Nothing speeds up time like becoming a parent. I was warned many times during my pregnancy, that my child’s early years would zoom by so it's best to not blink. Those warnings, while somewhat unsolicited and (at times) unnecessary, weren't wrong, either. My son is edging closet to two years and I just realized I have been breastfeeding for over a year. I mean, like: how in the hell did this happen?! Wasn't he just born? What is time, really?!
My son’s first two years have been some of the fastest of my life (not counting the late 90s, when the Backstreet Boys were at their peak because those were some amazing months, people). I often find myself doing that delicate mental dance of recounting how much time has gone by and just how much has happened, waxing nostalgic about all the things my son and I have done together. Honestly, each and every memory comes with somewhat of a "stunned" moment, when I remember that each moment is closely linked to breastfeeding. I mean, I've been breastfeeding my son for as long as he's been alive. I mean, I’ve taken a few days off for some overnights, but that’s it. Every day. Every damn day.
Technically, becoming a parent means doing lots of the same things everyday; diapers, dressing, slicing bite-sized pieces of cheese and picking up discarded banana from the floor. But none of these take up the same amount of mental energy that breastfeeding takes. That said, we’re down to one feeding a day and it’s the first thing we do in the morning; so my eyes are barely open and I can’t claim to be putting a ton of head space toward breastfeeding anymore. But before? I was constantly considering and reconsidering it.
I've spent months upon months being completely transfixed on breastfeeding, and I've been able to (eventually) be pretty passive about it. Still, now that I look back and realize that I've been breastfeeding for over a year, there are some very specific thoughts bombarding my mind.
"How Did This Happen?"
In those first weeks of my son's life, every single feeding was a battle that I typically lost. I could hardly comprehend the possibility of lasting a month or two breastfeeding, so it was pretty shocking when we made it to the one year mark.
"Is This Really Necessary?"
It kinda depends on who you talk to. I still ask myself this very question every day, to be honest. Still, I think it is so, here we are.
"What Is Life?"
What is it about sharing your breasts with someone that really makes you contemplate who you are, how you got here, and what the point of it all is?
"Think Of All The Other Things I Could Have Been Doing..."
Even though, let's be honest, most of the time I was too tired to do any of them.
"But I've Also Watched A Lot Of TV Over My Baby's Head. So, That's Fine."
Does anyone want to talk about Season 2 of Chuck? Anyone?
"They Grow Up So Fast!"
I know, I know. We've heard this before. However, I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge how much it pops into my head when breastfeeding.
"Where Is My Medal? What Time Is My Party?"
Anyone who has a one-year-old deserves some acknowledgement. I know the idea of millennials always wanting recognition is a bit tired, but seriously, everyone should get a trophy when their kid turns one.
"How Do I Know When I'm Supposed To Stop?"
Um, you guys? I could barely figure out how to start breastfeeding. I definitely haven't figured out how to stop.
"Those Teeth Are Terrifying!"
And that's all I have to say about that.
"I Really Don't Want To Ever Go Back To Underwire Bras. Do I Have To? Don't Answer That."
Maybe if I just breastfeed forever, I'll never have to.
"Does This Mean I'm Immune To Blocked Ducts Now?"
Wait, don't answer that.
"Wow, I Am Really Lucky"
It's worth mentioning that while my breastfeeding experience wasn't without issues and it wasn't always easy, I realize that I am very lucky to have been able to successfully breastfeed at all, let alone this long. So many women want what I have been able to experience, so while it was sometimes exhausting and sometimes frustrating, I am pretty damn thankful to have been able to breastfeed my kid for over a year. Thanks, boobs.