Breastfeeding: The Final Chapter Concludes

It’s official: my little one has finally weaned from nursing.

I knew the day would come, and although I had been anticipating it, it’s something that sort of throws you for a loop and you can’t quite understand where, or what, to do from here. It’s like, all at once your body belongs to you again. Many women are thrilled when this happens – and then, there are those like me who are more like, ‘ehhh, this sucks.’

It’s been bittersweet for me. At first, depression took over (weaning depression is a thing, Google it) and I was so sad. Honestly, I cried a lot during the first few days. Our last tether between mother and child, connecting us in some sort of physical way, had finally come to an end. For days, I found myself still being cautious, and saying things like, “I really want an extra cup of coffee, but, I can’t because of the baby”, quickly followed by an, ‘oh…’ and the remembrance of the fact that that 3rd cup of coffee was totally do-able now. Or, the “I can’t take allergy meds because I will dry up,” followed again by one of those ‘oh’ moments. It’s taken me – and my little squish – some getting used to. It really hasn’t been easy. But, it’s been about a week and a half now. And time is ticking on.

I never pushed weaning at all, ever. In fact, I was willing to go for as long as he wanted to – and if he hadn’t stopped on his own by 3 years old, I figured I would begin the weaning process at that time. I am very baby-led with everything; and despite the fact that he is 2.5 years old, I figured I would just let him do whatever he was comfortable with and made him happy. And for those of you who can’t quite understand why someone would want to nurse so long; there are myriad benefits – including extra protection against disease and other immunities – and the WHO recommends breastfeeding until 3 years of age.

A lot of change has come about over the past month or two, and with it, came even more change. Moving house, new routines, new places, and new ways of life. A friend of mine had said it was as if Richi, when moving into our new house, decided that he wanted to be a big boy now and was showing me that he was capable. I believe that’s true. He is at the age of indepence, after all.

Our very last nursing session came when, after he hadn’t nursed for 3 days, he knew I was sad about it. (Sidenote: He has always asked for ‘mum-mum’ when he wants to nurse; it was just always his terminology and I just went with it. That probably stems from me, when he was just a tiny little thing, feeding him his first bites of food and calling them num-num. Whatever the case may be, mum-mum was always his wording and it was always cute and special.) He reached up, put his hand on my face, gave me a kiss and asked for mum-mum. My heart melted and I cried as I nursed him for the very last time.

I knew that would be it; and I think he did, too. It was so special. He fell asleep in my arms and that was the end of it.

Just writing this is bringing tears to my eyes, but this is my therapy.

I’m learning to cope with the face that a huge chapter in our lives has reached it’s end; but I am excited to begin the next chapter and to experience even more special things with him. I know he is learning to move on from it too, and I don’t think it’s been incredibly easy on him, either. He’s been very clingy and wants me to hold and snuggle with him often. He is very much as needy now as he was then. He just expresses it through hugs, kisses and lots and lots of snuggle time these days. I accept gladly, and I am still so happy to be his mama.

Enter the end of our breastfeeding journey. Onto many new and great adventures.

 

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