Our breastfeeding journey has come to an end.
I thought I still had a little bit longer, my goal was to get to 12 months, and now at 14 months we’d gradually got down to 2 feeds a day. I thought she’d be happy to continue as she’s always been a milk monster. And honestly, even though I need to wean for medical reasons (I need a general anaesthetic for a minor surgery to remove some suspicious moles) I still thought I could linger here for a few more weeks, maybe another month. Then early last week, at the bedtime feed she latched, looked into my eyes, played with my hair, let out little gruff giggles under her breath like she always does and had a nice long drink. But when I came to offer her the other side, she pushed it away. Since then, and it’s been over a week now, she’s refused to latch. She had just made up her mind, and that’s so indicative of who she is. The sad part was that I didn’t know that in that moment right there that it was going to be the last time. I knew our breastfeeding journey was coming to an end, but in that moment I didn’t think to take it all in.
She is my last baby, so every page we turn on different chapters through motherhood, it hits my heart till it’s black and blue knowing that it’s the last time I’m going to experience this story. If you’ve read about our tough journey to make it to a year of breastfeeding, then you’ll know how bitter sweet this moment is for me.
“From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.
But don’t forget …You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.
~ author unknown