Today is bittersweet. Today was my first day of not breastfeeding. At this point is has been over 36 hours since I last nursed my son. I woke up this morning and when I would normally nurse him first thing I handed him a bottle. It felt okay at first but as the day progressed I felt increasingly sad about it. Breast feeding was never easy for me and I never produced enough milk despite all attempts, all lactation consultants and internet research. I worked so hard to be all that he needed but I was just starving my baby and I couldn’t keep that up so we had to supplement early on. It got better for a while and then I got mastitis which then reduced my supply even more to a point it could not recover from. I then “quit” when he started biting, and then started back a few hours later. I had a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding but my love always won.
I go back to work next week and we’d like to start trying for our next child soon so the decision was made that I would stop. Yesterday morning was not intentionally my last time nursing, And so I didn’t focus on all the positives and enjoy the little things like how he holds my finger while he’s eating or how he looks into my eyes more deeply than any other time of day. I didn’t take the time to love the parts I love and now I regret that. This morning I ripped the band-aid off. I had been putting a cabbage leaf in my bra to reduce production for a few days and I just didn’t feel the desperate need to breast feed so I just went with it. As the day wore on I considered just taking a little time with him and holding him close while he nursed but I knew it was selfish and just for me to feel better. I started this blog because I want time to reflect after he goes to bed and tonight I’ve been mostly feeling like a wreck. My brain is confident in this decision and grateful that he is doing well with it but my heart is aching. I was the only one that got those moments with him and now they are over.
I want to say this means I’ve learned a valuable lesson to treasure each moment, but I’m sure I’ll need reminders along the way.