My plan was to go to 6 months. The disastrous Paris trip knocked back my confidence and I just couldn't bring myself to wean her. So I said we'll nurse until her 1st birthday. Then she can have cow's milk and I can have my boobs back. Or what's left of them.
Well 2 months on from her birthday and we are no closer to being weaned. I had a one week period where I offered her cow's milk more often and was going to take it from there, but I didn't really pursue it much more than that. She still gets a couple glasses of cow's milk a day (which she never finishes) and of course she's going without breast milk when she's at nursery twice a week.
But when she's with me and those little hands are furiously making the sign for milk! milk! milk! Dear GOD woman whip one out and FEED ME! with those big blue eyes I cave in nearly every time.
I don't breastfeed her in public anymore, because I'm slightly embarrassed by it now. Partly because we're not feeding as often so I'm more aware of it. At the beginning you're feeding your baby more often then you're not feeding her and if I hadn't nursed her in public back then I would have turned into a reclusive mole person who smells faintly of mildew and cream. And partly because I remember how I felt seeing a mother nurse a baby/child Eloise's age and it kinda creeped me out. I'm vain enough to care what others think of me and I just don't have the passion for breast feeding to back myself up. If I were a militant breast feeder who had read all the facts and chose to nurse my child until, what is it age 4? as recommended by the WHO? Then I would happily nurse in public and proudly explain my pro-breastfeeding stance to any naysayers. But I am not a militant breast feeder. Sure, I believe if you are able to, in the early stages, giving your baby milk created especially for him/her with your own friggin' body is the best option. But do you know what trumps that option? Making sure your baby does not go hungry and that you as a FAMILY are happy and healthy.
No, I am still breastfeeding my 14-month old baby because I am one lazy mother. I am feeding her with my own milk because I just can't face the week it would take to train her to nap without nursing. I am nursing her because on the nights when she wakes up at 4am, popping open my nursing bra and falling back to sleep in the chair next to her crib is the easiest option IN THE MOMENT. I am nursing her because on the rare occasions when she has a total freak out and is crying hysterically I know the quickest way to calm her down is to nourish her with my own body in the best way I know how. And if I am honest with myself, I am still nursing Eloise because I am afraid that if I stop I will no longer be as important to her as I am right now.
I know it needs to stop sometime. Sometime in the not so distant future. There is a long night at the pub with my name written in beer foam all over it. I want to take drugs again - no, not the
fun bad kind, just some sudafed once in a while would be nice. I want to one day not be such an integral part of her bedtime routine. I want to know what other super powers as a mother I have up my sleeve. Powers that I have yet to discover because Eloise and I still can't get over the fact that my body? PRODUCES FOOD.