About two weeks ago, I woke up and officially told my husband, “I don’t want to nurse Gus anymore”. We had cut back to nursing only once a day, and while I liked providing him that nourishment and comfort something had changed, and I finally felt ready to let go.
I had agonized about how and when I would stop nursing for, well, pretty much since my son was born. Breastfeeding wasn’t the blissful bonding experience I had hoped it to be. While it definitely had many wonderful moments and I loved spending the time with my son, breastfeeding is hard work. The shear time it took out of every single day, round the clock, was far more taxing on my body and my emotional state than I had expected. But we stuck it out. I religiously took my pump and cooler with me to work everyday and pumped every few hours. We coslept to get as much skin to skin and nursing time as possible. Then suddenly my little baby has grown into this well nourished toddler who loves to go play with his friends at day care, says dozens of adorable “baby” words, and just isn’t as dependent on his mommy as his sole source of nourishment and comfort anymore.
And then for us, it was time.
I had expected it to be a very bittersweet ending and highly emotional to stop breastfeeding as it had been highly emotional to maintain my supply and endure breastfeeding for 15 and a half months, but surprisingly it wasn’t. I’ve mostly been relieved to not be squeezing in a nursing session in the morning as I get ready for work, and to not have aching breasts full of milk. I also feel good and proud about the breastfeeding journey that we did have, and lucky that I have a happy and healthy little boy. Another little surprise in this thing called motherhood.