The end of an era…

No more breast-feeding here.

On the 28th of September, somewhat unexpectedly, CJ decided he had had enough of feeding from the breast. He’d had a couple of days of mucking around on one of his two feeds but that’s nothing new for us. Sunday night I settled down in the armchair for his dinner feed, lifted up my top, got the nipple shield on and… he laughed. Roared with laughter and then grabbed me by the nipple and twisted. Yup, got given a purple-nurple by my wee cheeky boy. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound. After battling for about ten minutes, I gave him a bottle which he absolutely wolfed down.

Rinse and repeat the scenario (down to the purple-nurple) on Monday morning.

I know that many a mother has battled through a nursing strike and continued to have a strong breast-feeding relationship. To be honest, I just didn’t have it in me. Breast-feeding, for us, has been way harder than I ever imagined. The only thing that has kept me going at some points was sheer stubbornness and that stubbornness has run out. I don’t want to fight yet another feeding battle. CJ loves his solids SO much, he was never going to be a kid that wanted an extended breast-feeding relationship anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having second thoughts about stopping breast-feeding. I don’t think that anyone should have to justify the choices that they make in feeding their babies, whether that is bottle-feeding from birth or extended breastfeeding until the child self-weans. I’m really chuffed that we made it past seven months with all the issues that we have faced. I even understand why CJ would decide against breast-feeding. It’s always been harder for him to breast-feed and with a head cold and teething it is even less pleasant!

There are a couple of things that I’ll openly admit to finding a bit rough. Firstly, this sudden stop was not MY plan. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I am the planner. I’m the one who has already planned out large family vacations for fourteen years from now. I’m a total control freak. I’d planned on weaning him off his dinner breast-feed after his 8-month birthday and finish breast-feeding completely between his 9-month birthday and Christmas. And I didn’t get to choose. He did. That side of motherhood is a big challenge to my nature. The other thing is that my hormones are completely up the chute as my milk dries up and I am one sulky bitch right now. I’ve visited the GP and had some tests run to see if there’s anything I need to supplement my diet with; hopefully that will provide me with something I can do to pick myself up.

For now I’m going to pat myself on the back that I managed seven months of breastfeeding. I’m going to remind myself how hard I tried and that, at least for a while, we made it work. I’m going to let go of the fact that stopping breast-feeding didn’t go according to my plans and I’m going to enjoy the freedom (sleep-ins! wine!) that ceasing nursing allows. Most of all I’m going to enjoy looking in those sweet little eyes as he feeds without my giant bosom in the way!

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