Sunday, March 3, 2013

And Just Like That. It's Over.

Well friends, it's done. Breastfeeding. It's over. {For all my male followers, this might be TMI. Fair warning.}

What I thought early on would feel like a burden lifted feels more like a sad event. And to be honest, I'm mourning the end of it.

You see, he can now sustain life without me. He drinks regular milk and eats everything we eat and no longer needs his mama for sustenance. For the first time in his existence, he doesn't need me. I want to cry a little just thinking about it.

We stopped feeding March 1st and Benjamin never looked back. He's independent, yet still needs snuggles. But the milk? He's never clawing at me for any and screeches with intense back arches when I try to get him to breastfeed. Only sometimes does he allow for it, but most of the time he squirms away like I'm injuring him. With that reason, I decided to allow him to make his own decisions about it and we went down to two feeds. Then within a few days, he was ready for just one feed. My body quickly understood the process and the milk has sort of stopped.

He hasn't fed at all in three days and I'm back to wearing regular bras {albeit smaller ones. sigh}. Just like that. The cow's-milk-drinking, peanut-butter-eating little dude remains unphased by the whole event. But deep inside, his mama is totally sad about this coming of age business.

I'm trying to tell myself that there are such wonderful freedoms that come with this weaning for both of us, like the ability to leave him longer than an 8-hour stretch of time without feeling like my breasts are physically going to burst or he'll starve to death (neither of which would happen, but for dramatic's sake, can we just pretend?). It's nice to know others can watch him without the mama milk requirement, and it doesn't require me sitting down to feed when he wants milk. The independence is sort of freeing, I guess.

We already know the emotional aspect for me, but I'm also equally terrified about airplane rides and other events when my breast can no longer be the savior to get the baby to stop melting down (though it was losing its effectiveness, to be honest). We'll just have to rely on a hope and a prayer and lots and lots of snacks.

My goal was a year and we made it... but barely. He was showing signs of the end in the 11th month when he couldn't be bothered to drink for very long at all. He's got things to do and he's not afraid to express his opinion.

I already miss it. I have a feeling this won't be the first time I feel sadness over my little boy growing up. I am thankful he's thriving, but boy do I already miss that little squish that needed his mama to survive.


LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

You've done so well to get him to 12 months- seriously. To think you doubled your initial six month goal- and that he weaned on his own- huge accomplishment!!!

He's such a great kid and he's far too busy for boobs now. Onto peanut butter and all the other "nos" along the way!

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

I was so sad to see it end so I totally understand. I wanted to go a year or however long Finn would go, but

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

(Sent that too early) but we didn't make it to that and were just under. It's hard when it feels like they don't need you anymore huh?

Guess they still need someone to wipe their ass. There's always that (for now anyway).

But great job mama. You got him off to the healthiest start in his young life, you should be so proud.

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

lol @Caroline. You can always take comfort in the butt-wiping, yes?

I imagine it is really bittersweet (to use an overused word that I don't like very much). There are times when I feel like I'm over breastfeeding but Zuzu doesn't show any signs of slowing down. That said, she's showing a real interest in people food now, so maybe I can see the light? My original goal was 6 months, then a year, and now I guess... until she decides to wean? Crazy. I hear you on feeling sad about losing the magical comfort of the boob, though. Right now it can settle her down no matter what is going on. It will be hard to say goodbye to that prop!

Jessica said... [Reply to comment]

Congrats on making it to the one year mark! I was just having a conversation with a friend about big changes when you realize just how much your child has grown (in her case it is needing to buy deodorant for her 9 year old daughter). Its exciting it is to see them grow and change, but on the other hand you just want them to stop growing because one more change is too much.

On a lighter note, enjoy having "the girls" to yourself again! I really miss

Jessica said... [Reply to comment]

Oops...posted before I finished...

I really miss wearing normal bras, but will happily wait until M is finished nursing.

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

Kids ALWAYS need their Mommy! I still want my mom when I'm sick!
Woohoo for making it to 12 months! Thats awesome! And I totally hear you on the smaller bra thing now :(

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

I absolutely get it. Each new step so bittersweet. Sending hugs.

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

He still needs you to survive! Just in different ways. <3 You're a rockstar for going as long as you did. Good work! :)

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

I'll echo what so many of the others have said, you are a rockstar for making it to a year!

Nursing just did not work with Addalee. It was so stressful trying to make it work, and she kept losing was just not meant to be. So I never expected to get to do it, but I am! I'm nursing Abigail, and it's amazing that my body is providing her nutrients to grow. And the ONLY nutrients she's getting! Pretty miraculous.

I completely understand mourning some of these milestones. I may or may not have cried several times over these last 18 months with Addalee, watching her become a kid instead of a baby.