Breastfeeding has been a fairly smooth journey for both my girls and me. I feel incredibly fortunate that, other than those first couple of weeks that can be pretty painful, breastfeeding has been a bonding and joyful experience.
I knew from the start with my first pregnancy that breastfeeding would be my only option. I wasn't sure what that entailed or how difficult the process might be, but I wanted to give it my best go based on the incredible nutritional and immune-related benefits. When Liv was born, she took to feeding right away. It was painful and full of sore, dry, cracked, you name it side effects for the first month or so, but the time that Liv spent nursing was a sweet respite. I loved that only I as her momma could provide this nourishment and experience this special bond with her. Taylor was a similar story. Just like many other moms shared, it is easier the second time around despite my initial fears (that adjustment to breastfeeding pain is painful).
What I didn't love was pumping. I didn't love feeling like a piece of livestock hooked up to a milking machine. I didn't mind nursing in public and often I'm sure I made folks around me uncomfortable (including my own family!) when I happily breastfeed my babies wherever I was and in whatever conversation was happening around me (nursing cover included). But when it came to pumping and storing up milk for when I was away, I retreated to the darkest, emptiest space in our house. I was actually pretty mortified by the process. Long story short, we do what we have to do to nourish and love on our kids the best way we can. Even if that means feeling like a cow or supplementing with formula if you have to or nursing freely and happily wherever you please (the world will get used it).
Liv weaned herself at 15 months and that was a tough transition. We were both ready, but it's difficult to lose something that brought the two of you so close in such a unique way! Taylor and I still have a long while of bonding.
The benefits of breastfeeding are powerful - it's just what your baby needs to grow and thrive, our body adjusts its nourishment based off of our little ones' unique needs. So awesome. Plus, for us always-running-late moms, how convenient is it to always have meals wherever you go? No prepping, packing, warming... ;)
There is no *perfect* way to do it and all moms deserve three cheers for finding their perfect solution - but I'm happy to say that breastfeeding was for us!