Note from Naomi: Today's post is a guest post from Jade, a wife and mama to two young girls, who has been blogging for five years! Make sure you check out her blog over at Mummies Waiting.
As I sit here writing this, I realised Kairi is 4 years and 3 months now and my 'baby' Naminé, well she is now 2.5! If you had asked me 6 years ago how I would feed my babies, firstly I would have proabably have told you that I wouldn't have any babies (I really liked being able to give the kids I looked after back at the end of the day) but secondly I would say ' Avent Bottle, Aptimal Milk'.
Working in a nursery I saw many types of families, but I don't remember seeing any breastfeeders. Although my mum breastfed me and my sister, don't remember it and growing up I only saw babies arround me bottle fed. Bottle fed for me was sadly my 'norm', it was what everyone did, I knew bottle types, formula brands and how to make themin my sleep. In the nursery I would make around 30 bottles during a shift, It was just what happened.
Then something strange happened, my sister because pregnant around 12 weeks before me so of course gave birth first. Her and her new friend had these beautiful babies and they were breastfeeding. I had already brought bottles and a sterilizer, but the more I heard about the benefits, the more my mind changed. For weeks I would see our friend feed and then my sister struggle, yet she still persevered and fed through pain. Then it was my turn, my sister was doing it, I could too.
I started breastfeeding and it was perfect I could do this, 1 week later and it wasn't that easy. As my milk came in, Kairi struggled to latch breastfeeding became painful and so difficult, I just wanted to give in. But I couldn't. My AMAZING sister had been feeding through pain for 4 months now. If she could do it I could too.
Fast forward to today and of course I did it. I had an amazing support network in my family and they helped me make it though every day and night that I just couldn't feed anymore, we made it with no formula in sight.
My journey has been a strange one. What started out as a definate for formula has become this crazy extended tandem breastfeeding lifestyle which has changed me so much. I don't really tell people, but we don't hide it either, at 4 years old, Kairi is still breastfeeding. This mum that wanted to use formula so much is still breastfeeding and tandem feeding too. Naminé is 2 and she's now classed as an 'extended' breastfeeder also.
So how does that make me feel? Amazing, great, fantastic. For 4 years I have been able to let Kairi make her decisions, she potty trained when she was ready, went into her bed when she was ready, ate, walked and talked when she was ready and I know she will finish breastfeeding when she is ready too. Breastfeeding has taught me so much too. I've learnt how to emphise with other mums, to support better and I found a carer direction. Through peer supporting I have leart I want to help other people.
Breastfeeding a 4 year old certinatly wasn't the plan 6 years ago, but today I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel honoured to have made it this far and so lucky to have the wonderful support around me. I know our journey probably doesn't have very long left now, but for now, I will cherish every second.