2.5.18

The end of breastfeeding (breastfeeding a two year old and why I stopped)


'Thinking about coming to the end of this journey (.)(.) I've never set myself an amount of time I wanted to carry on for but rather just let it run it's course. Which at two and a half might be the right time for us. I did the same with Wilf although he decided himself at that age to stop which made things pretty easy. Whilst we are down to a couple of moments like this a day I am feeling ready to put my breastfeeding days behind me'

A few days ago I wrote this on my instagram feed and had SO many lovely and helpful comments. I'd planned to start a plan of action with stopping breastfeeding around June. I'm not sure why that date exactly other then it was the middle of year and seemed like a tidy little date to round it off.

Since then I've come down with yet another cold (I'm blaming the almost constant winter we seem to be having) and with my eyes and nose streaming and my ears all bunged up and just about no energy in my body, its all I can do to crawl into bed and cough & sneeze into my tissues. The first night Mabli asked me for milk before bed I just explained I was too ill, there actually wasn't any other option, I didn't have a moment to feel guilty because I was just consumed with my own illness. I told her she needed to be a big girl for mummy and help look after me. So she said 'good boy mummy, don't worry I'll feel you better' and off she toddled content with our exchange.

The next morning she woke up at 4.30am demanding milk, instead of bringing her to our bed Tom fetched her some '1 plus Soya Milk' he had picked up the previous day and gave her a glass of it in her room. She drank it all but then was wide awake and got up for the day with Tom.

Tom and I chatted about what we should do from here, I had wanted to sit down and explain things more with her, have that last feed knowing it was a last feed. Feeling the emotions about that and saying goodbye to our journey but I just didn't factor in getting poorly in the meantime and accidentally sort of stopping. It seemed like now it had been over a day of not feeding her and me still feeling run down and full of cold we should just carry on from here. This morning Mabli woke at 5.30, had her milk from a cup and got up for the day (we're hoping to convince her to go back to bed after the milk but we still see this as a win at the moment!).

I should note that from about 18 months the amount she fed greatly reduced anyway, mainly being morning and night feeds but the past few months this had increased due to travel or illness when she needed more reassurance and comfort. Tom has done bedtimes since 18 months also so I don't feed her to sleep, I would give her a feed on the sofa before she was taken up to bed and then in the morning in our bed when she woke up. She still needs to be cuddled to sleep in her bed (by Tom) and this can take between 10minutes to an hour depending on the night. We had a pretty tricky evening yesterday where she woke up a lot and needed reassurance from Tom but I think thats probably fairly normal. Eventually they agreed that Tom would be allowed to sit on the other side of the room whilst she fell back asleep which I think is a good sign as she would often wake as he tried to climb out the bed!

Although I feel like maybe this head-cold took the plans we had out our hands a little (and my control freak side of me struggles with that) I also feel like maybe this was just the natural way it would end. Obviously this is just the start and its only been almost two days but I'm 99% sure this is the end. I feel pretty OK about this at the moment but I'm aware that the emotions may come a little later. I feel a strange mixture of grief and also relief, these things aren't always so straight forward but I'm thankful of our journey and how far we came with it.

Breastfeeding is the most wonderful journey and I feel really blessed I got to experience it for so long with both my children. It wasn't always the easiest journey but it taught me so much, in patience and acceptance and slowing down. My heart breaks when I think of those tiny moments, with my newborn snuggled up in my arms in our bed, feeding through the night. Although the tiredness ached, that little face who's only sustenance came from me for 6 whole months and then the comforting bond from there on.

And now I get to experience my 'baby' becoming a little girl and all the joy that will come with that!

P.S this also means after 6 years I get to buy some bra's that aren't designed for breastfeeding or pregnancy! 

10 comments:

Ella Paton said...

I've just found your blog (my 2 year old daughter is called Quinn so I had to click and see what you were all about!) and this post really resonated with me. We had to stop breastfeeding unexpectedly too, I had counted on feeding until she was around 2 but hadn't really put a date on it just knew that we'd stop when it felt 'right'. However, she got chicken pox at just over a year old and her whole mouth ulcerated by the time she was well enough to allow anything near her mouth without screaming the house down the moment had well and truly passed, she never asked again and that was that. The end of the era feels a little sad and much like you I wasn't best pleased that my best laid plans had been scuppered by illness but it seemed to all work out in the end. I still get epic cuddles though!

jessica harvey said...

Bet you cannot wait to buy those new bras !! Lol fab read !

The little things... said...

You’re incredible to get this far into their little lives! I managed 9 months with my little boy and a year with my girl and I’m still so proud of that. Stopping is never easy! Xx

We're going on an adventure said...

Wired bras Fritha - how exciting is that going to be!
I'm sorry that things didn't quite go to plan but I think you're right to be taking things as they come - it would seem silly to go back to feeding just to have the last time and know it was the last time. x x

Jade said...

What a lovely post! We stopped breastfeeding around 18 Months with both of my two, and it was definitely bittersweet. I had never thought about the patience it had taught me, but you are so right. When you are the sole provider and (most of the time), comforter, you cannot run around at a million miles an hour. When you’re baby needs you, you have to stop. X

The Willow tree said...

Such a heartfelt read. I felt such a sense of sadness when I stopped BF my last son (he's my third!) but I knew the time was right. I enjoyed it so much though!

Bex said...

Beautiful share - thank you for opening up!

Everything Mummy said...

It's such a strange feeling when you finish feeding isn't it I remember with Lottie I felt it was the right time but I still felt so sad x

Unsuredream said...

Getting as far as you did is such an achievement! A really lovely post x

Tigerlilly Quinn said...

Ella - ah no way! What a great name if I say so myself ;) poor thing getting chicken pox so bad! thanks so much for your lovely comment xx

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright @ Tigerlilly Quinn. Blog Design by KotrynaBassDesign.