The Breastfeeding Chronicles: Thanks for the Mammaries.
It’s been over two weeks since I stopped breastfeeding T.
I didn’t know how I would feel about the day when T would stop feeding. It was just something we did. It was so embedded into our routine that I actually didn’t think it would end. So I didn’t think about it.
Now the time has come though; I still don’t know what to think!
On one hand it’s all that we knew. Our moment of just “us”. I looked forward to that hour of just me and him (the calm bit) before nap time. I also loved being the one to comfort him when he was sick or in pain. That part of me is sad. That part is in mourning.
But, on the other hand, a huge part of me started to feel that I was no longer needed, especially when we would often have a day or two where T wouldn’t ask for milkies.
I knew we were coming to the end when T started to not take as much during pre-nap time feeds, as well as not ask for it during the day.
He would prioritise his water over boob and would be happy falling asleep in our arms without “help”. Teething aids replaced my boobs when teething pain kicked in, and snufflebabe helped with colds.
So I went with it.
I stopped offering boob before naps and simply put T down in his cot for nap time. After 20 or so minutes of quiet back rubbing he went to sleep. There was no fighting. No tears. No signals for boob. He was okay.
I was shocked. There was no long goodbye. No farewell. No thanks for the
memories mammories. That was it.
We’re slowly coming to the end of our #breastfeeding journey, with T taking less and less each time before falling asleep. Although he’s stopped asking at night, we can’t quite get him down without it before naps. As much as I’m looking forward to getting my body back I’m going to miss these bright eyes looking back at me.
But then the relief kicked in. Like I’d completed a marathon. Like I was finished. I’d done my job. I’d made it!
I’d never given myself a target, I simply gave myself a milestone of six months and then told myself to get to the next six months. I never thought I’d reach a year (what with teething)… let alone 20 months.
So as I write, T is asleep in my arms after giving him a cuddle whilst wrapped in a blanket. I’ll take him upstairs, put him in his cot and give him a kiss goodnight. It doesn’t feel like I’ve forgotten anything. I don’t wonder whether he’s going to go to bed hungry, or wake up hungry. Even my boobs aren’t wondering what the hell is going on – which is the tell tale sign that something was definitely changing.
Part of me wishes I’d reached a solid 24 months. A neat two years. But that would have meant I would have potentially pushed something I knew was already over.
Now was the right time.
For both of us.