Day Two | The Bittersweet Breastfeeding End
Breastfeeding was more than I ever imagined it would be. What started out as a way to
save money turned into an amazing journey full of feelings of both love and heartache.
I loved the bond and closeness it created between me and both of my children. I loved all
the cuddles. I loved the feeling of being able to nourish my child with everything they
needed from my body. I loved being able to boost their immune system with just my
milk. I loved being their entire world.
My Breastfeeding Goals
My breastfeeding goal with my first, my son Robert, was to follow the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation and breastfeed until two years old. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out as planned because I dried up when I was about 20 weeks pregnant with my daughter, Lili. Breastfeeding was such an amazing experience with my son that my goal with breastfeeding Lili was to complete the WHO recommendation or longer if possible.
Lili and I had an extremely bumpy start, and I really worried that we wouldn’t make it to even a year. Once we made it over all of our initial hurdles we were able to breastfed for 26 months!
Weaning was a REALLY hard decision. I was ready to wean, but not, at the same time. I didn’t want to lose the closeness with her that I had, but I wanted my body to be mine again. Lili wasn’t ready to wean. She found comfort in breastfeeding. If anything going on upset her the
first thing she would do is ask for “night nights” which is what she called breastfeeding.
The true deciding factor in weaning was my husband and I were going on a 10 day
second honeymoon, and I didn’t want to wean while we were apart. I started weaning
very slowly when she turned two years old. I started with cutting her down to three times
a day; just before nap, bed time, and when she woke up first thing in the morning. Then
after a couple of weeks I cut out her first thing in the morning session, and would offer
her a sippy cup. After a couple more weeks I cut out her nap time session.
She did really well while we cut back. Close to a month later I told her that the “night nights” were all gone. It was a rough few nights getting her to bed, with lots of tears (from both of us),
and daddy would have to get her down for the night. If I was anywhere close she would
cry to the point of choking, saying I need night nights please. It broke my heart listening
to her, but I knew that in the long run this would be best for everyone involved.
I was Nervous
I was nervous with how weaning would feel, both emotionally and physically. Emotionally, I
have felt that we lost a little bit of our connection. She use to always run to me for
comfort, and now she goes to daddy more often than not. This is self centered, but it
makes me sad when she seeks comfort from daddy and not me.
Physically, weaning has been a breeze. No pain, leaking, engorgement, or mastitis. The only thing I can contribute that to is doing it so slowly that my body had time to adjust.
We are four months post weaning, and I miss it like crazy! I miss sitting with her, and looking into her big beautiful eyes. I miss her seeking comfort from me. I miss the cuddles; it was
the only time she would cuddle. I miss the feeling of being her whole world.
On the other hand I don’t miss her pulling my shirt down wherever and whenever she wanted. I
don’t miss the soreness of missing a nursing session. I don’t miss having to wear two
sports bras to workout in because if I didn’t my breasts hurt.
I love that she is finally sleeping through the night! I am happy to have my body be mine again; but if it weren’t for our second honeymoon I would have let her breastfeed until she was ready to wean. I am a little sad that my breastfeeding journey is completely over, but I am ecstatic with the journey I was able to have with both of my children.
Every story of nourishing our littles matters. I hope you all follow along throughout the month to see the wide array of experiences we have as mamas. If you would like to discuss the possibility of participating, send me a note. Happy nursing.