For just over 2 years ago I have been breastfeeding LO but now it seems our journey has come to an end.
When I became pregnant I always planned to try and never thought, based on my family history and back problems, that I would even make it past a week. Here I am 25 months later only just finishing this journey with a second one set to start in a few months.
Last night LO didn’t ask for milk, nor this morning. I think our milk cuddles may be over and I am a little sad. I always wanted her to lead when we would stop but now that I am pregnant with number two, it became too sore. A few weeks ago I stopped doing any feeds in the day, then slowly stopped her bed time feeds before finally slowing down and stopping her midnight ones too.
For us it has been a crazy journey, which may not have even lasted a fortnight if it wasn’t for the wonderful support from my health visitor and husband. I got all sorts of unhelpful advice but I was lucky to have people tell me how bad that advice was.
Even will having terrible gallbladder attacks, my appendix trying to kill me and the normal throws of dealing with cluster feeds, we still made it through. Despite being stuck in hospital for 5 days not being able to breastfeed and only use a little hand held pump while extremely ill and weak, I managed to keep enough milk going to keep going.
Who would have thought that I would end up making and selling breastfeeding related things either. After I made myself a pillow to help feed out on the go with my back and arm problems, they became popular with other mums and groups. Soon I was selling them to people I have never met around the country. From someone who thought I would struggle to make even a month I had people asking for my pillows or advice.
The second year compared to the first was definitely much easier. The only stress was bed times when it was always needed for me to be at the helm of getting LO down as I was the only one who could do milk cuddles.
It is crazy but one of the biggest problems this year and even last was clothes. With so few women making it to 6 months there are very few breastfeeding friendly clothing options. How do you find something that it flattering, your style and lets you feed everywhere and anywhere – it was an impossible search being someone so curvy.
After all that, despite it sounding like an uphill battle, it was an incredible experience. They are right about the bond that you build between mother and baby that comes from milk cuddles. Once they start having teeth it really does become a whole trust thing – how do you know that they won’t bite off your boob! For them it is knowing that you are there for them for comfort, food or just attention.
My relationship with LO means that it isn’t a one way one – we have had to learn to trust each other. The bond we have is ours alone.
As I said, it is hard that I had to end it rather than letting her decide but now things are too sore and my back can’t cope with the crazy positions we ended up in during her feeds. Soon the bump would have made it difficult too for her.
Now we have a new pathway to lead, a new bond to forge through all the other joys that we share in this life. Soon I will start a new journey with a new little one and remember all the wonderful things that I learnt on the first.
Goodbye to those milk cuddles with LO, I will remember those days fondly. My back however will be thankful for the temporary rest. Goodbye to breastfeeding for now – though not forever.