I knew that I wanted to breastfeed as soon as I found out that I was pregnant with my first, however I hadn’t really given much thought as to how long I would breastfeed for. Most conversations I had with others who had fed previously seemed to come up with a general age of around six months which for me seemed a realistic timeframe to aim for.
Once we got through the early days of figuring it out I came to love the whole breastfeeding experience. Despite the fact I hadn’t visualised myself feeding long term I made a decision that as long as it continued this way I would carry on until my little boy was one. Although I had become more open minded to the idea of breastfeeding beyond those early baby months, I had no intention of feeding once we reached an age when I could wean him onto cows milk. I vividly remember going to my neighbours house for the first time and her two and a half year old climbing onto her lap and helping himself! I went home and said to my husband that while I was planning on feeding for longer than I had originally planned, there was no way I would be feeding our little boy when he was that age - little did I know!
In the run up to that one year milestone I had set, I found that the feeds were naturally decreasing anyway, so while I did begin to introduce cows milk I didn’t feel in such a rush to cut breastfeeding completely. This was around February 2020 and we all know what happened the following month. My husband continued to work throughout the pandemic so for months it was just the two of us, with nowhere to go, nothing to do and no one to see. All of a sudden I was feeding him more frequently than I had as a newborn! It almost felt like something to do out of boredom in his part and gave me some much needed downtime from the stress that was being holed up with a hyperactive almost toddler!
As the pandemic lingered on into 2021 I all of a sudden found myself breastfeeding at the age that I explicitly said I wouldn’t be - and I didn’t care at all! I will openly admit that prior to my pregnancy and even during the early days of being a mum the idea of feeding a toddler made me feel uncomfortable. While my now three and a half year old has cut his feeds down from the seemingly all day sessions during the first lockdown, it is still a part of our day that I love.
We are now currently navigating the next stage of our breastfeeding journey with the arrival of his little sister and the start of tandem feeding! If you had asked me back in 2018 when I found out I was pregnant if this was where the decision to breastfeed would end up I would have said absolutely not, but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.