In my head I always knew that my main goal for breastfeeding was to make it to 6 months. I had smaller goals along the way, but I always viewed 6 months as the finish line. When I first started it seemed so far away. The task was very daunting, and sometimes I wasn’t sure that I would make it. Thinking back I sometimes wonder how I did….and then I remember I did it for my son. He is/was totally worth all the struggles. I made it to the 6 month goal, and now I can’t even imagine stopping! Can you believe that I am now hoping to make it the whole year? That’s right! We have a new goal! Twelve months!
I have shared with you many of my thoughts on my breastfeeding journey, and as you know it hasn’t always been easy. I have a feeling I’ve had it easier than some, but that doesn’t mean that it was in any way easy. No sir! Sometimes I would just get through it by giving myself small goals. The 6 month mark seemed so far sometimes, so it was easier on my brain to strive for three weeks, then 6 weeks, then 3 months. Demand feeding was hard, and sometimes I felt like a milk factory. Especially since my son rarely made it more than 2 1/2 hours between feedings.
The turning point for me was when I started to introduce solids. About a week shy of 5 months I decided it was time to give it a try. Was it selfish of me to not wait till six months like they recommend? Maybe…but I needed some sleep, and I needed a better schedule. Once solids were introduced I started to get both. Things got a lot smoother. It really is amazing.
I am so thankful I stuck with it. At this point I can’t imagine giving him formula. But how does one see the future? How do you tell a woman who is sleep deprived with an infant latched to her boob 24/7 that it will get easier in a few months? How do you tell her to hang in there? At the time a few months sound like a lifetime. The answer is you can tell someone that all you want, but they have to want it for themselves. All you can do is support them. I was so lucky to have the support of my husband, family and friends, and that is why I’ve come this far.
What now? Well I am not naive. I know I have a long way to go. It’s weird to think that as far as I’ve come, is still as far as I have to go. But I’ve made it 6 months. For that I am proud. Baby steps right? For those reading this who are frustrated and tired of breastfeeding I can only offer these words of hope. It does get easier….hang in there…because it’s totally worth it!
Breastfeeding for 6 months…..CHECK!