Before I was pregnant, I didn't really know a lot about breastfeeding. I thought it was easy and came naturally. I also thought "Meh, I'll just use formula if it gets too hard." Taking birth classes while pregnant really opened my eyes to how important it was. I knew I wanted to breastfeed for the recommended 6 months.
The first few weeks after birth were awful. I wanted to quit a number of times, but we persevered and made it through. Our next challenge was my return to work when Ethan was 12 weeks old. I was really worried about how my supply would fare with so much pumping rather than nursing him all day long. We had a couple of tough weeks, but it went really well.
Six months came pretty fast and I realized I wasn't ready to stop nursing him. I changed our goal from six months to 12. Surely at 12 months I'd be ready to wean, right? I was wrong. As E's first birthday approached, I wasn't ready to stop yet and neither was he. I decided I'd keep going until he decided he didn't want to nurse anymore.
We had a couple of scares, especially when he was night weaned. I thought he'd be so mad that the wouldn't want to nurse at all. Thankfully he was okay with cuddles/water/pacifier at night and after a few tough weeks, he was night weaned. We kept nursing up until a few weeks ago.
I chose our breastfeeding goals, but didn't want to hold myself to them especially after our rough start. If I kept them fluid, I could make the best decisions for my family and not try to attain something that was difficult. I am also kind of weird and like round numbers (6 months, 1 year, etc.), so I knew I'd push to get to one of those goals. In fact, we were so close to 2 years that I really wish we'd made it that long, mostly for the round number than anything else! 21 months and 9 days isn't a nice even number!
How did you determine your breastfeeding goals?