Last weekend the baby of the house turned two. I’m not really sure I remember life before him. Our Little C is shall we say, ‘strong willed’. It’s basically his way or no way. From the day he latched in Neo-natal he has been a boob monster. But breastfeeding needs to work for both Mummy and Baby and for me I have reached the end. When I wrote my last post for World Breastfeeding Week, I knew neither of us were ready to stop. I thought maybe we’d keep going for a month or two. Somehow one more week lead to another and another and another.
I’ll not fill you with facts and science on whether breast is best or not. Those posts make me want to throw my laptop out the window. Every Mum does something another wouldn’t and vise versa. This isn’t a post for or against, it’s just the story of the situation I’ve found myself in.
Our ‘journey’ started, hand expressing colostrum in a High Dependency Unit while he give the doctors a run for their money in Neo-natal. (Click here and here if you want to read about that.) Soon we were feeding on demand, most hours of the day, with curled toes as my nipples cracked and we ‘worked on our latch’. I was so determine this time round. In my previous breastfeeding post I’ve mentioned I only fed my first boy for 6 weeks.
Breastfeeding has gone in waves of being extremely difficult to being the easier option and back again.
For months he only slept on my chest. Nestled listening to the sound of my heart. We progressed slowly to sleeping side by side and eventually into a boob, book, cot routine. But it’s always been me he has wanted. Mr C is a pretty hands on Daddy and when he’s not working his socks off, he’s their go to man. I stereo-typically don’t get a look in until it comes to diner time or bed time. No matter what we have tried, only Mummy will do. No matter what parenting style you follow (what a load of codswallop, most of us are just winging it!) everyone has a limit and mine wasn’t too far in the distance.
This was my choice.
Last Sunday morning I breastfed my Little C for the last time. I savoured it. I wanted to remember every second. There have been tears from both parties. I’m pretty sure that with out some gentle distraction and maybe a few wee bribes, the Little C would be boobing his way to school. Probably asking for a ‘boob please’ as we walk out the door. It has been a comfort for us both at times. My go to weapon when the going got tough. Sleepless nights and early mornings have taken their toll and I know it’s our time to stop.
I’m a member of lots of breastfeeding boards. I’ll not deny I actually joined one particular board in the hope of finding some tips to wean a toddler. I didn’t find the answers I was looking for. Fear of missing out has kept me lurking at the sidelines, as grown women cat fight like something out of Jeremy Kyle. Jumping at any chance to slate formula or recommend a more gentle ‘don’t worry about yourself love you’re just here to feed the baby’ approach. There are lots of patting each other on the back and ‘well done you’ threads too don’t get me wrong, but they don’t stand out in my mind like the drama.
I know my decision to wean, might be frowned upon.
I fully intend to slip away quietly from these groups, in fear of judgement. Hopefully this post will be looked on with compassion and understanding, rather than enforcing the guilt I already feel for making this decision about me not him.
Even through the lack of sleep and virtually non-existent alone time, I’ve loved feeding my little boy. But he’s not so little any more and if you ask him he’s a ‘Man’! I’ll miss it, I know. Those instances where I’m the only one who can save the day. Maybe I’ll miss taking him along on dinners out (rose tinted glasses on) and the only ever lovely comments I received, for feeding him in public.
I’m proud as punch to say my breastfeeding experience lasted till now and this week it has taken all my willpower to offer him an alternative when he’s requested a boob. We’ve been downstairs at 5am most mornings instead of having a feed and cuddle in bed. Of course I will yearn for those mornings! But the next stage is just around the corner and I’ll long for them when they are gone too. Isn’t that the path of Parenthood? Muddle your way through each stage, telling yourself the next will be easier, then looking back and wondering why you ever complained.
So for now I’m looking forward! No more, used to be white nursing bras and a night away with my girls! Daddy’s in charge, he’ll be grand!