Yesterday marked the end of an era, as it was the first day Declan didn’t nurse since the day he was born. Our breastfeeding journey lasted exactly 21 months. It wasn’t planned, it just happened. D had only been nursing once a day for the last month or so, with growth spurts or boredom prompting him to ask to nurse throughout the day, so it was inevitable that it was going to happen sometime soon. To be honest, I think my milk supply had dwindled down over the past week, as it was beginning to become uncomfortable.
Yesterday, my husband got Declan up and gave him a cup of [cow's] milk to start his day, allowing me to stay in bed a little longer. I didn’t offer breast milk. He didn’t ask. I’m okay with this, as I had just filled a prescription for a medication (not conducive to breastfeeding) and took my first dose today. I had always wanted D to self-wean, so I couldn’t have asked for a smoother transition.
It’s funny, as I recently wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about how ready I was to be finished with breastfeeding, and in a lot of ways I am. My breasts have only recently began resembling their pre-pregnancy size (I went from an A/B to a DD/E) and I’ve been wanting a little more freedom/separation from my little guy. If there is one thing I’ll miss about our breastfeeding relationship, it is the snuggle/cuddle time we shared.
Declan has never been a cuddler. From birth, he would often squirm or wiggle when I tried to ‘sneak a cuddle’, unless he was nursing; if Declan was nursing, I could do almost anything to him, tickles and all, without much of a reaction — that boy got into the zone! Now, Declan cuddles on his own terms, which typically means he’ll try to hug my legs while I’m in the kitchen trying to prepare a meal, or throw his arms around my neck as I’m sitting on the floor folding laundry; a funny thing, that. But, Declan’s way of cuddling makes so much sense when I stop to think about it…because he doesn’t stop moving.
Declan perpetually has ‘ants in his pants’, and I often joke that the only time he stops moving is to eat and to sleep. I suppose it makes perfect sense that his cuddles are on-the-move cuddles, a brief pause on the way to his next adventure (read: getting into something he shouldn’t).
I’m so happy that our breastfeeding journey lasted 21 months. I never planned on breastfeeding this long, it just happened naturally. My first goal was just being able to get him to latch on, and from there, just trying to make it a couple of weeks (and those were a couple of the hardest weeks ever). Once we hit the two week mark, and it seemed that breastfeeding was going to work for us, I set my next goal at 6 months. We glided through the 6 month mark and I set my sights on making it to one year. At one year, I decided that I’d let Declan lead the way (though I never saw myself nursing past 1 year). Shoot, to be 100% honest, I always thought it was a little strange for women to still be breastfeeding a mobile toddler…until I was in that position [and it was completely natural]. At 18 months, I felt that if we hit 24 months, I would try to wean him. As always, Declan had other plans.
|My Independent 21 Month Old|
The end to our breastfeeding journey could not have come at a more perfect time, as I’m able to take allergy medication (for the first time in over three years) in what is predicted to be one of the most miserable allergy seasons in years. I get relief and Declan gets to run free; he really is an independent little chap now, and I’m happy that both of us will be able to re/claim our respective senses of self.
How long did your breastfeeding relationship last? How did you feel when it ended? Did your little one(s) self-wean or did you wean them?