I’m a mother. This is one badge I never shy away from flashing anywhere and anytime, as I believe motherhood is worth it.
Motherhood is a journey I wish I started earlier had I known all the beautiful moments packed in there. It is a roller-coaster of sorts packed with exciting discoveries. It often feels like being on a cruise ship where adventure is the first and the last mission on the list.
Breastfeeding happens to be one of my favourite moments in this journey.
My daughter who’s now 3 and one month stopped breastfeeding exactly at 36 months. She hasn’t gotten ‘nyonyo’ off her mind though. Sometimes when I get home from work she snuggles on my chest and we both can’t help but reminisce over our ‘milking’ moments.
Before I became I mom, I would swear by the Bible to never unleash my breast in public in the name of breastfeeding. I thought all the women who breastfed in public were just ill-mannered and uncultured. In me eyes, those women were descendants of Jezebel out to put the female generation to shame. (Foolish me, I’m still ashamed I thought so).
My twins were never to be seen in public, so I thought. Enter motherhood and all the caution and thoughts of ‘hiding’ the twins from the public disappeared to God knows where.
Motherhood instincts replaced all the ‘negative thoughts’ I had about breastfeeding. By the way, these instincts don’t announce their arrival, they storm in and before you know it, they took over your seat and are already giving you orders left, right and centre.
When my daughter let out her first cry after birth, my body changed to milk-producing mode only that latching became one of our greatest challenges. It was tough getting the right position for baby to latch. I wish someone had told me before that feeding wasn’t as easy as I thought. How stupid I was, I thought a nipple and a baby is all it took.
My over-filled breasts didn’t help the situation either. My nipples cracked and suddenly my most longed-for moments turned into torture. But amid all the feeding despair, I remained optimistic, my ambition for breastfeeding my little miss didn’t waver.
I soldiered on like the mum I was called to be and in two weeks’ time, baby was set…she would demand for her five course meal and I served it as she wanted.
Being my first child, most of my friends and relatives never understood why I chose to breastfeed for 36 months. Even my mother thought 24 months recommended by WHO was more than enough. I knew the 12 extra months would be hard but I had made up my mind. There were moments I almost gave up, but the gods of breastfeeding kept reminding me all the benefits packed in breast milk.
I called it my white gold mine where only one miner had access to and for sure she didn’t disappoint. She made sure she had all the gold she needed to see her through turbulent phases in a toddler’s life.
I am happy to report, that because of my decision to breastfeed longer, my daughter didn’t get flus. For real, I can count the many times my neighbour’s daughter came to visit us with a running nose and a cough and my daughter was left intact. This isn’t to mean that my neighbour didn’t breastfeed her daughter, she did but not as long as I did. That high immunity there was our white gold’s work. No one can convince me otherwise.
My daughter had her first cough recently after she joined school which lasted a few days…I know our liquid gold is still at work. I believe the first three years in school can be tricky because of adjustments that come with a new environment but I know my daughter is set.