Knowing when Breastfeeding is over…
Last night was my last night nursing my toddler. I never thought it would have lasted this long honestly. The first two did not even make it to six months. In fact, Crankles did not latch right, and I pumped for the first month. To be honest, I probably would have been less stressed if I would have not done it with her given the circumstances, but I did. When she finally did want to breastfeed, she nursed like a champ…for little over three years!
This was not a decision I made lightly. However, I have so much going on with my health that it might be for the best anyways. I have spent the summer in different therapies and with different doctors and having different tests. My neurologist seems to think that what is going on with my TBI (traumatic brain injury) issues will be treatable. However, I am exhausted and pretty stressed.
In some ways, that is when nursing was comforting, sitting in the big comfy chair with my little one close by all snuggled into me. I can breathe deep and smell her hair. I can stroke her cheek and hear her happily hum. There really is nothing like it. However, there are also the times where she is wanting a sip and pinching my boob while watching tv. Then somehow, a toy gets shoved in my cleavage, and boy does it hurt! It is a double edged sword.
I figured we would both know when it was time. I really was not in such a hurry. It took so long to have this one that I don’t want to rush any of it. I want to keep every moment and bottle it I sometimes think. With everything that is going on with my health, I think she may be it, and sometimes it kills me a little bit inside because this was not what I wanted, but nothing in the last five years has been any way I wanted between the losses, my health issues, the moving, the loss of my business. Everything. I think in some ways, breastfeeding has been the most constant thing in the past few years…
…But now that is done. I tried to cuddle with her tonight as I gave her a sippy cup of warm milk. She did not want to cuddle. She wanted to chat and dance and play….anything but snuggle with me. A part of me felt this intense hurt that maybe that special cuddle time is over.
I looked at my vitamins tonight. I have been taking supplements and prenatal vitamins for five years now. I suppose I won’t need all of them now. It is weird actually. It has been a ritual for me…through trying to get pregnant, to getting pregnant, to losing my baby, to trying again, to losing again, to trying again, to having a baby. It has been a constant thing.
Whether or not you agree with extended breastfeeding, it has been this wonderful, yet complicated and sometimes aggravating experience, but it was so worth it. I cannot tell you how many times those baby and toddler snuggles have gotten me through to another day. And now it is over, and we will start a new chapter. There is a part of me that hopes that I get to do this again someday, and maybe that is why this is so hard. With everything going on, I really don’t know what the future holds. For now, I will just enjoy each day and deal with each change and hope that this new chapter will be a good one as I watch my beautiful rainbow baby grow.