There are many breastfeeding milestones, but the one year mark holds a special place in my heart. I know that formula is an acceptable alternative to breastfeeding (the fourth best according to WHO, with pumped milk from mom or from other moms coming in before it), but one year of nursing without supplementation means that my baby will never get it.
Thinking back to what nursing Peanut was like at one year and comparing to what Twig is like now, there’s much the same. It’s still the best cure for bumps and bruises (and oh boy does Twig get those). It’s still the way I’m able to get sleep at night. It’s still an awesome way to reconnect with my busy toddler throughout the day.
The biggest difference, I think, is my feelings about the whole situation. By a year with Peanut, I was still definitely going strong, but feeling much more touched out. You’d think that, considering I’ve nursed for four years straight, I’d be more touched out. Instead, I feel that every day as a mother has given me more patience. It’s been a big learning curve for me, but somewhere in the last three years since Peanut was a young toddler, I’ve learned to let go. I’m still learning now, but I’m leaps and bounds ahead of where I was when my whole parenting gig started.
So now that I’m less hitched to the idea of some ideal baby or toddler, the more I’m able to sit back and enjoy life as it is. This includes nursing. Yes, I often feel like I’m nursing Twig more now that I did when she was a newborn, but on those days (and nights!) where we’re nursing like crazy, it’s more easy for me to just go with the flow. It’s more easy for me to remember this stage in life is so fleeting. Before I know it she’ll be nursing just a few times a day, preferring daddy for bedtime over nursing, or like her big sister, weaned all together.
This time is short. Just the beginning of Twig’s life. I’m happy to have made it a full year (and now, nearly fifteen months) nursing Twig, but I’m also excited for what’s to come.