So as of last week, I am no longer breastfeeding B. We started the transition about a month ago, because I had no intention of ending things abruptly both for my sake, and his. From day 1, B took to nursing like a champ. We really had no issues, and for that I am profoundly grateful! I consider myself incredibly fortunate that I was able to nurse both of my children with very little complication. I know that not all women have this experience and so I do not take this for granted whatsoever!
With K, it took me about 2-3 months before I actually enjoyed breastfeeding. I had given myself the goal of exclusively nursing for 6 months. After the first few weeks, I was almost ready to give up. There’s no denying that it is NOT FUN. I had a serious oversupply issue with both of my children, and while this sounds like a good thing, it actually came with some challenges. For one, when a newborn is hungry they are pretty intense about getting their food immediately. At least, mine were. So imagine the hoover damn opening up in your mouth. A lot of milk + fast let down = splutter fest! My children would choke, and splutter and then get gassy. It took almost 3 months with K for my boobs to figure out how to slow the F down, and produce only what was needed. Seriously, I wanted to give up..
I powered through the struggle, and eventually came to really enjoy breastfeeding K. I don’t really know how it happened, or exactly when, but when it came time to start weaning I genuinely felt sad! This process started around 7 months with K, and for B he was 9 months.
Now you might wonder, if you are enjoying it – why stop? Well, I think nursing is a really personal thing. While I enjoyed (for the most part) the time I’ve had nursing my two children, there are a few reasons why I felt the need to end the relationship.
- I was not good at pumping – I could NEVER understand when was a good time to pump, and not affect my supply. When I would try to pump off schedule I could never get enough to make a whole bottle, so it was frustrating.
- I never felt comfortable nursing in public – While I have absolutely nothing against nursing in public (#normalizebreastfeeding), I personally was not comfortable doing it. Of course, when it was necessary I would do it, but it was not exactly peaceful or relaxing during those times.
- Distraction. Around the 6 month mark babies typically get distracted fairly easily while nursing. This drove me crazy!! I obsessed about them needing to eat for a specific amount of time, and so I would keep forcing them back on when they’d get distracted and want to look around and/or play. Thus would begin a seriously frustrating nursing session.
- Freedom. When you are exclusively nursing, it’s pretty common to be parked on your couch for what seems like 20-30 minutes every 2-3 hours! While I admit that the “break” on the couch was nice at times, it also meant that this feeding thing was my sole responsibility. Nobody else could feed my babies, so it’s very restrictive, and your freedom is somewhat botched temporarily. Getting this freedom back is REALLY refreshing.
I know that the super pro breastfeeders are thinking that all of these reasons can be solved by A) joining a breastfeeding support group for encouragement B) stop being so selfish, it’s only a short time in their lives. Yes Yes.. I know. Kudos to you Mommas who keep up the breastfeeding fight… and Kudos also to you Mommas who choose not to breastfeed. Again, this is a personal thing and I’m supportive of whatever anyone chooses to do for their babies! Motherhood is way too hard as it is.. so the added burdens that other Moms put on us just makes it that much more difficult.
Ending the breastfeeding relationship with my kiddos was really emotional. Even though it was a choice, it still isn’t easy. You form a really unique bond with your baby, and even though it hurts at times, and you feel like you’ve grown a new body part in the form of a couch cushion, it’s also incredibly peaceful and rewarding, AND you burn boat loads of calories to help with that extra padding you gain during pregnancy… woot woot!
While I am still mourning the end of this journey, I am really looking forward to having my boobs back. Although, they are slightly larger and unfortunately much droopier and squishier than they’ve ever been (part of the curse – and I am currently on the hunt for a really good plastic surgeon to fix this! :)). I’m really proud of myself for sticking with nursing for 7 and 10 months for my kiddos, and I give major props to all the mommies out there fighting the fight.