Pickle had his last breastfeed two weeks ago today. I wouldn’t say it was necessarily a mutual decision to stop, nor was it entirely planned. It just kinda happened, and as with Tiny, I suspect Pickle kept feeding purely because I kept offering.
I had decided it was time to stop feeding Pickle during the night, but was happy to continue offering him his daytime and bedtime feeds. When it came time for his bedtime feed, instead of racing me to the couch, excitedly asking for “boobie”, he kissed Tall and Tiny goodnight, and led me up the stairs. After stories and cuddles, I sat beside his cot until he fell asleep. When he woke at his usual time – 2am, give or take ten minutes – I gave him cuddles and sat with him in my arms for an hour-and-a-half, before taking him into our bed, where he slept soundly until morning.
The next day, he had his day sleep in the car, so no day feed, and at bedtime…kisses for the big boys, up the stairs, cuddles in our bed at 2am, slept until morning. Since then, he has asked twice when upset, but I’ve gently told him it’s all gone, and he’s been content with cuddles and lots of stories.
My left bosom took a good week to subside, and more than once I was tempted to latch Pickle on to relieve the pressure. Warm showers and pressure on the lumpy bits helped unblock where it was needed, and for two nights I woke up with a soaked pyjama top. Pickle has a tendency to headbutt and clamber all over me when he sleeps, so that added to and prolonged the pain and tenderness a little! I’m curious to see what will happen now…I’m back in pre-babies bras, but there seems to be a smidgen more room in the cups than I recall…
Friends have asked how I feel about finishing, and I can honestly say I feel nothing but relieved. Relieved because I can see there’ll be an end to the night wakings, and because I’m going to regain a bit of freedom with my evenings. Not that I plan on going out every night, but if I want to go back to yoga classes, or visit friends, or date my husband, I can.
When I weaned Tiny (also at 18-months), I got clucky and was pregnant within a month. This time, there will be no more babies, so it will be interesting to see whether I go through a period of “mourning” this time. So far, I’ve only noticed a change in my appetite – I’m no longer ravenous all the time – but it’s only been two weeks, so I guess we’ll see what happens over the next little while. I’m fully expecting to feel a bit down about this end of an era, but I’m also not expecting anything.
I’ve already gone through my drawers and removed all the items of clothing I’ve been wearing as a breastfeeding mother for the past 18 months (plus the 18 months prior to falling pregnant with Pickle!), and am feeling a great sense of delight at never having to wear a clicky bra ever again.
As for Pickle, his appetite for food has increased dramatically (he is eating constantly now), and his sleeping is slowly improving – he slept through two nights in a row, so I know he can do it! Next step is to wean him out of our bed, but I think we’ll enjoy this little success for a while first. Day sleeping is another story…he falls asleep in the car or stroller, but I used to feed him and sit with him in my arms if we were at home. Now…we’re muddling our way through it, trying to figure out what works. One day, he simply ran out of steam and fell asleep beside me on the couch; yesterday, we were snuggled up on the couch watching a film with Tiny, and he was quickly snoring on my chest.