From and including: Thursday, 27 November 2014
To and including: Thursday, 28 July 2016
Result: 610 days

That’s 610 days from the start date to the end date end date (inclusive) or 1 year, 8 months and 2 days.
Alternative measurements of time:
– 52,704,000 seconds
– 878,400 minutes
– 14,640 hours
– 87 weeks and 1 day
– 167.12% of a common year (365 days).

What are those absurd calculations above you may be asking? Well, those calculations represent the length of time I breastfed my son.

Some of you may remember my previous piece on breastfeeding – it was really difficult for me to breastfeed in the beginning as my son wouldn’t latch, so I was in that limbo land of feeding with a bottle, expressing, storing, attempting to use the nipple shield and being very stressed throughout it all. The feeling of failure that sweeps over a woman when they can’t breastfeed – blame it on society – becomes a heavy burden. Hence why I kept trying to do the most ‘natural’ thing that was supposed to just happen on day 1.

So you’re pressured to breastfeed the liquid gold, even through all the crazy talk about not breastfeeding in public and whatever rubbish. But what I only came to realise recently is that there’s then pressure to STOP breastfeeding. To be honest, I’m so freaking confused about all the ‘supposed to’s. I can imagine what the babies are thinking … something along the lines of ‘WTF mum??!??!’

Anyway, I realise I’m tangenting hardcore right now so back to the point … the above calculations signify that I have officially stopped breastfeeding. Hooray!!! Hooray?? Why hooray? Because it was MY decision. It wasn’t because my son was getting too old, it wasn’t because he knew what and where my boobs were and wasn’t at anytime hesitant to expose me in public, it wasn’t because I needed him to be independent.

It was because he got sick and wouldn’t eat and because he was hanging off my boobs all day and night my nipples were barely surviving. The eventual and very real pain of that made me realise it was time to say goodbye. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my husband who took charge from that moment and helped me not relapse, like the previous three times.

But whatever the reason was, it was my reason. It had to be mine, regardless of the numerous surprised looks at me ‘still breastfeeding’. You know those ones! But it wasn’t an easy process. I had to sit and explain and talk to my son and then listen to him cry in distress because his only way of comfort was gone and now he had to find a new one ASAP. So it’s a big process and change for everyone, and if the decision hasn’t been one made by you, then it’s heartbreaking and you might be a little resentful. Been there, done that.

So now I’m free. Goodbye to the end of 610 glorious days that I will never get back and that I will always treasure.

PS. He does still love the boobs. He actually sometimes holds them and kisses them… like kisses them 10 times and says “I love you” to them. It’s a little bit cute.

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