Farewell to breastfeeding

It’s official … J an I have put our breastfeeding days behind us. It’s been a week now since our last breastfeed, at least I think so … I can’t actually remember the last time.

We had already made moves to finish the week previous, but then J came down with Bronchiolitis and I gave him a couple of feeds here and there just to make sure he was getting enough fluids.

But as he started to feel better, he didn’t seem to be that interested and with him now sleeping through the night and not needing any breastfeeding for comfort it seemed that we were nearing the end.

I never thought I would be breastfeeding for 16 months … see my earlier post as we hit the 11 month mark. My intent was 12 months, but 12 months came and went and we both didn’t seem ready so then it became a month by month proposition. I set myself a goal of Christmas. But with moving house and rushing around, Christmas too came and went and we were still feeding.

By that stage, even though I was proud of our achievement I was feeling ready to finish up. I was starting to feel depleted and ready to get my autonomy back. It felt like I had given so much of myself to be feeding for that length of time and I suddenly didn’t feel selfish to be wanting all of my self back. I knew the time had come.

J too seemed to be moving further away from me and further out into the world. He was now content and happy to go to daycare and to play on his own, he had become a voracious eater and drank cows milk from a sippy cup. He wasn’t my baby anymore.

So I only gave him a breastfeed when he was very obviously wanting it. With the new sleep routine kicking off and continuing successfully, our old routine of feeding in the morning and feeding to sleep gave way to new routines of reading stories and enjoying play time at the park.

And before I knew it we’d gone a whole day without a breastfeed, my boy falling off to sleep in his own cot without it.’ This is really happening’, I thought as I made a mental note to enjoy those last few feeds as I knew there would soon be a time when that day would  turn into two and then a week would pass and it would all be history.

And here we are, a week on from that last feed. I can’t remember if it was day or night, but I do know that I was very present in that moment knowing that it could well be one of the last times.

As my breasts empty and shrink, I’m excited by the thought of bra shopping and boobs that are hopefully a couple of cup sizes smaller in size.

My boy seems excited by the changes in his world too. At night, instead of rooting for a feed, he looks up at me after his story and gives me one of his signature open mouth kisses and pulls himself in close for a hug. He then makes gestures towards his cot and when I place him in, he lies down on his stomach and nestles in welcoming sleep.

Ch-ch-ch-changes … sometimes they seem to happen in the blink of an eye.

Photo: The gritted teeth stage – one of Jarvis’s early feeds.

What’s changing in your world?

 

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11 thoughts on “Farewell to breastfeeding

  1. great work J boy and such an achievement for you too Bel, feeding for that length of time..
    Our kids grow up so fast, such a cliche I know, but very true..
    Poppy still not walking but am feeling that she is nearly ready to take off, so I am now revelling in her bum-shuffling and crawling while it lasts..
    Changes are a happening that’s for sure!

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    • Go Poppy! J still a crazy crawler for now – that will be the next thing! x

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      • nothing wrong with crazy crawling Bel!! it’s so weird, lots of babies who are not even one year old are walking before Pops.. but she will get there – all on her terms of course!

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      • PS – I think you should have a “maternity bra burning” session then go out and buy yourself some sexy non-maternity bras and the most unfriendly breastfeeding tops possible!

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      • A-MEN to that! I just bought a couple of new maternity bras, so they’ll have to stay for next time … just couldn’t bring myself to buy non-maternity bras as have no idea what size I will be (a whole other blog post, I am sure!)

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      • I have just started seeing lots of walking babies that appear to be much younger than J … and it’s very strange. He puts on a show of walking a few steps (usually with an audience) and then laughs and claps himself. I think he likes the attention that non-walking brings!

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      • ha – same here! Poppy takes about 3 steps, claps then collapses.. walking is over-rated

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  2. It is a weird feeling when it all ends, I remember days thinking I was tied to the chair feeding and wondered if it would ever end, yet when it came time to finish (both times) it was me still hanging on, the girls having moved on already!

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    • It is such a weird feeling … for a long time I thought it would be a real struggle to end it. But then it just sort of happened and I’m left here thinking ‘how did that just happen?’

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  3. What a lovely story of weaning that was a gentle transition for both of you. My 18 month old daughter and I are still going as she woke drink cow’s milk and isn’t a very good eater so I’m hesitant to totally stop breastfeeding. I have enjoyed visiting your blog again and happy to hear of recent sleeping through the night success as well.

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