As I was squeezing my breasts into the bathroom sink (all the glamour), it hit me. He's done. I'm done. The last direct bodily connection to me nourishing him is going away. So I cried.
As I cleaned out my lingerie chest last weekend and got rid of all of stretched out, torn, broken nursing bras - my faithful, loyal and disgusting friends - I cried.
As I cleaned out all the nursing paraphernalia, I cried.
As I realized I will never have them both in my lap again, one at my breast and one with my breast milk in a bottle to her lips, both gazing up at me, I cried.
As I've gained a few pounds since not being able to eat whatever I want in the name of feeding my babes, I simply shrug. BIG WHOOP. It's a few pounds. It'll all work itself out. No need to cry over that.
It's been 18 months, and I have always said I would stop nursing when my boy decided it was time (I pumped exclusively for my girl). I mean, within reason. When we moved into our new house, I tried continually, and he was just, well, done. Maybe it was the new location and for me, it helped with the memories not being as ever present, does that make sense?
Anyway, the days passed by and I kept trying to nurse and then expressing my milk that was left (not much at this point) into the sink. The nursing was really more of a comfort at this point than anything else, but it was evidently more of a comfort to ME than to HIM. He's doing just fine without it. Doesn't seem to miss it or crave it or anything. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT WE AS PARENTS WANT. For our kids to be well and happy. But this of course hurts my feelings. BECAUSE IT'S ALL ABOUT ME. In all honesty, I'm thrilled that it went down this way, as I was always a bit nervous about how traumatic the stopping of it all would be, for him and for me.
It's been a beautiful, ugly, trying, rewarding, wonderfully painful experience, the breastfeeding/pumping thing. I wouldn't change a damn thing. I am not one of those, OH I WISH THEY WOULD STAY BABIES FOREVER chicks. I want them to flourish and fly! Not yet, but you know, one day.
And this step is big. It's a big big moment for us.
I am done breastfeeding (and pumping!). And while I've taken some well deserved moments to mourn this loss of the most direct connection I will ever have with my babies, I also am celebrating the fact that I AM DONE BREASTFEEDING. As with anything, you have to grieve and mourn in order to move on. And then, you move on in spectacular fashion by listing all the ways you are happy to be done breastfeeding!
- Having both pumps (one at work and one at home) stand up as battle weary soldiers, give me the finger, and dramatically die due to burned out motors with an EFF YOU YOU CRAZY LADY GIVE ME A BREAK ALREADY OH I'M DEAD.
- I can drink ALL OF THE COFFEE again if I choose to.
- I don't have to be on pre-natal vitamins any longer! I've been on pre-natal vitamins for about 75 years I think.
- I don't have to worry about what I'm wearing and if I can whip out my bewbies at a moment's notice and try to be somewhat discreet about it.
- Similar to number 4, I don't have to strip a couple times a day at work to wee woo wee woo wee woo wee woo and wonder if the video conferencing equipment in the "pumping room" would pop on any moment "OH HI".
- I can wear my regular fancy bras ALL THE TIME NOW.
- Have I mentioned THE COFFEE? For those of you who partake of THE ALCOHOL, it's a miracle, this drinking of the coffee and the alcohol without having to worry what you are passing along to your babes.
- NO MORE NIPPLE SHIELDS OR CREAMS OR ANY OF THAT. Gone. BYE BYE.
- No more strangers seeing my bewbies at any given awkward moment. I know I know, it's beautiful to breastfeed and all that, but call me crazy. I don't particularly care for strangers staring at my breasts. I did what I needed to do to feed my babes, but no. Done.
- This all ultimately means that my babies are healthy and growing up exactly as they should be.
We had our 18-month doctor visits last weekend, and at a whopping 33 inches each - 25 (my boy) and 26 pounds (my girl) respectively - they are doing incredibly well. From tiny 6 and 7 pounders to this today, what mama could be sad about anything with that progress? They are hitting all their milestones and as I checked them all off, I cried.
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