The first six months of our breastfeeding journey were amazing. I know that I was lucky with how well Lyra took to it and that we didn’t have any complications. To be honest, I thought the following six months were going to be just as enjoyable. Actually if I was totally honest with myself I didn’t think I’d still be nursing Lyra at one but here we are. Somehow the past six months have been the hardest and yet I’ve breastfed her for longer than I planned to. That sounds pretty confusing, I know, it feels pretty confusing too and so I thought I’d try and get some words typed out about the highs and lows of my year of nursing Lyra.
I’ll talk about the positives first because that’s always a nice place to start. I still love the bond that Lyra and I have because of it (not saying you can’t bond without nursing your child), I love that if she’s upset or unwell she turns to me for feeding and comfort. I love the evening feed especially as that’s the only one we still do consistently every day. Lyra is always on the go now so those moments when she’s snuggled up into me feeding are definitely being savoured, especially on days where I’ve been at work all day. It’s our chance to reconnect. And, since I’m being totally honest with you, it’s nice to have something that only I can do for her. It doesn’t matter who is looking after her whilst I’m at work, they can’t replace me in that way. The biggest positive has to be that Lyra loves it though. And that’s probably why I’m still going.
The struggles though have been many these past few months. Most days Lyra won’t feed between getting up in the morning and her evening feed. That’s fine. But if she’s teething our unwell she’ll want to feed in the middle of the day. Usually before a nap. It’s so unpredictable these days and if she’s offered it when she doesn’t want it she’ll take it anyway but only with a shallow latch and it hurts. A lot. In fact I’ve had to dig out the lanisoh that I bought when Lyra was born but never used. And speaking of pain, she also tends to pinch me as she nurses. Of course she doesn’t do it on purpose but she rubs the skin on my arm together like you do with fabric and I’m covered in loads of tiny bruises because of it!
Aside from the pain, things are still going pretty well. I certainly get a lot more looks if I have to feed her when we’re out and about which I’m sure will get worse when she starts walking. But that alone is hardly reason to stop nursing. And yet, I find myself considering it. There’s a constant debate going on in my head. You see, I am so broody. I imagined having children really close in age but due to breastfeeding I’m yet to see the return of my period. I’m sure this is playing a big part in the lack of sibling for Lyra so far. I really want to fall pregnant again but I don’t want to deprive Lyra of a few more months of breastfeeding to do it. Eurgh! And so we wait. And carry on as we have been until Lyra is ready to stop. The past few days I’ve noticed a decline in Lyra’s nursing and despite everything I’ve written here, I panicked. I’m really not ready for our breastfeeding journey to be over just yet but I feel like we’re starting to approach the end. Whatever happens I’m so grateful that I got the chance to experience this.