Breastfeeding has seriously been one of the hardest most rewarding parts of parenting that I’ve experienced thus far. I’ve managed to spend the better part of 7 out of the last 11 years breastfeeding to some extent. I had so many difficulties starting out with my oldest child and had to work so hard to learn how to do it, but by my fifth baby it just felt like second nature to me. It’s weird to think of myself not holding and breastfeeding one of my children at this point.
But sadly that is the stage I am to.
The last few months have been especially hard for me and the family and I found myself becoming increasingly annoyed with having to spends hours a day, stuck to the sofa, breastfeeding a toddler. Her teeth scratching over my nipples, hands always touching me, and just always having my body on demand for someone else, finally took it’s toll. With Harper being over 2 now and eating and drinking regular foods without a problem, I came to the conclusion that it was just time to stop. It was time to move our relationship past this phase in our journey and progress it to a slightly more independent (not so co-dependent) relationship.
With that being said though, this was not an easy decision to make. Breastfeeding really is such a special time between you and your child. It’s a time for the two of you to sit and bond in a way that your child is unable to bond with anyone else. And knowing that you are providing both comfort and nourishment for your child is so rewarding.
So it is a time that I am going to dearly miss as we move forward.
But alas, I made our very last breastfeeding session Sunday February 2,2020. We woke up like normal, made the bed, got dressed, had breakfast. Then a short while later, she climbed up in my lap ready to breastfeed and take her nap. I talked to her and let her know that this was the last time. She didn’t understand what I was saying at all but she breastfed happily and listened and fell asleep like she always did.
I honestly wasn’t a hundred percent sure if that would in fact be our last time to breastfeed because she was so dependent upon it for comfort and sleep. So I sort of figured I’d have to breastfeed her at least one or two more time if she got overly upset by it. It’s now 5 days later, though, and she’s doing great. She’s gone from being upset for a few minutes at night or at nap time, to not even trying to breastfeed. She happily goes to sleep now singing songs and cuddling.
It’s funny how quickly they can go from being completely dependent upon breastfeeding to acting like it never happened. Well, it’s funny and it’s sad. It’s nice being able to sit and cuddle with her or to be able to lay in bed and cuddle without her pulling at me to breastfeed though. It changes the relationship in such a good way when you stop breastfeeding. You find new things that you enjoy doing together and that soothe them.
I’ve also found that she and I are both sleeping so much better at nights. She’s no longer falling asleep on the breast and then looking for it all night long. She can fall asleep listening to music and stays asleep all night. Meaning, I’m getting more sleep than I have in a very VERY long time. I’m less pissy and so is she.
So, even though I’ll miss that time with my baby girl (she’s growing up on me and that’s hard in and of itself) I’m so happy to be moving into a new chapter of her life.
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