Weaning: the end of an era

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.

Peekaboo

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.

18 months old

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.

18 months old

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.

Sleeping baby

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.

Sleeping baby

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{Review} Breastmates Nurture Top

Regardless of where your thoughts lie on the “breastfeeding in public” spectrum, it is a subject which always causes a stir. I’m not about to start a debate here (y’all are welcome to your opinions, but this is not a discussion about that, ‘kay?), but I will say that when a mum feeds her baby in public, the last thing she wants to do is flash everyone. She wants to be discreet; for her sake, for her baby’s sake, for everyone’s sake.

No matter how old her baby is: 15 days old, 15 weeks old, or 15 months old.

Pickle will be 15-months-old at the end of September, and he is still a very enthusiastic breastfeeder. I’m lucky; I’m surrounded by incredibly supportive family and friends who don’t bat an eyelid when I nurse my almost-toddler. However, I’m starting to get the “isn’t-he-too-old-for-that?” looks if I feed him when we’re out, and sadly, it makes me self-conscious.

Lovely Franny from Breastmates sent me one of her delicious new nursing tops (from her own Bump’n Boob range) to review, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. While Pickle is (sometimes) easily distracted from needing his milky drink during the day, there are times when we’ve just got to feed. The Nurture top is so discreet; there’s no lifting up or pulling down. It has side access, which means there is very little flashin’ of the flesh. It doesn’t look like a breastfeeding top, which is a bonus, and I know I’ll continue to wear it when my boobs are my own again.

Breastmates Nurture Nursing Top

Every mum – brand new, or more “seasoned” – needs nursing clothes in which they feel comfortable and pretty (because let’s face it, being a stay-at-home-mum ain’t glamourous, so we have to make ourselves feel good somehow, right?!). The Nurture top definitely fits the bill. It is incredibly soft, beautifully designed, and a great fit. It will flatter every stage of breast fullness and belly roundness – during pregnancy and the course of mum-and-bub’s breastfeeding journey.

Breastmates Nurture Nursing Top

I love the way it drapes from the detailed neckline, the snug sleeves, and the elasticated hem – you can adjust where the top sits on your tummy or hips, which is a huge plus. I love the feel of the fabric, the colour is simply divine, and the fit is spot on. The design is so clever and thoughtful; you can tell Franny designed this with her mum hat on.

IMG_3881Outfit details: Breastmates Nurture Maternity and Nursing Top (in slate grey), black Doosh pants (which are probably 12+ years old and still firm faves), After the Rain blue leaf skeleton earrings
Awesome backdrop: the mountain ranges of Queenstown (Coronet Peak ski field is  to the right, out of shot)

The first time I ventured out on my own with Tiny, when he was about three weeks old, I rang a friend to ask her where I could breastfeed in the city. If I’d had this top, I wouldn’t have worried about any of that – feeding a screaming, over-tired, reflux baby would be a dream with the Nurture top. It allows for fuss-free feeding, which is so important when your little one is fussing!

(While this top was provided to me for the purpose of review, the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.)

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For the first time in aaaaages, I’m linking in with beautiful and stylish Kelly for

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