It is World Breastfeeding week and I am talking about the end of my journey.
I had never planned to feed longer than 12 months. I know it is possible and plenty do but I was going back to work and it was just something I was going to do.
My gremlin was an early weaner. She was taking baby rice and fruit and veggie purees at around 4 1/2 to 5 months. This stepped up pretty quickly and it wasn’t long before she was having little meals, with her feeds in between.
We had tried for ages to find a bottle that she would take with a bit of formula in but around 8 months my auntie finally found us one! This meant the gremlin would take a bottle in the afternoon and first thing in the morning. We cut the mid-morning feed out early on as she would have her lunch and promptly vomit. I had two lovely occasions with anything tomato based. (which stressed me out so much as all my meals are pretty much tomato-based!). I soon realised she was full up and that morning feed was too much. We switched it to water and a banana.
I was quite happy chugging along with the evening breast feed as I knew that would be the last one to drop. It did want to make the most of it as well as I knew the time would be precious. Bottles get downed so quickly compared to a breastfeed so I was enjoying my evening cuddles and watching my gremin get milk-drunk as she fed away and dozed.
Then my daughter started to get her teeth. Now, I am no way confirming the myth that you cannot breastfeed when your child gets their teeth but for me it was a deal breaker. I was bitten a good 2-3 times. Enough to bring tears to my eyes. I started to bring out the bottle at bedtime. My girlie was good; she would have some and finish on the breast. This started to steadily increase and soon she was taking the bottle of milk at night with no fuss at all. We could leave her in bed with it and she would fall asleep.
I thought I was done and this was actually quite well-timed with a holiday we were going on. I hadn’t expected to be done before this. However, I had one more feed with her before it was finished. On the flight out my girl was unsettled as I made the fatal error of moving when she was asleep. When we descended to avoid any further hysteria I breast-fed her until her landed. This was my final feed. I remember waking up the next day afterwards to the smallest boobs ever and all my bikinis I bought did not fit! They seemed to disappear overnight!
When I look back I don’t feel sad about it. I feel happy. I succeeded and apart from a few hiccups at the start it has been a great. The breastfeeding journey ended so smoothly; I was surprised. I was dreading having my daughter so upset as she came off but she never was. I’d had a great 10 months and we were both happy. I did miss the long cuddles and her little searching cute nose and mouth around my nipple but she was growing up and other things to follow were just as cute and exciting.
Plus, some cheeky cocktails on holidays numbed the pain of my rapidly disappearing chest!
How about you? How did your breastfeeding journey end?