A few months back I wrote about my, or our, breastfeeding journey. The good, the bad and the downright painful. I wanted to write about it again now because things have changed.
Our breastfeeding journey began awkwardly, with tears and pain and confusion. And it has now come to a bittersweet ending, in much the same way as it began. But yet, quite unexpectedly.
Christmas fell on a Saturday this year, and as I love the lead up to the day, I booked the whole week off work and travelled over to my parents house on the Sunday before, planning to stay for ten days or so. R woke up around 2am on our second night crying out, seemingly in pain, but wouldn’t let us near him. I eventually took him downstairs and he fell asleep on me on the couch. The following morning he seemed cheery, had our morning boob cuddles in bed, got up and had cereal. And this is where things began to turn sour. Half an hour after breakfast everything came back up. Thank goodness for wooden floors. He was upset, crying and asking me to mind him, but once he was cleaned up and in fresh pyjamas it was like nothing had happened. We cuddled on the couch and had boobs to comfort him, and again, a while later, all the milk came back up.
In his third pair of pjs before 11am, we cuddled on the couch but this time I refused to let him have boobies. Even though he cried. Even though I knew he was upset. I wanted to make him feel better. But I also knew if we did it would all just come back up again. I did my best to explain to him that he was sick. That he had to just have a little bit of water. That the milk in mommy’s boobies was going to make him sick again. You can imagine how well he understood all of that. All he knew was he felt rotten, and was being denied the thing he relies on for comfort. So we cuddled in a big cosy armchair, he on my knee, wrapped in a blanket watching cartoons. We sat together like that for most of the day, and most of the following day. Anytime he ate he would be sick, so we tried to keep it minimal. You know, the usual, plain toast, crackers, that sort of thing.
He asked for boobies going to bed both nights, and once or twice during the days. Every time I told him the milk would make him sick. He didn’t like my answer but he would take a drink of water or have a hug instead. Gradually he stopped asking. Until we left my parents house and came home. Then at bedtime our first night home he asked again. I explained the milk was all gone, it had made him sick because it was time to stop. And it worked. He wasn’t terribly happy, but it worked.
Little did I know it was going to happen that way. It wasn’t ideal, but as with most things it worked out. I think maybe we were lucky that it was Christmas week and there were so many other things to distract him. Presents and chocolate and Santa and diggers.
So. Many. Diggers.
It has been three weeks and two days since my last breastfeeding session. I am saddened by the end of the journey, but also, I am glad to be out the other side. It was a long one, a journey I am so glad to have been a part of but one that needed to end. Our relationship is as strong as ever, it hasn’t changed anything there. He still wants me if he wakes in the night, he still wants me to rub his back to help him sleep or wrap him in a hug when he’s watching cartoons. I am so thankful I got to do this with him, but I am also extremely thankful to be out of those awful nursing bras. I might have to burn them.