Ok, now that I've got that off my chest, here's the real meaning of my blog title. On Sunday Punky had her last breastfeed. Yep. After 14.5 months our breastfeeding journey has come to an end. Not a sudden one, its been gradual, but the end has come.
When I was pregnant with Punky I set myself a goal of breastfeeding for at least a year. That was what I wanted to do, what I wanted to achieve, what I believed would give Punky the best start in life I could give her. I was realistic that it might not be easy. I was realistic that we might have trouble and that we might not be able to do it at all. But do it we did.
|Hanging together after a feed in the rocking chair, my feeding place of choice. I used the pillow to prop her and my arms comfortably while feeding|
Those first few days at home I was just about ready to give up, and if it hadn't been for the breast pump (and Dave's encouragement) I would have given up all together. As it was I expressed the first day we got home as I just couldn't get Punky to latch on and she had bottles of EBM all that night. The next morning, with a clearer head (how fucked are the baby blues on that fourth day by the way!) I expressed a little with the pump before attempting to get Punky to latch. Best thing ever. I was useless at hand-pumping and so that little bit of pumping with the pump made all the difference, softened up my nipples enough to make it easier for Punky to attach and away we went!
Those first few weeks and months Punky was a voracious eater, feeding about every 1.5 hours and to be honest I felt like such a milk cow. That's when showers were nice as I felt like, for that short amount of time, I had my body to myself and no-one else.
I have loved breastfeeding Punky and to be honest there is a part of me that is sad to stop. I loved those quiet moments we got together, especially as she got older and more mobile and independant, when for just a little time, she was content to just lie in my arms and just be with me. These last couple of months she's just been having the one feed first thing in the morning, and if I'm honest, the only reason why they continued on is because it was convenient for me. It gave me an extra 20 mins to lie in bed before having to get up for the day. It bought me time!
|Not just milk drunk, she's milk passed out!|
I'm happy with the decision to stop. Punky is more than happy with the decision to stop. She hasn't asked for it in a very long time and hasn't batted an eyelid the times when, for one reason or another, we've skipped that morning feed so I knew it wouldn't bother her stopping all together. She's happy to have a cup of milk in the morning when she gets up instead, and as long as she is happy, I'm happy.
I am proud of myself that we managed to keep at it and go for so long. And that's not to say that I think any less of people who can't or don't, but I do think I'm allowed to feel proud of myself for going this long. Not smug or anything, I just feel proud of myself that I achieved my goal, like I would achieving any goal I set for myself.
So that's it. The end of one era and the beginning of another. I must admit, also, that I am kind of looking forward to having my boobs be my own again, for at least a few months, before I resume full-time dairy cow duties again!
Did you breastfeed? Were you sad when it came time to stop? Were you ready to stop?
P.S. Thank you all for your lovely thoughts and well wishes when I wasn't feeling well last week. Dave and I both ended up sick but thankfully his Mum helped us out a lot and we were both able to get the extra rest we needed to get well for Punky.