Bye-bye boobies: the end of our breastfeeding journey

I didn’t expect it to end quite so suddenly. One day Sophie was happily breastfeeding before she would settle down for naps and bedtime and then all at once, she declared “no booby, Mummy” and that was that. I wish I’d known the end was coming. I would have cherished the snuggles and that very last feed, instead of checking Twitter on my phone. I wouldn’t have said no to that last “wan’ booby, Mummy” and distracted her with cake as we were out and I was too self-conscious to feed my toddler in public. If I had known, I would have picked her up and treasured the moment.   This last time came and went and I never knew it until it was too late.

Bye-bye boobies: the end of our breastfeeding journey - Little Hearts, Big Love

The sadness at our breastfeeding journey coming to an end has surprised me with its intensity. I didn’t expect to feel this way – I didn’t feel this amount of sadness when Jessica stopped breastfeeding at seventeen months. Maybe it was because the end came so naturally with Jessica that it was anticipated and expected – I was able to treasure those moments, knowing that they were coming to an end. Maybe it was because I was pregnant with Sophie at the time and knew that a new journey would hopefully start.

 

It wasn’t as if I always enjoyed our breastfeeding journey. Sophie had moments of being a little vampire and it wasn’t always pleasant at times but it was something that I, and I alone, could do for her. It was the one thing that I knew I could do, that I was good at, the biggest positive that I held on to during those months of struggling through postnatal depression. It was a bond that we had that no-one else could have.   And to have it so abruptly broken breaks my heart. It reminds me that my baby girl is growing up, that she is becoming increasingly independent and that this week she took another little step away from me.

 

I’ve shed a few tears over it, will give myself a little time to grieve this little change and no doubt I will readjust to it. I’ll open my wardrobe again and be able to choose an outfit without wondering whether I can feed easily whilst wearing it. Five years of being either pregnant or breastfeeding has led to a fairly restricted wardrobe on that front though – I don’t think I still own a bra that isn’t either a maternity or nursing bra! A bit of retail therapy might be needed!

 

I will miss the times of Sophie singing “hello boobies, I love boobies” and saying “wan’ booby” in such an adorable way. I will miss the “thank you for boobies” in the bedtime prayers. And most of all I will miss those sleepy snuggles and the moments of knowing that I was nourishing my baby girl both physically and emotionally.   It’s the end of an era, and in many ways the end of Sophie’s babyhood. My baby has gone forever, replaced by my beautiful toddler. But there are still new memories to be made, snuggles to enjoy and no doubt there will be more last times to shed tears over too.

 

MaternityMondays
Mummascribbles

29 thoughts on “Bye-bye boobies: the end of our breastfeeding journey

    1. Louise Post author

      Thank you Gráinne – took myself shopping yesterday and treated myself to a very pretty new dress that I couldn’t have worn when still breastfeeding – it definitely helped ease the blues a little! 🙂

      Reply
  1. Kyles @ Pickles and Pords

    I had mixed feelings when my first stopped breastfeeding a couple of months ago because I was feeding both him and his baby sister and feeling like that’s all I did. I was sad, but also a bit relieved. Reading this it hit me that I’ll be more upset when the baby eventually stops. It is indeed the end of an era. Well done you for persevering with it. Enjoy all the memories… and all the well deserved retail therapy!

    Reply
    1. Louise Post author

      Thank you – I can imagine that it was quite exhausting tandem feeding and that it was a bit of a relief as well as being a little sad too. I think the milestones hit a little harder when you know that it really is the last time. Knowing that I would hopefully be starting the feeding journey again helped when Jessica stopped but this time round I just don’t know if I will ever do it again which has definitely made it harder. The retail therapy has helped ease the blues though!

      Reply
  2. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops

    Awww, reading this made me feel so emotional. I know that I am approaching the end of our journey too. I think you have the right approach (I know that I am going to grieve and be happy at the same time too) and I hope you enjoy more wardrobe freedom!

