The plan was two years. We have made it one year, six months, and 29 days. Tonight will be the last night I breastfeed my baby.
I’ve been planning this for three months. I’ve wanted to stop… but I couldn’t. Every time I nursed again, I just felt this overwhelming ache in my heart. Would she understand? Would she think I didn’t love her? Would she cry herself to sleep? I couldn’t bear to deal with the struggle and I just didn’t want to take away the one thing I knew would comfort her most.
I tried breastfeeding my first two children. Between lack of education, lack of support, and of course the pain and frustration from any new breastfeeding mom, I only lasted a week or two at the most. I tried, but I didn’t know how to make it work. Both times I cried when I gave up because I felt like I was failing.
This time, I was better prepared. I had support at home, an IBCLC who came to my house to help, a pediatric dentist who specialized in lip and tongue ties, friends online and no less than five different support groups on Facebook.
We struggled in the beginning. I wanted to quit. It hurt SO bad, she refused to nurse at times, and some nights I didn’t think I’d last through one more nursing session. But I did.
Mastitis. Clogs. Thrush. Blebs. TEETH. There always seemed to be a challenge. But we got through all of it. I learned how to nurse in public, at times so discreetly that people didn’t even know I was doing it (hello nursing while baby wearing FTW!).
But now our journey has come to an end. At 18 weeks pregnant I’m just touched out, sore, and SO tired. I want the reassurance of knowing my baby girl can fall asleep without nursing before I go to the hospital to have her baby brother.
I need to be able to sleep in MY bed again with my husband, and not wake up with an achy back from spending half the night in her bed.
Breastfeeding while pregnant has its benefits, but I just can’t get past the nursing aversion I’ve developed.
I’m going to miss this, and I will never forget this special bond we shared. Her tiny fingers stroking my skin as my body nourished hers. The way she loved to pull on my belly button as soon as it popped out with this pregnancy. Her request for milkies when she got hurt or tired or scared.
I’m so glad for this time we shared, as it helped me as much as it helped her. But now we move on. And I will find new ways to comfort and show my love as she continues to grow and thrive. My wild mountain child.
Update: You can read how we successfully weaned from breastfeeding with minimal tears here!