Breast(feeding) Be Gone | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Breast(feeding) Be Gone

You may think from the title that this is another one of those rants about stupid heads and their fairly ignorant comments on public breastfeeding but it isn't. For the record I support public breastfeeding whenever and wherever and think if someone has an issue with it then it's their issue, not mine. Deal with it.

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
After a bit of a rocky start (did anyone else find it frustrating that every midwife that came on shift in the hospital had a different way and idea about breastfeeding? And that some wouldn't even help you they'd just shove the kids head on your boob and away they'd go, as if that was really teaching us how to do it ourselves!) and a few rough days when we first got home we finally got the hang of it and were very lucky to not have any issues after that.

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!
My reasons for giving it up are simple. I don't want to tandem feed. I have no problem if that works for other people but I know it wouldn't work for us. It's also becoming painful. With the extra sensitivity in my nipples from being pregnant its just become too painful to keep going. And Punky is a fidgeter of the highest order, even while lying down and feeding, and she kicks me in the stomach a lot, which is also really uncomfortable.

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.
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18 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Kylie! You've both done so well. My little Charlotte has just turned one and we're
    Still on two feeds a day, morning and evening. I suspect the morning one will be the first to go as the dinner bath feed bed routine is still so integral to her getting off to sleep and staying there! I haven't got an end date planned, but I think we'll be done on the next few months.

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  2. Its funny you post about the BF journey coming to an end because Tully and I pretty much at the end of ours....I'm still able to express one bottle a day but she hasn't actually been on the boob for almost a fortnight. When it was really hot in early Jan she just started refusing the breast, and no matter what or how hard I trued she'd just squirm and scream, so we've been slowly weaning for a few weeks. I'm king of sad we couldn't last even a full 6 months, but she's Avery cuddlybub while she bottle feeds so that's still nice....

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  3. I just finished feeding my last baby, well just before Christmas I did. It was sad, but had to be done. Wishing you guys all the est.

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  4. Breastfeeding your kid really is such a memorable affair and stays with your for life. I was kinda sad when it ended but I'm glad I gave it my best shot for over 2 years, which was my goal. Well done for hanging on for so long.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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  5. You have done well and should feel proud of your achievement! All up I've breastfed for approx 9.5 years. I breastfeed until roughly 2 years with each of my children. My last baby turns 2 in May and I'm really dreading the end of our breastfeeding journey. I'll miss the cuddles and quiet moments so much.

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  6. You definitely should be proud of yourself! I breast fed #2 until she 13 months. The only reason I stopped was because, like you, I was 3 months pregnant and finding it really uncomfortable - sore nipples and a strange, disgusting squirmy gut feeling. I think I was more sad than my daughter was when that part of our relationship ended. But it sure was nice to have my boobs to myself for six months!

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  7. Yes I remember when No.2 stopped at about 16 months - I felt a little sad but also liberated about it. You've done such a great job and with No.2 on the way it will be nice to have your girls back - albeit just for a short time! Lovely post as usual! Em @ Have a laugh on me

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  8. I love that "milk drunk" look - so adorable!
    I breastfeed both boys - PJ till he was 3!
    It feels great knowing I did that - for them - and for me
    Stopping now sounds like the absolute right thing for the both of you, especially with a new bubba coming, you need to take it easy a little on yourself
    Josefa from #teamIBOT xx

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  9. I loved breastfeeding. My goal was always a year too, and I went over with all except Ava. I probably would have done her the longest, she being my baby, but she decided one day at 10 months that that was it, she was well and truly done. It broke my heart at the time. I wasn't ready at all. :(

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  10. I fed for about 12 months. I can't remember exactly when we stopped, it was gradual as well. I knew I wanted to feed him until at least 12 months b/c when he was 11 months we went to the States, so I wanted to be able to soothe him on the plane! I was happy to have my body back, to be completely honest!

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  11. I know that bittersweet feeling!! It is a great bonding time, but also it was so nice to have my body to myself for a few months! Great job in making it through the hard stuff at the beginning, and yes midwives were all over the place, each one telling me something different, some helpful, some just not at all!!
    x Karen

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  12. I stopped with my little girl bang on 12 months because I was pregnant. But I'm holding off with my boy. He is 13 months now, but he doesn't like cows milk... plus, I just don't really want to! It's so bittersweet, isn't it?

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  13. Congrats on reaching your year goal! I've prett much weaned joseph- but I always qualify it with 'pretty much' bc sometimes I buy an extra 10 mins sleep in by letting in to his demands! I love the milk passed out photo!

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  14. I wanted so badly to breastfeed with O. We had a week of failed attachment before I gave up and started expressing all I could and supplementing with formula. I did this for another 2 weeks before my MCHN let me know she was tongue tied, and that was why she couldn't attach. Knowing this, I kept expressing while waiting for an appointment with a specialist to rectify the problem. Unfortunately, by the time the tie was snipped at 6 weeks, my supply had dried up and O became a 100% formula baby.

    It broke my heart that I wasn't able to feed O, and it made me so mad that no-one at the hospital told me about the tie at the time. It's since come out that it was identified but not communicated, and at 19 I didn't know enough to look for it.
    That being said, O is in the 97th percentile for height and weight, and intellectually I'm being told she is above and beyond... I did all I could to give her the best start in life (expressing every hour, day and night) and now I can't regret, only look forward and hope for a better time with baby # 2

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  15. I love the milk passed out photo but I think I like the first one even more. It's just lovely.
    I starved both my kids for about 6 days with Boy and 4 days with Girl. I cried about not being angle to feed him for months. So Girl went to formula faster than he did. I wold have loved to breast feed but it just didn't work out for us.

    In case I haven't said it Congratulations on your pregnancy.

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  16. I've heard stories of breast pain from expressing but it's one of those things that I won't know about until I become a mother (hopefully one day soon). I admire your positive attitude and honest words, it's nice to know these things. My relatives come from an age where you don't discuss these things unless asked about it so it's nice to jump online and read first hand accounts from women who aren't afraid to say it can be difficult. Thank you, I might never have known how hard this can be and how fortunate those are who can actually do it for this long.
    Bella xx
    seaandsalt.com

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  17. I'm just reading this now. I think it's so great that you met you goal, and you DEFINITELY have the right to feel proud about it! Enjoy having your boobs to yourself for a few months! :D

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  18. Note to self: Pay attention. I just got half-way thru this post before realising that it's LAST February. Colour me sleep-deprived. And big love to you for an epic effort making it to 14.5 months with Punky :)

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