Confessions Of An Extended Breastfeeder

Something struck me today. I am an extended breastfeeder. While this might not come as a massive surprise to some, it did to me. Primarily because my daughter is not yet 20 months old, and I always assumed I would breastfeed for the WHO recommended 2 years – that’s 24 months.

In my mind, there’s nothing ‘extended’ about breastfeeding Ameli. She’s still a baby. She doesn’t pay for a seat on the train, she doesn’t pay entry to amusement parks, and she breastfeeds. Like babies do.  Except in the eyes of other people, my leggy little girl, born at 52cm tall, and walking since she was 8 months old, looks like a proper toddler.  So when people hear that I’m still breastfeeding her, they are surprised, and either raise their eyebrows in a “what” kind of way, or make some or other comment about how brave I am or how good that is. Which, of course, it is.

I Had A Perfect Birth – Now I’m Scared Of Trying Again

You hear birth horror stories all the time. Terrible pain, terrible doctors, lack of respect, loss of dignity. It all seems synonymous with childbirth these days, and from birth to birth trauma  to birth rape, the range of experiences mothers go through are as varied as the mothers themselves, and the babies they birth.

From time to time, you even hear about wonderful births. Home births and water births often fall into that ‘wonderful’ birth experience. And every now and then you’ll find someone talk about a perfect birth.

Blackmail, Violence And Emotional Abuse As Parenting Tools

Blackmail is a crime. I think we’d all agree with that.

Emotional blackmail is abuse. Again – we all agree.

So why on earth would anyone offer emotionally blackmailing a child as a suitable option/alternative to smacking?

A mother asked on a parenting group the other day what she could do about her very destructive 21 month old. In response she had answers like this:

Dear Ameli- Letter To A 19 Month Old

Dear Ameli,

My angel, I’m so sorry. This letter is a week late, and you’re 19 months and 1 week old already. It’s been so busy here that I’ve just not had the time to write to you.

We’ve found somewhere to live, and although it’s been so lovely staying with Aunty Lindi and Uncle Ian, I’m looking forward to our new home in a whole new part of England. It’s not always nice starting ‘over’ on some levels, but I am excited about exploring a new part of the world. I’m just looking forward to being ‘settled’ for a little while again.

Babyloss Isn’t Taboo

    Warning: This post is about baby loss and may be upsetting to some readers.

I’ve wanted to write this post for such a long time, but have never felt ‘qualified’ to do so. What do I know about baby loss? Child loss? Do I even have a right to speak about it?  But that fear is part of what makes me want to write about it. I was asked this week to write a poem for a mother who lost her baby. It sparked so many thoughts for me. Here’s the culmination of those thoughts:

Losing a child. I cannot even begin to imagine what that must feel like. For the first twenty weeks of my pregnancy, I bled. At three weeks the doctor told me my body was preparing to miscarry and I just had to let it happen and for 17 weeks I cried when I went to the loo. I begged my baby to cling to life. She did.

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