I've been reflecting on me and E's breastfeeding relationship a lot lately, as I am starting to think about how and when she will wean. She has a mouth full of chompers now, and has been increasingly interested in eating more solid foods, so I'm sure the time will come before I know it. Add to that the fact that yesterday I was diagnosed with mastitis and my right boob is currently SO painful I can barely stand to feed her, and the issue of weaning is definitely fresh on my mind.
I always imagined I would breastfeed E for a year, and then follow her cues as to how long to continue after that. I like the idea of baby-led weaning and definitely don't want to cut her off before she is ready, but at the same time I am starting to look forward to the day when I can have my boobs back to myself (S is too... haha!). So, I kind of feel like the end is in sight. I thought I might be more sentimental about losing that bonding time with her -- and maybe down the road, once I've had some distance, I will be -- but right now, I feel at peace with weaning her whenever she is ready.
Anyway, all of that has been on my mind lately. Then I stumbled upon this post at The Alpha Parent, another blog I read, about all of the potential difficulties you must overcome while breastfeeding, and I decided to play her game of "Boobie Trap Bingo".
Here is my completed bingo card (click to enlarge):
No "bingo!" for me, but I have to say that I have been extremely fortunate to face as few of these challenges as I have. I have had to pump at work for seven months now, but several of my coworkers had pumped before me, and my employer and other coworkers never batted an eye at my need to relieve myself. E had some weight gain issues in the beginning, and we did have to supplement with formula for a few weeks, but I am lucky that we were able to increase my supply and get her back to exclusively breastfeeding for as long as we have.
I am also extremely thankful that I have had such supportive friends and family, many who breastfed/are breastfeeding their children and who have been a great resource for me. And of course I am fortunate to have a supportive partner. S has been my biggest breastfeeding-cheerleader all along, and never encouraged me to quit and switch to formula, even during the most difficult times. S was by my side reminding me what a great thing I was doing, and literally cheering me on -- "you can do it! you are doing great! hang in there!" -- when I was sobbing in pain while feeding E during our 13-week-long battle with thrush. He has also not complained once that he has been effectively cut off from "the girls" while I've been nursing E; it is just too uncomfortable and weird for me to think of them as anything but a food source right now. I know that not everyone has such a wonderful support system.
Whew! Well, that was probably more than you ever wanted or needed to know about my breastfeeding adventures. LOL
If any of you decide you'd like to play Boobie Trap Bingo as well, click on over to The Alpha Parent and complete and post your bingo card too. I'd love to see them! :-)