13 September 2016

The last feed

I recently shared a post called 'one day' about all the things I would no longer one day do, some of them precious, some of them mundane, some of them everyday. One of these things was feeding my baby. Sunday night marked our last breastfeed and last night daddy put Miss Dot to bed. This is a big decision for me, an emotionally mixed one and I felt I wanted to document it.

last breastfeed, stopping breastfeeding
Our last feed 11/09/2016
Every night since she entered the world I have held her and fed her and loved her as she relaxed and fell asleep in my arms. At 12.5 months it felt like the right time for us, she's become so independent in so many ways and is toddling around quite happily. We were down to just one feed at bedtime having naturally dropped the rest over the last few months so it's been a matter of 'when' the last one would go. I had decided that as she was my last baby  I wanted to decide when our last feed would be rather than letting her self wean. Miss Boo turned her head and pushed me away one night at 15 months old and as lovely as it was that she made that decision I just wasn't quite emotionally ready for it. I had to wean Miss Tibs at 13 months as I was pregnant with Miss Dot and it was very uncomfortable and was just exhausted, but I felt very guilty about this and it wasn't how I wanted it to end. This time I felt ready and it was my choice and for no other reason than that our journey had come to a natural end. I'd just like to say on that note that I have absolutely no opinions whatsoever on how parents choose to feed their babies,  fed is best, this is just my experience and as much as I dislike this phrase, my journey.

In honesty I'd reached the decision to call it a day because after 5 years of being pregnant and breastfeeding pretty much back to back I'd quite like my body back. There have been moments when it hasn't been easy, when it's been so demanding and exhausting and I've felt like giving up. I haven't enjoyed every feed, sometimes I've dreaded every feed during a growth spurt or similar. At times it's been intense, overwhelming and I've resented having to be there at every bedtime and being the one getting up in the night so many times I would never have been able to count. At the same time when I sat in that rocking chair on Sunday evening and we had that one last feed it felt so precious, so worth every tough moment, and i'd do it all over again, every single feed in a heartbeat. I cried and held her a little bit longer before putting her in her cot that last time. There were tears from her and even more from me last night when she went to bed without me, safely cuddled by her daddy. it was hard but it's the right thing for us, for me.  I feel sad, I feel relieved, I feel very proud but most of all I feel ready to move on. It's the end of a very long chapter but a new one is beginning.

Me x

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