Sometime last week, I breastfed Suzi for the last time (and didn't even know it was the last time). It was gradual. Suzi started by ceasing to request it during the day. We were down to once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and occasionally once at night. That was about a month ago. Then she started to show resistance to the morning breastfeed (or at least waking up for it), especially after the time changed. I started letting her get a few extra minutes of sleep instead. At that point, we were only doing the afternoon session whenever she was sleepy or upset. We started skipping a day at a time and then she'd nurse the following day. Finally, two days went by without her asking, and I knew any supply I might have had was probably gone. After three days she asked me to nurse her, but I told her I didn't have any more. She whined and accepted a cuddle instead as I rocked her.
I probably would have encouraged her more to keep going, but there were issues. Her latch had for some reason changed and was leaving me with teeth marks every time. I was sore, and I don't think she was getting more than a few drops of milk anyway.
Breastfeeding never made me feel like a martyr. I always wanted to do it. And now that it's over, it feels like breaking up with a high school boyfriend even though he might have been a jerk, or like when your 16-year-old cat dies, and you knew it was coming, but you cry anyway. Because how can you quit something you've been doing every day for nearly two years, and not even know you were doing it for the last time?
Just remembering all those hundreds of nursing sessions... In the recliner, at the computer while I used the other hand to type, at the Highland Games, at the aquarium, lying in bed in the morning... Seeing her sleepy post-nursing face. I know I will get to do all this again with Ivey.
So why do I have sad love songs playing in my head?