Goodbye Breastfeeding – end of our journey
In just under 2 months time I will have a 3-year-old! I can’t quite believe just how quickly she is growing up. Over the last few months, the changes she has been going through are incredible. She currently goes to a local pre-school two mornings a week, but from September it will be more. Just a few weekends ago we witnessed her make a friend in the local park and play for ages with them. Now I know this probably isn’t a big deal for most, but she isn’t one to usually do that. She can be a bit wary of other kids. She also has a friend at school that she talks about a lot. It’s so cute. She is slowly becoming more independent and less reliant on us.
One of the things that has slowly been coming to an end is our journey with breastfeeding. Now, this isn’t something I’ve discussed for a while. In fact, I’ve actually been rather embarrassed about the fact that I am still breastfeeding her. Most people who choose to breastfeed their baby don’t continue past a year at the most. So to still be going at almost 3 years seems amazing to me.
Obviously we haven’t been feeding like we did when she was a newborn. It’s mostly been at naps and bedtime for the last year. There has been the odd occasion where she has fed during the day but not anymore. The feeds started getting quicker and smaller, until the last few weeks when it was down to literally a minute and then she turned round and said ‘mama your boob-bees not working anymore’.
It was at this point I knew our breastfeeding journey had come to an end.
I had been preparing myself for when the time came, I knew it would be happening soon. But it still gave me a huge wave of emotions. After nearly 3 years of our time – it was over. Breastfeeding is without a doubt one of the hardest parts of being a mother. Or at least it was for me. Our journey didn’t start off easy. I almost gave up after just 3 days. My milk was just starting to get established but due to a bad latch, it meant feeding was very difficult and extremely painful. This resulted in me getting very stressed out and sore. My nipples were cracked and bleeding and the last thing I wanted to do was carry on. I would burst into tears every time she wanted to feed, which as a newborn was all the time.
However a lovely midwife came round to check on us, could see I was struggling and sat down with me. She talked us through positions and different holds. Over the next few days surrounded by pillows and cushions, we finally got the hang of it. I can still remember the first time I attempted to feed in public. I was absolutely terrified, and I found it so awkward. In my mind everyone was staring, when the reality was no one even noticed. It’s safe to say that we soon got the hang of that as well, and would do it almost anywhere.
The main thing I am excited about is getting my body back!
I can start wearing whatever I want, I no longer have to think about the possibility of having to feed her. I used to constantly wear a vest under everything I wore as it made it easier. But now I don’t need to do that, although I do still find myself doing it. I can wear dresses that don’t have buttons down the front. I can start to be me again.