11.5 months: Giving up is hard to do

Yesterday was my last feed ever for Mr AJ. It makes me so sad and yet I made the decision to free us from each other a bit more. With Lolo I stopped at 8 months because I pretty much hated it for that amount, it was never comfortable, always painful. With AJ it took 2 weeks for him start feeding from me properly and then it finally became less painful after 2 months. So I’ve carried on. Before our holidays, at 10 months, I was feeding 4 times a day (each time on both sides), once after each waking and then once again before bed. When we came back from holiday I dropped the 10am and 2.30am feeds and replaced it with 1 bottle… which I dropped shortly after as he was eating so well at lunchtime. I then decided to swap the evening milk feed with formula. So all I’ve had left is the morning feed, around 6am.

Why have I chosen to stop? Well, in my mind, unless you rationalise and make a decision on when to stop you could probably keep on going forever. I go back to work in 2 weeks and to be honest I don’t want him to link my returning to work & losing me to stopping breastfeeding as well. He doesn’t need to have all these changes at the same time. Plus, given how well he eats and how varied the food is, he doesn’t really need the milk from me to thrive. But it’s so nice and comfortable! Not to mention easy and free.

Yesterday I fed him for the last time. He woke at 6am. Hubby brought him to bed, laid him next to me and he fed from one side. It was a nice dozey feed, one little hand gripping my finger, eyes closed, body nuzzled close into me under the covers, little breaths. He fell asleep for about 30 mins with a gentle suckle from time to time. He came off and laid there sleeping for a bit. Eventually he roused and we did the same on the other side but without the napping. And this is why you do it. The nuzzling. The warmth. The hug. The stillness and quiet. Co-existing and relaxing in bliss. It’s beautiful and calm and lovely. And now it’s gone. And that is why I’m sad because once you chose to stop you can never begin it again. It is a sign of the times that the little one is growing and a massive step in letting go, which is why it’s so difficult to do. It’s heart wrenching to let go of that closeness. It was a big day.

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