    Reply
    1. Louise Post author

      It is sad when that journey comes to an end isn’t it? I think I’ve accepted it more this week though and a spot of retail therapy definitely helped! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Mummy's Blog

    My daughter stopped very abruptly too, but she was only six months. I didn’t really have the feelings of being sad that you (and lots of other mums) talk about (possibly due to PND?), but I can understand it, because it’s sort of a confirmation of them growing up and perhaps not needing you as much, which is always hard. Hugs to you xxx
    #maternitymondays

    Reply
    1. Louise Post author

      Thank you – glad that you didn’t feel sad when your daughter stopped breastfeeding (although sorry to hear about the PND) – I think the realisation that our little ones are growing up can be very bittersweet at times and that different things can trigger it.

      Reply
  4. Lara

    What a sweet post. “Thank you for boobies” made me laugh. It’s hard when certain phases come to an end. Even at such a young age, children want to be independent. I am sure your daughter will always remember the bond of breastfeeding and that’s a precious thing. xx #TwinklyTuesdays

    Reply
  5. Apparently Awkward

    Time goes by so fast! I remember having moments of “Will this night never end?!” when the baby was waking every few hours to feed and now at 10 months and no more breastfeeding (we sort of just ended up stopping at 9 months and transitioned to bottles) I definitely have nostalgia for those late night feeds. It all changes so quickly and it’s very emotional saying goodbye to those moments! But exciting to think of all the *new* ones to create! #twinklytuesday.

    Reply
  6. Coombemill

    I remember stopping for the last time, it felt so sad, but eventually my kids actually didn’t want it any more at around 2 and so the decision was taken out of my hands. Life has to move on but there are plenty of fun times ahead of you even if this stage is passing. #TwinklyTuesday

    Reply
    1. Louise Post author

      Thanks Fiona – the little stages passing are sad but as you say, they are lots of fun times to look forward to as well.

      Reply
  7. Alison

    Aw, this is simultaneously lovely and sad. Be proud that she knows her own mind. I can’t see my son giving up boobie any time soon, although I think we’re nearing the end of our journey at 18 months. He is doing a thing where he switches between breasts after a very short period of time. I don’t know if this is because of the flow, or if he just likes to have a sort of boobie-buffet (and what a terrifying image that is), but it’s very, very annoying. Still I’ll be sad when it stops. #twinklytuesday

    Reply
    1. Louise Post author

      “Boobie-buffet” made me chuckle – what a great description! I can imagine that it is very annoying – we definitely had moments like that too but there’s part of me that misses them now!

      Reply
  8. Ursula

    I feel your sadness as this week my little boy at only 7weeks has had to go on a bottle; he was just too demanding and I couldn’t fill quickly enough for him!

    On the plus side I am still giving him his morning feed and expressing 2 feeds during the day to give him the goodness he needs.

    It was a very difficult decision, but his needs are greater than mine! I know deep down that every morning feed could be our last and following your post my phone will not be near us.

    Reply
  9. Wave to Mummy

    What a sweet post. I think we may have come to the end of our breastfeeding journey now too, she ha seen away with her daddy for a week so she probably won’t even remember mummy milk anymore! It is bittersweet, you know it needs to end eventually, but it means also that they are growing up to be big girls now!

    Reply
  10. Pingback: #MaternityMondays Week 43 | Farmer's Wife and Mummy

  11. Caro | The Twinkles Mama

    It’s amazing how quickly things come and go. One minute they’re doing something and the next, it’s been lost and replaced by something else. The thing that’s making me feel the same is that the boys are walking — properly on their legs — up and down the stairs now!! They’ve always been so careful on stairs and gone down backwards on their hands and knees! My babies are proper boys!! Thanks so much for linking up to #TwinklyTuesday — hope to see you again tomorrow!

    Reply
  12. aNoviceMum

    O my word ….. I can imagine the sadness … actually I can’t. I have my issues too but I can’t even contemplate the last feed, not just yet, not for a long while. It must be really sad for it to happen when you least expect and without seeing it coming. Thanks so much for sharing your story on #BreastfeedingandI. It’s also really exciting to think about the impact this has on other aspects of your life like your wardrobe. Wow … another milestone reached, so much more to come. Grief, wipe your tears, and enjoy, hey. 🙂 Sophie is growing up, so exciting … may we enjoy our seconds with our children.

    Reply
    1. Louise Post author

      It was really sad although a few weeks on and the sadness has been replaced by calm acceptance of another stage passed. I think taking myself clothes shopping for the first time in ages might have helped too – am certainly enjoying having more freedom with regards to my wardrobe! 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *