Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's over

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?


Pen In Cheek said...

Oh, Jenny, I know it's hard. It's been 2 months today since we "quit" and it's still hard for me sometimes. It's hard to put into words, but I totally hear you.

Give yourself time to let whatever emotions come to you and let them be. It's great that Suzi did this on her terms and now you can revel in the sweet, sweet memories.

Take care,

Ginny Marie said...

My little one is still nursing at 19 months, but her teeth are making me a little sore, too. I want to wean her, but at the same time, I think she's my last baby and so I'm reluctant at the same time!

Julie said...

Like Mama Susie always said, "God planned for that." More and more I'm learning the wisdom in those words.
Love you,

Kristin said...

I know the has happened 3 times for me. With my first I was determined to remember the last time he nursed and I did. With my others, it just sort of sneaked up on my unawares...such a bittersweet feeling.

Theresa said...

Gee, I couldn't wait for it to end. Bad mommy!! ha-ha!
If you get a chance, tell me how you do your dishwasher detergent. My dw sucks, so I may have to keep using Electrasol. Seems to be the only thing that works.

Vicky said...

Oh Jenny! It is hard, I still get choked up and it has been almost 2 years for me.