I have been breastfeeding for over two and a half years aside from a few months gap in between weaning LP and Little Man coming in to the world. Breastfeeding for me didn’t come as naturally as I thought it would and I spent nearly three weeks persevering through cracked nipples, blisters and unbelievable soreness to get feeding with LP established. Once we got to that point we enjoyed 13 months of feeding and I weaned LP mainly because I was pregnant again and wanted to give my body a break before the new baby arrived.
Little Man came along just over a year ago and feeding him came a lot more naturally than it had done with LP, I still had soreness at the start but it was nowhere near as bad as it had been with LP and within a few days I had the same wonderful feeds with him that I had experienced with LP.
With both babies I loved breastfeeding, I could feed them anywhere, I didn’t need to buy anything extra to enable me to feed and I didn’t need any preparation to feed – Feeding could be done whenever the baby was hungry and at a moment’s notice. It was one of the most convenient things I have ever experienced and when the babies reached six months it was a shame to introduce food – Going from being able to feed the babies anywhere and with no preparation to needing to start giving them actual food, such a shock to the system!
Don’t get me wrong, breastfeeding hasn’t always been rosy. Aside from the issues at the start there were the times that the babies would bite, the growth spurts that needed constant feeds, the regular night feeds and lack of sleep that went with them. There were times when I felt like not much more than a dairy cow but I knew that it wouldn’t always feel that way, breastfeeding – and feeding every couple of hours day and night – is short lived. In your child’s lifetime, and the scheme of things, breastfeeding is just one small, ordinary moment.
Last Saturday, just over a week ago, I asked Dave to take a photo of me feeding Little Man. I wanted a photo of me feeding him to use on the blog at some point. Unbeknown to me, that feed would be the last. I had always said I’d feed until a year and since Little Man’s Birthday we have been winding down the feeds – I stopped the morning feed a few days before and had stopped feeding him during the night a couple of weeks before that. For the last few days there had just been the one lovely bedtime feed, a feed where we’d have a cuddle, rock in our chair and have some perfect quiet time.
I have loved breastfeeding the babies. There were hard times, times that made me cry and times when it needed everything I had in me to persevere. But it was also the most rewarding thing I have ever done and something I will always be proud of. As we aren’t having any more children this symbolises the end of my breastfeeding days. My last feed with Little Man was for me, my last breastfeed.
I will always think back fondly to those feeding cuddles, the lazy mornings and nap times laying in bed feeding LP and Little Man’s hand holding my face as he fed.
Breastfeeding has been an ordinary moment for years but it has now come to an end.