The Last Feed, The End of My Breastfeeding Journey

The Last Feed, The End of My Breastfeeding Journey

I know it in my head you just want a quick feed and nuzzle. I should say no, but how could I deny you?

As I lay beside you and watched you toss and turn, I wondered if you knew how difficult tonight was for me too. I watched in the dimness, as your tiny hands curled unfamiliarly around the soft toy you were hugging to sleep because last night was your last feed.

Over the last few weeks, we have been slowly working towards the end of our breastfeeding journey. Cutting down the feedings one at a time, we went from full-on on-demand feeding to skipping morning feeds, then skipping the nap feeds and finally the night feeds.

The Last Feed, The End of My Breastfeeding Journey

Me taking a break from work to nurse her

The Tears

At first, I relented to the odd middle of the night comfort feeding because you would cry and protest. Truth be told, every time I saw those tiny hands blindly reaching into my shirt, I would lose.

I know it in my head you just want a quick feed and nuzzle. I should say no, but how could I deny you?

You’re turning 3 in June, the decision is set and together our breastfeeding journey has come a very long way. You’re eating well, you’re healthy and you don’t nurse for very long anymore. I know you’re ready, the question is… am I?

At first, the tears were difficult, and you wanted to be carried all the time. Never on my back and always in front, closest to your comfort source.

Many times when you were inconsolable, I had to put up a brave front and not cry along with you. Instead, I would carry and comfort you until you slept.

Progressively it got easier and easier; your protests shorter and shorter, until it led to tonight. I am anxious I won’t lie. “This is it,” I thought, “no more sacrificing coffees, no more night feeds, no more ugly nursing bras. It’s finally happening!”

The Last Feed, The End of My Breastfeeding Journey

Us, after a meltdown, but she finally slept

Half-hearted

I rejoiced, but it was shortlived. I thought back about the little things you would do like wanting to feed when I’m busiest. Or that annoying thing you like to do – sticking your other hand into my bra to fiddle with a nipple.

I remember your first encounter getting sprayed with milk because I had such a massive let down, I remember your first milk coma.

The Last Feed, The End of My Breastfeeding Journey

the result of too much milk

I would take pictures of my reflection in your eyes and we would just stare at each other. You would reach up and touch my lips (a funny habit that you had) and I would stroke your cheek. Other times I would ask questions and you would nod or gesture with your hand while with your mouth full.

The Last Feed, The End of My Breastfeeding Journey

My reflection in her eyes – breastfeeding @8 months

So here we are back to your tossing and turning. I almost wanted you to turn around and ask in that tiny voice of yours. I wanted to feel like you needed me still, so much so that my heart broke. You’re handling it like a real trooper and here I was a complete mess. My beautiful yet exhausting breastfeeding journey is finally coming to an end.

You suddenly turned to face me, and in the darkness, I was caught in a moment of weakness. Your arms grabbed for my shirt, but instead of helping yourself to a feed, you snuggled in close to my chest and I watched you drift to sleep. It was almost as if you just knew how to comfort me and tonight I DO feel needed.

As I made peace with the closing of this chapter in my life, I wiped away the stray tears and drifted off to sleep to the smell of the top your head.

Love always,

Mum.

Read:https://www.theindusparent.com/when-to-stop-breastfeeding

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theIndusparent

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