Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The end of an era

It's taken me a good month to write this post and I have to say, it's with mixed feelings. 16 months after his eventful arrival into this world and his first breastfeed, our journey came to an end. This milkbar is officially closed... Mr Oliver is weaned.

One moment I am happy; I've reclaimed my body, I've got a bit more freedom, I'm not limited to particular styles of (accessible) clothing... The next I feel sadness - mostly because I can't actually remember the last time I fed my sweet baby boy. If only I knew the last time was going to be the last time, I would have savored the moment a little more. I wouldn't have been in such a hurry to get up and get on with my day, but instead sat back and enjoyed those milky smiles a little longer. Relished those post feed naps together.

I never expected to nurse for as long as I did, my initial goal was 6 months, then 12 months and after that we just took it month by month. The first few days were challenging - I never imagined I'd be learning to breastfeed my baby with what felt like a million lines coming out of his tiny body from the IVs. At times it was daunting - thankfully he was an excellent feeder right from the start and we had a lot of help from hospital staff and our kraamzorg. I did almost give up completely at 6 weeks thanks to a double whammy of breast feeding related illnesses. I'm so, so glad I persevered - thanks to the help of a wonderful lactation consultant who turned up on my doorstep 10 minutes after my tearful call to her at 8.00am one morning. What can I say - a good LC is worth her weight in gold!!!

Weaning felt like a really natural process, which I am thankful for. By the time we finished, Oliver was only feeding once a day, sometimes every other day and it was mostly for comfort. One day he just stopped asking for it and after about a week, I felt like I could call it. Weaned. The end of an era indeed...


21 comments:

  1. This brought tears to my eyes :( I've just started this process; 2 feedings have been cut out so far. Some days I am wishing it away and then other days I think, eh, I could do this forever. I was exactly the same; my goal was 6 months, then 12 months, and now, we're started to ween him and I just don't see an end in sight.

    Maybe I'll take my time a little longer...

    Thank you for posting this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. it is hard-every time you wean a baby. I had a hard time letting go with Meres, though I was ready to be done. I just think she is most likely my last. So you don't want it to end. But, it does. It is very bitter sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awww! I'm going through something g similar. A is starting to self wean. I'm ready to be done physically but emotionally yet!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Its one of the strongest attachments we form. such powerful feelings go with it - even when you aren't able to breastfeed. The hardest one for me was jonte - cause I didn't feed him for long like the other two. I was wracked with guilt, and a grief that I wouldn't share that with him. never had such strength of feeling over nearly anything else I can actually think of....and definately something men don't get...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I started having to pump and bottle feed my 11 month old because he wasn't gaining weight and the Dr wanted to see how much he was actually getting. I'm s=worried when we get it all settled he wont want to take the breast again... I wont be able to remember the last time. either...

    ReplyDelete
  6. This post gave me chills! Maile is 19 months, and still a consistent nurser. Some days, I think I would like her to be weaned. Last week, though, I was given an "easy out," if you will, when my ENT doctor told me he thought I should start aggressive treatment for my chronic sinusitis. Needless to say, there are a whole lot of medications that aren't friendly to breastfeeding included in that plan! I told him I'd think about it for a day or two. At first I was excited: this was just what I needed to cut Maile off! But that night, as we snuggled up for her going-to-bed nursing session, I knew she's not ready to give it up yet, and there's no way I'm going to make her!

    I'm so glad to read that weaning was a natural process for you. That's something to be proud of! Hugs, mama.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can totally relate to this post! I had the same emotions when I weaned my babies. I was at first excited for a return to some freedoms, no more bouts of mastitis, no more breast pads, worrying about accidental leaks, etc. But at the same time I knew there was no going back and it was such a very precious time spent with them, just the 2 of us. With my daughter I made it to 7 months and 9 months with my son, however I would have loved to go much longer but was cut short by various issues. Be proud of yourself! You did an amazing job for continuing all this time!

    ReplyDelete
  8. thank you for sharing this. it's something that i know is in my future but i can't figure out how it'll happen.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm sure it was hard to wean, but goodness, what a great job you did! So happy to have found & now follow your blog. I know I will love following your travels via your amazing photos! Wonderful post. Meryl

    ReplyDelete
  10. That photo is so precious!
    I am so excited and nervous for this day. My first baby is due in May and I have heard all kinds of stories about breastfeeding and weening... some beautiful and some horrific! ;]

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is the end of an era. I breastfed for 14 months... and I miss the cuddle time we got each day. I still kind of miss it, when I think about it, although it's nice to not have to rush home in time for feedings. Good for you for doing what was right for you, and your baby - on a timeframe that worked for both of you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh I feel like I will be writing a very similar post soon. LP is 2 years & 4.5 months. We are down to about 3 a day, but I've been cutting the morning session and he's been okay with it. Part of me really wants my body back, and a break before we get pregnant again, but the other part of me cherishes the fact that I can still hold him for those few minutes. Because goodness knows, he never lets me snuggle him anymore. Haha!

    I told my nana a few weeks ago, that I was going to get through flu season before I weaned, and then he got the dang flu anyway.

    Anyway, sorry for the novel, but hugs to you!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Aww! We have an almost 4 month old and my goal was 3 months. I've extended it. I didn't think I would enjoy it. Thought it was something I just had to "get through" but that isn't the case. What a blinding experience and I love our time together. Makes me sad thinking about weaning him but boy am I ready for a glass of wine w/o worrying about pumping, etc. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. my goal was 24 months (since that's what WHO recommends), but we didn't make it. 50 days shy of that, my supply just totally dried up due to a combination of death in the family (stress from that, lack of pumping at work since I wasn't at work, and my son being too busy to hold still to nurse), and pregnancy. He still occasionally tries to latch on, but then signs "all gone". It breaks my heart... I was SOOOOO close! I'm hoping he'll take back to it after the next one is born... especially since I had such forceful letdowns with him (at first) that he'd gag... I bet a toddler would handle that better than a newborn did! He could save #2 from those rushes of milk!

    following from mommy brain mixer

    http://thoughtsoffluff.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's so hard to end, I know! I had such mixed feelings too. Here's to the new era. And the profile pic of you and your son is fantastic!
    Visiting from the Mommy Brain Mixer!
    Meredith
    www.themomoftheyear.net

    ReplyDelete
  16. such a heartfelt post! it is bittersweet when they wean... nursing is such a special time with our little ones, but then it's so amazing to watch them grow up too :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Such a cute post! It is so hard to end it..I miss it still sometimes x

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm glad that weaning was a natural process for you two. I know what you mean about savoring that last day. When my baby started sleeping through the night, I missed those midnight cuddle sessions, strange as it seems. What a sweet post! Thank you for sharing with the Mommy-Brain Mixer.

    ReplyDelete
  19. this post just tears my heart. every time my mother asks if AOI has stopped breastfeeding and I say no, she laughs. I believe we both know that I am not ready to stop and I am always happy when she says latte (milk). At 14 months (turned yesterday) my heart smiles as I feed her because she still my tiny baby.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing this. It is so sad, isn't it when they are completely weaned. Breastfeeding is such a lovely thing, you cannot help but feel a little bit lost when it is gone.

    New follower from the hop.
    www.lookingasuare.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  21. Awe! I can't even imagine how hard it is when this time came. Neither of my boys took to breastfeeding {which devastated me}, but that meant I didn't have to experience the weaning part of it. Sending you tons of hugs! Thanks for linking up to the Mommy Brain Mixer!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading, your comments make my day :-)

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails