I never planned to breastfeed when I imagined myself as a mother. My mom didn’t breastfeed and I don’t remember any of my friends or family having breastfeed. When I had my first daughter I decided to give it a try. Why not ? Well, it was the most painful thing I had ever experienced. I honestly thought the first 2 weeks of breastfeeding was almost worse than my natural childbirth. No one mentioned this to me…why not?? Well it turned out it is painful but it shouldn’t have been that painful. Mia was tongue tied and after we had it fixed it was all great.
I started to love breastfeeding. It was so easy. No bottles or packing or cleaning anything. I didn’t even use a pacifier because I felt like my boob was just there and more easily accessible. I decided to give myself some short term goals for breastfeeding and to reevaluate every 3 months how I felt about it. I never had a problem or a complaint. It was just easy and natural for me. I planned on a year but at a year Mia had to have another surgery for her tongue tie so I planned to wait to wean her until after she recovered. At 14 months, when it was time to wean her I found out I was pregnant again. I felt great! During my first pregnancy I felt miserable and this was a totally different experience. When I talked to my OB she said to just keep doing what I was doing and that included breastfeeding. I breastfeed Mia all through my second pregnancy until the week before I was due with Penna! Mia was about to turn 2. When I told her it was time to stop she didn’t even protest.
The next day Penna was born! She went right on the boob. No problem or pain. It was a perfect transition. I planned to breastfeed Penna just as long as Mia. I was never a big breast-feeder in public type of girl. I always wore a cover and never wanted anyone to feel uncomfortable. I was always worried about those around me. This is why I lied about breastfeeding. When Penna turned 2 she was only feeding for about a minute at night to fall asleep. It was more like pacifying. She always just fell asleep there and stayed asleep perfectly for 12 hours. I wasn’t ready to give that up since she was turning 2. I also knew that most of the people i knew thought I was the crazy lady for still breastfeeding so I started to lie. I said of course she was done. She was 2. That was proper right? I continued to lie and breastfeed Penna to sleep until she was just over 2 and a half. She naturally started to fall asleep on her own. It was easy and magical.
I do regret now lying just like I regret covering up to make people around me more comfortable. I have realized that you can’t make a change or inspire anyone in your community that way. It doesn’t open discussions or change peoples opinions. If I ever get the opportunity to do it again I promise to those mamas out there feeding their little ones that I will do better and be a voice for our generation, instead of hiding in the bathroom stall feeding my baby.
Erin and Mia Ziering