Well, it’s been a week since I’ve breastfed and I think it’s all over.
After nine months of breastfeeding Raife, I think the time has finally come to admit that the journey has come to an end. This is so tough to write because I definitely didn’t think it would end as abruptly as it has.
Since I went back to work and Raife started nursery, we’ve slowly reduced the feeds to one in the morning and one at night. This worked for a little while (although engorgement was really hard to deal with whilst sat at my desk) until Raife sprouted his two bottom teeth at around eight months old. The morning feed was going well, but the night feeds were becoming more and more of a challenge as he was biting down and laughing about it, which is tough to deal with after a busy day at work and all I wanted was quiet cwtches and kisses with my baby. After a few weeks of this, the nighttime feeds slowly phased out and the mornings soon followed suit.
Last Friday, I had no idea that it was to be our last breastfeed. If I had, I would have really savoured this special time with him and fully thought about our achievement and journey. This wasn’t to be. Over the last few days, I’ve really struggled to accept this but I have to keep reminding myself that Raife’s happy, he’s fed and he’s growing up and thriving. I wish so hard that I had taken a picture of our final breastfeed but it’s impossible to know what the future has in store so I’ll have to make do with the small selection that I do have.
I think the hardest thing for me to accept is that he hasn’t even looked for it. He has zero interest in the boob, the fact that one day, I’m there, feeding him and the next, he doesn’t need me anymore.
In terms of how I’m coping physically, my boobs feel empty, which is only natural and this may be too much information (but I want to be as helpful and honest as possible!) but my ladies’ days have returned with a vengeance. I can’t be too surprised about this though – it’s been a while! My boobs also feel quite tingly, which I think is a sign that they’re working differently now. My hormones are all over the place – one minute I’m absolutely fine and the next I feel like a dragon. I know that with time, I’ll be really pleased to have my body back and that my hormones will level out (it’ll happen soon Jon, I promise!) but right now, I feel a bit all over the place. And sad.
Everyone keeps telling me that nine months is a huge achievement, which I know it is. Initially, I said I was going to breastfeed for six months so I’m incredibly proud that we’ve managed nine. I had no idea how much I could fall in love with breastfeeding and I’m so glad we stuck at it and gave it a good go.
Time is a great healer and these feelings will calm and eventually disappear, as with anything, but I feel great grief that I never did get to enjoy a final feed with Raife.