I am Andie Quila, mother to 22-month-old Ava and happy to share that we are still breastfeeding.
People often ask me about my breastfeeding experience, and when faced with these questions I am usually overcome by a wave of emotions. There is so much I want to say and yet finding the right words is always a challenge.
After almost two years of breastfeeding, I can tell you that our experience has been absolutely life giving. Aside from solely providing Ava’s nourishment for the first six months of her life, nursing her nourished my spirit as well. It fed my confidence and made me feel competent, something I feel every first-time mother needs. During the first few weeks that were filled with uncertainly, it felt good to know that I was doing something right.
Like many first time mothers and their newborns, we were off to a shaky start. Ava wanted to feed day in and day out and I had my fair share of cracked nipples and plugged ducts. I was so frustrated because while I was pregnant, I read every book I could get my hands on and yet we were still struggling. Recovering from an unexpected C-section, I was exhausted and on the verge of giving up. The first month went by in a painful blur and looking back, I now see how we were able to keep on going.
I had made the decision to breastfeed very early in my pregnancy and I never entertained the possibility of not being able to succeed. I now realize that breastfeeding really is a commitment and the earlier you decide to make it, the better chance you have of living up to it.
During the difficult moments, my husband, Steve, was absolutely indispensable. His support and encouragement fuelled us. My friends from a breastfeeding support group called LATCH were especially helpful, so much so that I decided to become a member when Ava and I were more comfortable and settled. At first, I was hesitant to seek help. I wanted to do everything on my own. Now I know that it’s okay not to have all the answers. I guess it really does take a village to accomplish great things.
As you can see, I have many people to thank for our breastfeeding success but the help I valued the most came from my own daughter, Ava. I am not only proud of myself for having come this far but I am even doubly proud of her. To me, breastfeeding is a privilege, and the best part is that it is one that most women can enjoy. I am so blessed to have been able to.