Finishing breastfeeding is it really over?
Dear Beautiful Boy,
I think our breastfeeding journey is over, I think we are finishing breastfeeding and I didn’t even realise it was our last feed, if I’d have known I would have paid more attention. I’d have savoured the moment, I’d have gazed into your eyes for that final time. I’d have carefully remembered the touch of your tiny hands on my chest, the way you ever so gently stroke me. I’d have taken photograph of us together, the last ever time.
I know I will quickly forget what it feels like to feed you, I did with your brother. That feeling I get when you latch on, I’ll never feel it again.
I may never ever breastfeed again and it’s making me so sad inside. I don’t know if there will be any more babies, I realise how lucky I am to have two. After almost two years of being able to comfort you when you were sad, help you to grow into the person you are, offer you tailor made antibodies on demand. Make you feel close to me, help you drift off to sleep and go back to sleep in the night. Being able to fill your tiny tummy when you were born, feed you whenever you asked me in the special way that only I could, and now its over and I’m grieving for something I have done for so long.
When you were born we were inseparable for hours, we spent almost 12 hours skin to skin, I was getting to know you and you were getting to know what it felt like to be in the outside world. You were teaching me how to breastfeed again. You were so small and vulnerable yet I could give you everything you needed.
For a year we bed shared, I would often wake to realise that you had woken and were feeding. Helping yourself to make yourself feel better, food, a drink, a snack or just to know I was there for you. Sometimes I’d wish that you’d feed less in the night so I could get a little more sleep, but those times seem so long ago now and in so many ways I wish I could have just one more night of breastfeeding and cuddles. But I can’t, I will never again feel that, we won’t have a chance to turn back the clock and be just us feeding together in the still of the night.
I am so grateful to have been able to feed you for so long. I am so grateful for all the help and support I received in the early days. I will be forever grateful for each and every feed but I just wish I knew it had been the end.
I will now dry your tears when you hurt yourself with kisses and cuddles instead. I’ll hold you close and rock you back to sleep in the night but we won’t breastfeed. I know it was the right time because it was your time. You chose to stop, you no longer wanted it, I just wish you’d given me some small warning. I will take comfort from it being your choice. I’ll look back with fondness on the pictures I have of us feeding. I know I am very lucky to have a photo of your first ever feed, the first time we connected in the outside world.
For now though I’m feeling sad about missing my oxytocin high, I know in a few months I’ll look back, feel proud and have a happy heart for the time we had together. I know our relationship has changed and we have lost that connection but it just signifies the start of the next chapter.
Just remember I love you forever and always