I have not posted in over a year. Not because I haven't wanted to but my life has been busy with being a full time mom, full time wife and and most importantly a full time breastfeeding mother of twins.
My twins are now 19 months and are not showing signs of weaning. When I first started breastfeeding I wasn't sure I would make it to a year. But I was very sure that I would stop nursing the twins at one year. I made plans for going on an overnight getaway with my hubby of 12+ years, anticipating the arrival of the one year mark. I even thought about what I would do with all of my free time, not confined to the rocking chair nursing two growing babies.
However, when the year mark came the twins Andrew and Ammon, were still eagerly attached to me every three to four hours and I found myself wondering why ending our nursing relationship at a year was so important to me. I began looking at the struggles and the joys in a different light. I focused on every minute that we nursed together and realized how much I would miss our time together. I would miss the soft scratching of Ammon's fingernails as he slipped his hands under the sleeve of my shirt. This comforting gesture that is so unique for Ammon. Also, I would miss Andrew's special way of wrapping the bottom of my shirt around his two first fingers. Plus, how could I go a day without the twins looking up into my eyes, smiling and holding hands with each other. Nursing twins is definitely a miraculous and amazing adventure in its own right.
With how the world is zooming by at what seems like the speed of light, why am I in such a hurry to be done with this beautiful bonding time with my toddlers? I don't know. Maybe it is pressure from society, or the weird looks I get from friends, family and even strangers, when they find out that I am still nursing my boys. Or maybe it is the looks of "you're crazy, don't you want a life".
Whatever it is that has made me even contemplate weaning Andrew and Ammon, when it is very clear that they are not ready and neither am I, I am choosing to ignore it. The world would be a better, more peaceful place, if we took more time to enjoy the quiet moments with our children when all we focus on is selflessness and love. Because when it comes right down to it, what is more selfless than literally giving of yourself to your children.
When my children grow strong and healthy on my breast milk alone, it makes me feel empowered and confident because I am giving my babies the best. I know I might offend some people with this post but I can not deny the truth anymore just to spare other people's feelings. In the past, I have tried to make mothers feel that bottle feeding isn't that bad because I am just that type of person, not wanting to rock the boat, so to speak. But, barring some few and rare extenuating circumstances, virtually every mother CAN breastfeed their babies if and only if they are truly willing to sacrifice for their little ones. Hey, I am all about the woman's right to choose. But the choice is between whether you want to give your child the best start in life or not. Which one will you choose?
It's not easy and it can seem like there is no support for breastfeeding mothers out there but there is! Please don't feel like you are alone. Breastfeeding is the best start for your baby. It is more important than shopping at the mall and bringing a bottle of formula along "just in case". It is more important than slipping a binkie into your baby's mouth to quiet them at church, when they are probably hungry. It is more important than going out with friends or your husband at least for the first few months.
Nursing is a work in progress, it doesn't come naturally to a lot of us and it doesn't make you a bad mom if you can't do it. I just want to see more of us women try it and give it a fighting chance before we decide "it's too hard". Wait until six months, get extra help if needed and don't be afraid to ask for it. The rewards are immeasurable!
I don't know when Ammon and Andrew will be done nursing. I don't even want to guess or think about it. Because in the great scheme of life, this time with Andrew and Ammon, is such a short time. Before I know it they will be in Kindergarten. I will never have this time back. So for now, I am reveling in the joys of being a nursing mother of twins, taking it moment by moment. I feel blessed and relieved that I am still able to soothe and comfort my baby boys through my cuddles, kisses and breastfeeding. Life with a newborn/toddler is so much easier because of breastfeeding and you can quote me on that!