. . . for Lauren and Lauren: The end of our breastfeeding

May 26, 2015

The end of our breastfeeding


The last two weeks have been hard, weird, and different for us as it has now been two weeks since I've nursed Addilyn.  We were down to just nursing first thing in the morning, and then maybe a time or two a week during the day.  If it were up to her it would've been more often.  Our morning routine forever has been I bring her in bed next to me, she nurses for a few minutes, rolls around and then we make our way to the living room.  Often sitting on the couch for a half hour or so, where she'll nurse again, snuggling and watching cartoons.  

I've felt ready to be done for awhile, but also knew I'd be sad when this phase was over.  I am surely a creature of routine, and see a lot of that in Addilyn, as I'm sure most toddlers.  I had no intentions of nursing her this long, but it just kept happening and for the most part I didn't mind.  Once I stopped feeding her in the middle of the night around 18 months, I felt less trapped by nursing and enjoyed it more, like I did in the beginning.  

Honestly, if it weren't that we wanted to get pregnant, and that I hope something hormonally could change so that happens, I don't think I'd fully try until she was two.  And as we approach that two year mark, we'll probably meet with our fertility doctor again, and I'm sure for any tests and possible treatments I'll need to be done nursing.  There is part of me that feels guilty ending nursing, as I prayed it'd be on her terms.  

I nursed Addilyn Mother's Day morning for the last time, which looking back seems like planned timing but it wasn't. Monday morning Addi slept till 6:40 which is nothing short of a miracle to her normal 5:30 wake up. I was already up and in the living room and thought I'd just see if she'd want to sit in her highchair and eat.  She didn't seem to mind, and was surprisingly happy to eat cereal.  I didn't sit on the couch with her and then didn't for the next week and a half, anytime during the day.  I knew if I did she'd want to nurse.  I desperately missed those quiet morning snuggles and was afraid our morning routine would never be back to what it was.  I kept her busy in the morning and gave her some extra snacks and let's be honest, sweets, to distract her when she asked to nurse.  I tried chocolate milk in her special "juice box" sippy cup, and that worked a few times.  

We were doing great day two until I changed my clothes in front of her and she yelled "I wanna nurse!!!"  Thankfully she was easily distracted and it was both cute and kind of broke my heart. There's a lot of emotions taking away something that has been part of both of our days for 22 months. 

The first few days I was kind of an emotional mess, and kept second guessing if this was the right time to do it.  But it felt easier than I expected, which I'm so glad because I kept telling myself if she cried too much or if it felt too hard, I would nurse her and we'd try again in a month.  She asked plenty of times, but I just kept explaining that we couldn't do that anymore.  Some times she'd be fine with that answer and others she'd cry some and it just took offering up lots of other options and distractions. 

The second week was harder.  She seemed to ask more and then she was more mad when I told her no.  One time hitting me in the face when I said we're not going to do that anymore.  One day I resorted to telling her they were broken and didn't work any more, to which she said "I wanna see?  Kiss it and fix it?"  But later that night she asked to nurse and I said "we can't do that anymore" and she looked at Chris and said, "Probably broken." 

I think waiting until this age, as oppose to even two months ago had a little advantage because I know she understands most of what we tell her.  While that doesn't mean she'll always be happy about it, I feel better knowing I have a better attempt at reasoning with her.  I told her she was a big girl now and I know she understands to an extent as one day I asked her why she got chocolate milk and she said "cause I'm all done nursin."   And then another day she asked me to sit on the couch.  I told her we can't sit on the couch and she said, "No nursing though," like she knew that was why I wasn't sitting on the couch the last week.  

I'm excited to fully have my body back, to have maybe a better chance at getting pregnant and to not feel like Addilyn is attached to me in that way.  Except that I'm also really sad about that too.  I love that nursing is one thing that is just us two.  No one else had that with her, and it was such a special bond between us.  I'll miss her little voice saying "Nurse, peeeease?" and "Open?!" or "other side?" But as we go into the third week of not nursing, there's been plenty of times she's sat on my lap and cuddled.  She'll still ask a few times here and there but is content with the answer no, usually saying, "Probably still broken?" 

