Susanne Angerer and Coraline (2.5 years old)
"In my mid 20's, when I still believed I didn't want to be a parent, I recall going into the bathroom at work and hearing someone pumping, only not knowing what it was. When a coworker told me, I laughed and said, "Like a cow?! How gross!" It was less than tactful and said loudly in full audible range of whoever was in the room pumping. If younger me could see me now, she would totally blush. Current me would like to sincerely apologize to that momma. Against all the odds, she was working hard for her baby at home.
While pregnant, I fully intended to go immediately back to work. I couldn't imagine any other way. However, as I did my due diligence in researching options like diapering, feeding, car seat safety and the million other things that bombard new parents, it became very clear breastfeeding even just one drop had a too many benefits to ignore. So, I set forth the goal of breastfeeding until 6 months. Nothing beyond that, because obviously my child would easily transition to solids and would manage off whatever I pumped at work or formula, if I had to supplement. When the time came to go back to work my baby wouldn't take a bottle. I had so much anxiety about my work situation and the care of this fragile, sweet little being. So, after delaying with every possible leave I had, I finally submitted my notice to quit because I just couldn't go back. We made it to six months. It wasn't easy. I doubted myself a ton and muddled through. I went to Le Leche League meetings for weigh-ins and to listen to others stories to commiserate. I followed every thread on "Breastfeed, Chicago!" like my life depended on it, or that of my sweet little baby, who had a super slow growth rate. Nursing has never been without quite a bit of discomfort as it turns out my daughter had a lip tie, that despite my asking her pediatrician, went undiagnosed until she was about two.
When my daughter was about four months old we went to a MommyCon event where I saw mothers nursing toddlers. It was the first time I'd ever seen or even heard of such a thing. I'll admit to being turned off by it at first and thinking how weird that would be. Kids should surely be weaned when they can ask for it, right? Well, we never set out to nurse into toddlerhood but here we are. It has been an amazing way to reconnect and provide an extra boost to my childs nutrition. This journey has looked nothing like I imagined, but has been perfect for us. And it has taught me so much. Coraline is now 30 months and she doesn't seem to be interested in weaning."