also felt like I’d let down those who’d supported me in this journey. So I wanted to share my thoughts before we hit 19 months breastfeeding this week. Because it does matter and we should celebrate.

Now to be 100% honest, I’ve got no idea how on earth you stop.

I can just imagine the conversation with Harrison, if he could speak. (He can a little bit, he said owl for the first time last week, and has lots of words now, but I’m going off tangent).

ME: Hi baby, you know that thing you really love?
HIM: Bub bub?
ME: Yes my love, the only thing that brings you straight out of melt downs, gets us through the dreaded 5-7pm period on days we’ve both lost the will, helps you when your hurt, helps you go to sleep, comforts you. Erm I’m taking it away?
HIM: ARE YOU INSANE?

Are you insane mummy?

Having got through the main milestones that see people stopping, weaning on to food, teeth emerging, going back to work, pressure from family, coping with sleep deprivation. Could there be something else to come along and naturally end this journey?

Another could be pressures from a partner. Well the thing is, I no longer have one. I haven’t been a team since Harrison was born and recently we moved in to our new home.

So what else? Other than pressure from society, family, myself, illness, I guess Harrison could decide he just likes banana shakes better.

At the minute my life is so busy and full, and breastfeeding isn’t an issue, so I don’t have time to think about what ifs or having a target.

So I’ll just mum the only way I know how, by doing what feels right and natural. But please don’t ask me when I’m stopping as I simply don’t have a clue.

And does it really matter?

I’m proud of myself for getting to 18 months breastfeeding. For me it symbolises good attributes about my personality, my strength, determination, selflessness, strong will. But I also embrace the negative attributes as they helped me get here too, if I wasn’t so stubborn, I might not have.

So I’ll wear my platinum boobies badge, celebrating 18 months breastfeeding, with pride and you should celebrate your breastfeeding achievements too whether it was a first colostrum feed, pumping or longer.

Why would anyone breastfeed? My breastfeeding story

My first day expressing at work

Golden Boobies – How it feels 1 year breastfeeding

Dealing with mum guilt & returning to work.

Le Leche League helpline – if you ever need advice on breastfeeding

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