It’s not a decision I made willingly, and I’m incredibly brokenhearted about it. But over the last three months, my milk supply has been dropping steadily, and nothing I tried — lactation tea, lactation cookies, staying hydrated, eating more, nursing more often — helped. My body just decided it’s time to stop with the breastfeeding. Plus, Asa is getting much more independent, so most of the time he just wasn’t interested in nursing so much as feeding from the bottle. By himself.
The night before I knew it would be the last time, I was pretty broken up about it, after realizing I hadn’t nursed him at all that day. I could have ceased it all then, but I needed one last time cuddling my baby and sharing that bond before letting him go.
I’ve heard a lot on both sides of breastfeeding; there are the moms who are relieved to be done, because they have babies who aren’t too keen on the whole idea, and there are the moms who love it. I was firmly on the side of love; nursing is generally the only time Asa is still and quiet, the only time he really cuddles up and gets close. Otherwise, he’s bouncy and silly and wiggly, and hard to cuddle unless he’s super tired. I decided to wear a dress that I couldn’t wear breastfeeding to cheer myself up; it is a bright side not to worry about how I’ll feed the baby in whatever I’m wearing… but it didn’t really work. I’ll miss those quiet times with my squishy boy. I’ll miss the curious wandering of his little soft hands as he explored my face, the long, intent looks as he studied my features, the smush of his cheeks against my skin, the solid warmth of his chunky thigh as he cuddled just a little bit closer. And there are things I won’t miss — the hair pulling, the boob pinching, the constant slap-slap-slap of his pounding little palms… the occasional biting… but mostly, I’ll just miss those quiet, trusting, calm moments in the day of just me and him, cuddled together, his needing me, my savoring him, bonded together by love and nourishment and need. But, I still get some cuddles in during the day. When he’s tired, we watch cartoons together before naptime, and today he and I both woke up sick so I’m sure there will be a lot of snuggle time.
And, as my husband reminds me, we can always have another one. I’m sure it won’t be too long before I’ll be able to have another nursling in my arms; my husband has been hit with baby fever already. I didn’t think he’d be the one, as he’s notorious for not liking to hold (other people’s) babies ever. But it’s one of those things that just… you know, I’ve always found guys who love kids to be incredibly attractive. So it just makes him hotter.
I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!