I knew I would write this post someday, but this is sooner than I had hoped. I shared how the first 100 days of breastfeeding went for me and how I started using formula around seven months. My supply was honestly always really crappy, so I knew my dreams of extended breastfeeding would never come to pass but I didn’t realize my goal to breastfeed for a year would also be shorted.
The weaning process happened very naturally. Claire took to formula well and I personally think she did better on it anyway. I had no problem giving her more as she seemed to enjoy it. Before breastfeeding was completely over, she was only nursing about twice a day to get to sleep for naps or bed time.
I knew at that point that breastfeeding wasn’t really a nutritional thing but more of a comfort. I so enjoyed giving that comfort to her and started to really love our times together during nursing because I felt it was soon coming to and end.
I don’t have any photos related to this post, but these photos of Claire were taken the day after we stopped breastfeeding, so they seemed fitting.
Well, last weekend we all got the worst stomach bug ever, so it stopped pretty quickly. Claire could only have Pedalyte for about three days because she wasn’t able to keep anything else down. I was already way beyond done pumping at that point. By the time she was well enough to eat, I was sick and didn’t think it was a good idea to nurse while sick. And before I knew it, it had been about three days without nursing. That’s when my husband said to me over breakfast, “Well, I think you’re done breastfeeding now.”
Yup, that was it.
I’m glad that it ended the way it did. I still – and will always – remember the last time she nursed. I was laying in bed not feeling good. She crawled up to me and just latched on and locked eyes with me the whole time. It was just so natural and comfortable for her to know that as her mommy, I could give that to her.
I am definitely a little emotional about it, but at least glad that it happened so gradually, which I am telling myself makes it hurt less. For those of you that don’t have kids or didn’t breastfeed, I can just say that it is an extremely emotional experience in both good and bad ways. I never knew how much I would hate it at first and how long it would take to get into a good groove. But once we had that groove, it was so good. And I never imaged I’d be one of those moms saying “Oh, I miss it so much,” but I truly do. There is really nothing like it.
I don’t feel disappointed in myself that I didn’t reach my “goals.” I say goals in quotes because I think the only reason my goal was to breastfeed for a year because that is what is recommended. In all honesty, the goal of breastfeeding for a year is much too lofty, though, when you have no idea just how breastfeeding will go.
I was getting my teeth cleaned the other day and the hygienist had just had a baby. She said her goal was to breastfeed for three months, and if she could go longer, she’d be happy. I wished I’d had a more realistic approach to nursing like that, but it’s easy to say that in hindsight.
The fact that Claire was exclusively breastfed for seven months and that we still breastfed until almost ten months does make me proud. We breastfed through the summer heat, a very stressful move, and tons of sleepless nights. I fought low supply the whole time and though it never got better, I literally gave her everything I could. So with that, I’m more than happy.
I’m also happy to send my breast pumps and nursing shirts packing and hopefully be on my way to losing some weight that I think nursing has kept on me this whole time. It’s a good transition, but a sad one as it marks just one more milestone that means my baby is growing up. It makes those baby days seem far away, even though she still is one.
Everything about motherhood is like trying to hold on while also having the complete realization that its all slipping out of your grasp at the same time. Just so bittersweet! So with that, I say goodbye nursing days – until next time, tatas.
Questions for You:
- How did you approach nursing – realistically or with unrealistic expectations?
- Did your nursing story go at all like you thought it would?