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Breastfeeding journeys – the milk bar is closing down

There have been times over the last year when I never thought I would be able to post this but incredibly, after 16 months, it appears that Littler has started to wean herself.

And to sleep!

Just in time too with the prospect of the girls having a mini holiday to my parents next week.  Can’t describe how relieved I am that she has finally stopped getting up two or three times in the night every night.

But how to describe how I feel about her weaning?

Its not as simple as it should be.

Part of me is relieved that for the first time in three and a half years I’ll not be pregnant or breastfeeding or both.  I could use a break.

But another part of me is going to miss the closeness of the breastfeeding relationship.  The unique thing that I’ve been able to do for her that nobody else can.

I should be feeling proud that my continuing to breastfeed her has done an awful lot to help her with her allergies and helped her grow into such a healthy, happy child (wanted to say baby but there’s no way that she can be described as a baby any more now she’s on the move and talking…).

I’m immensely relieved that I am not going to be pumping!  And yet I’ve got a weird feeling that I’m going to miss that pump and the fact that at least by using it I was still feeding her.

I also feel a bit sad that its all over.  A bit regretful that by introducing her to the bottles of oat milk we’ve got to a place where I’m not needed by her in the same way any more.

I guess this is the first big step that we’re taking for her to be independent of me.  For the last 16 months I’ve been pivotal to her and now that’s no longer the case.  Which does make me really quite sad.

Interestingly this all coincides with her calling everyone, including me, Daddy – I’ve always been Mummy or the sign for milk….

I guess its a strange combination of regret and relief.

At least this time we are stopping because she wants to – with Bigger it was different and more poignant.  At this is what she wants and yes, it is hard to accept that she doesn’t want me.

I’m not drawing a line under the breastfeeding relationship, perhaps she will still want the occasional feed but for now, she appears to want to play peekaboo with my boobs rather than nurse.

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16 comments to Breastfeeding journeys – the milk bar is closing down

  • Emily O

    Such an emotional time stopping breastfeeding isn’t it? I feel emotional just reading this post about it. To feed to 16 months is impressive, I did 6 months with all three of mine and sadly my daughter really seemed to lose interest at 6 months when I was secretly hoping she might want to go on a bit longer. Maybe I sent out some subconcious 6 month vibe thing which she picked up on? It’s very emotional to think you won’t ever breastfeed again. Unless there’s a ‘happy accident’ (something tells me there won’t be a happy accident in our house though, I’m too knackered). Enjoy those games of peekaboo instead.

    • Muddling Along

      The games of peekaboo are very strange – she’s still very attached to my boobs but just not for nursing!

      Its an incredible thing to go through it now because she wants to rather than last time when I weaned because of the pregnancy and everything – bittersweet is the right word

  • Flaf

    How exciting and yet so bittersweet. I had to wean G in pregnancy and suspect F will be my last, so am dreading the closing of the baby days. I do long for that freedom (and sleep too) though. You should be v proud of what you’ve given her.

    • Muddling Along

      Thank you – I guess its strange for me not having one of them needing me because they have so absolutely for so long

      I guess there is a big part of me that holds on to the hope that LIttler is not my last baby so I will have another baby to nurture…

      Oh its exciting to not have that permanent tie but still sad

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Hannah, Hannah. Hannah said: Blogging – the milk bar is closing down! http://tinyurl.com/5vx42py #breastfeeding […]

  • It is extraordinary when they self wean – my son did at 14 months. I was momentarily sad, and a bit nostalgic but felt so lucky it happened on his terms – I think that’s a brilliant break for everyone, rather than having to wean when someone is not ready.

  • Oh, I’m with you. I’m at the six month mark at which I stopped nursing my other two but I can’t say goodbye this time and seem to be keeping going.

    • Muddling Along

      Its funny the reaction I had when people realised we’re only just weaning! Its not as if she was still going to be nursing at university…

      Enjoy it whilst you can – it feels incredibly strange to not be needed by a small person for the first time in so long

  • I’m nearly at this stage too, it is bittersweet but wow what an amazing, wonderful job you’ve done. Be proud and enjoy the next stage as its all good and it gets better. Good luck with the weaning and believe me, the cuddles will return!!!

  • GinaW

    still waiting for the self weaning to happen … at 22 months! I will be conflicted when it does happen, she is growing up so fast 🙁

    • Muddling Along

      I have a good friend who is still nursing at nearly 3 years – all respect to her but there is a part of me that is relieved we are stopping (although at 5am this morning I really really wanted her to want to nurse… )

  • I just finished nursing with my 1 year-old and know exactly how you are feeling, the emotion of which caught me by surprise. I blogged about it as well. I can’t say that I miss the breat pump though!

    • Muddling Along

      I’m surprised I miss the pump – I guess because its been such a huge part of my life… I’ve pumped for most of the last three years (which is a scary statistic when I think about it)

  • Paula Gahan

    When I was reading the articule it brought it all back to me – my baby is just turned 18 years and I can remember how sad I was when she finished feeding and she was 4 years old at the time. I knew she was my last baby and I would not be breasfeeding again so it was the ending of a very special time in my life

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