I never started out to breastfeed my daughter beyond a year. My mom breastfed me and my sisters to a year and anything beyond that sounded ridiculous to me. Even gross. I could not wrap my head around why ANYONE would want to breastfeed past a year. I wasn't even sure how someone could justify it.
But then we went through colic. And I began breastfeeding on demand. And we decided to do child-led solids which meant Little Miss wasn't getting many calories from eating regular food. I read somewhere that a child's diet should be 80% breastmilk at a year. 80%! How could I possibly wean my child off of 80% of her diet? So as a year approached, I realized that neither of us were ready to wean. I had been responding to her needs for the past year, and I couldn't imagine suddenly saying no to those needs.
Now many people say, well, you must not have struggled. And in many ways, you're right. I didn't struggle as much as other people, but we definitely had struggles. We had the nurses in the hospital doing everything possible to sabotage my breastfeeding. We had major difficulties with a good latch because of said nurses. I suspect now that the colic was because I had an oversupply which caused her to get only fore milk which upset her stomach. She didn't sleep through the night until 10 1/2 months. She got her first 2 teeth rather early and bit me. Hard. Multiple times. We went from 2 to 8 teeth in 2 weeks and spent the next 2-3 months trying to figure out better positions and getting a good latch. I got mastitis a few times. I had cuts in my nipples from her adjusting to her teeth. She still nurses at least 8 times a day, but for short amounts of time. She's currently getting molars and has slept through the night twice in the last 2 months. And I'm sure we'll have more struggles.
But ya know what? It's been worth it. I love that she is getting the food that is designed for her. I love when she kicks and smiles because she is that excited to nurse. I love when she decides that nursing while standing on one leg would be fun to do. I love when she has to stop to point out my belly button for me. I love when she has to stop to point out her belly button for me. I love how she has to investigate my mouth and teeth while nursing. I love when she decides to give me a raspberry and giggles! I love when she snuggles up next to me at night and falls asleep nursing.
I never thought I would love nursing a toddler. I plain never thought it was even a possibility for me. I have no idea how long we'll nurse. Hopefully to 2 years, at least. She doesn't show any signs of stopping now, which gives me hope that we'll reach that goal, but who knows?
I suppose I'll just have to let her take the lead. Just like she's been doing for the past 16 months.