Sometimes it's hard to process feelings when you have both extremes from the same event.   Part of me feels relived to be done.  I've been thinking about weaning for a long time and felt anxious at how it would go.  I've realized with a lot of things in motherhood, like letting her cry it out during the night or leaving her for the night, I dread it, put it off and feel anxious about it for a long time.  But every time it's worked out.  She's done well, and while each of those things have had hard parts of it, it's gone better than I thought.  And that was true with weaning.   

But I feel sad about it.  I think that nursing Addi became a big part of my mom idenity. Not that I'd share I was still nursing my toddler with everyone, but it has been such a big part of being a mom for me and it feels hard to let that go.  

While I originally had no plans on nursing Addi until she was almost two, I'm thankful that I did.  I am thankful that breastfeeding was a relatively easy process for us and that I was able to feed my baby solely for the first year, and then provide loads of comfort and nutrition for most of the second.  I feel relieved it's over, but sad too.  And I know that this is part of motherhood.  Saying goodbye to a phase and entering a new one. Dealing with transitions and sticking it out together.  Finding new ways to bond and accepting that we are both growing and ready to move on.  

Image Map

12 comments:

muriel said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I also had mixed feelings when I stopped nursing. Especially for my youngest.

muriel said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I also had mixed feelings when I stopped nursing. Especially for my youngest.

Samantha Curtis said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I felt the same way with Nolan, and I am so torn with P. I have a wedding in June and she's not coming with me. And I'm hoping that it's easier for her that I won't be here and she won't have the option. She's SO attached to me and I don't know if it's because I've been weaning her or she's just in a mama phase. Nursing is so amazing and the bond can't be explained unless you've done it. I know what you're feeling mama, hang in there!

Laura said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I'm sure it's so hard to say goodbye to such a bonding thing between you two. I am totally foreign to the idea of nursing... to be honest it kind of freaks me out haha but I know it will be a natural thing when I have a baby and I can imagine it would be weird to do it for so long and then stop. Praying that this will help your body get ready for another baby :)

Susannah said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Awww... My heart just goes out to you! I can't even think about weaning Caleb and I'm sure I'll go longer than a year if my body lets me. I'm glad your little girl is doing ok with the process.

Sharlee said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This made me tear up. I'm planning on night weaning JaiseAnn in two more months and then play the rest by ear...with the hope of eventually weaning around 2. I can relate to every feeling in this post and appreciate you sharing it. I also appreciate that you shared a bit of the process. ..so many moms don't share the process and I am dying for more information.

Sharlee said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This made me tear up. I'm planning on night weaning JaiseAnn in two more months and then play the rest by ear...with the hope of eventually weaning around 2. I can relate to every feeling in this post and appreciate you sharing it. I also appreciate that you shared a bit of the process. ..so many moms don't share the process and I am dying for more information.

Lauren {Fizz and Frosting} said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This post really resonated with me. Even though we're not anywhere near weaning yet, I know that it's coming in the near-ish future. There are days when Layla doesn't seem interested in her afternoon feeding anymore. Sometimes I feel relief that maybe we'll be transitioning to just morning and nighttime feeds soon, but it also breaks my heart she might not need me in that way anymore!

Kayla MKOY said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

While I have no idea what this is like yet, I can imagine what an emotional roller coaster you've got to be on. I'll be praying for you all through this transition :) I love the love you have for that sweet girl!

Kristen said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Made me teary! Such a precious time, I can only imagine the mixed emotions!!! Caleb will be a year in July but much like Addi, I think he would be fine to nurse forever! haha! Thanks for sharing your heart & story!!

J and A said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Aw you should be so proud. She is so sweet, all her asking. Must be broken. LOVE her. Good for you Katie! Now come on baby!! xoxo

Janna Renee said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I have just been hearing about the connection with breastfeeding, periods, and that it's kind of like birth control for the first time this week! I had no clue about that, but it makes me happy because I'm scared of getting pregnant back to back, lol. I think it's great y'all made it that long!