The Adventure of Parenthood: The End of Something

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The End of Something

It has been over three and a half years since my body felt truly my own, and it is strange to have it back.  After two pregnancies and two stints of breastfeeding, it doesn't come naturally to put on a pretty bra and a fitted dress.  Last week I breastfed Archie for the last time, without having a clue that it was to be the end and I suddenly find myself not 'needed' in the same way I have been for so long.

I knew I was going to miss one feed as I wouldn't be around at bedtime, but Archie chose the night before and after to sleep through the night, meaning I missed three feeds in a row and when he didn't seem bothered on the second night it felt right to bring things to an end.  It had been on the cards for a few weeks but I had no idea on that warm spring evening as we curled up together in the rocking chair that it would be our last breastfeed.

Our journey was relatively smooth and enjoyable.  I wanted to breastfeed for at least eight months but was sure I would finish by a year.  By eleven months we were only feeding at home but neither of us was ready to stop so we continued with no plan or goal in mind.  Archie is now fifteen months and an active, energetic toddler.  He is walking, talking, causing mischief wherever he goes and operating any machinery he can get close to.  He has had the best start in life that I could give him and I feel happy that we had what we had.



Breastfeeding has always been a comfort as well as a food source, and night wakings, scrapes and tumbles and teething have all been soothed with milk.  It was a morning greeting, a close cuddle on a busy day and a calming goodnight.  It was something between Archie and I that nobody else could be part of and in those early days where everyone wanted a cuddle I knew that the first sign of upset meant I would have my baby back in my arms to feed.  As he grew and feeds became less it became our quiet time in an otherwise noisy day and as we entered the toddler phase it became a promise of calm, a way to wind down together.

I don't have a whole lot of photos from our breastfeeding journey, and there are none from the later months when all sorts of gymnastics were performed as he fed.  Archie was five months old in this photo and we were sat in the hospital garden during our month long stay when Dylan broke his leg.  It was only because of the frequency of Archie's feeding that he was allowed to stay in, only because we could not be seperated for long and I don't know how I would have coped if the circumstances had been different.


The end of breastfeeding seems just another step in the move from baby to toddler, and Archie is in a period of huge changes at the moment, but it feels like the end of something for me.  



22 comments:

  1. Beautiful post sweetie xxx

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  2. Really lovely post, I hope to breastfeed Baby C and I love reading about the already strong mummy-baby bond being made even stronger xx

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  3. A lovely post, well done and on to the next step on this magical parenting journey

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  4. This is a lovely post. Such a big step, and one that is positive but also bittersweet at the same time. I don't think I will breastfeed Rory for as long as I have done with Arlo, and I'm actually quite looking forward to NOT breastfeeding for once, but I know when the time comes I will feel a bit sad about it despite knowing its the right time.

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  5. Really moving post. I stopped feeding my daughter just over a month ago, at 14 months, and it was also the right time for us, but an emotional shift, as we are not having any more children, so it was the end of another phase of life that I will not experience again. I have two wonderful, hilarious girls, and am so thankful for them, as my second pregnancy was very difficult, but moving on is also quite challenging! However, I've planned to start a second degree in October and started horse riding lessons, so it's also nice to find ways of being mum and more!

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  6. Beautiful pic! It's amazing the steps we take in our own journey as parents and you've just 'grown' out of one of them to a whole new space and freedom. It's time for you to have your body back after it's accomplished one of the most beautiful things it ever could. :) x

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  7. You have done amazingly well breastfeeding for so long

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  8. touching post, i guess its time to move one for all of you

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  9. Well done for breastfeeding for so long, it's so sad when it comes to an end but I guess they have to grow up and move on eventually even if we do sometimes wish they would stay babies forever :) xx

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  10. You will always be needed, just in other ways x

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  11. So bittersweet. I remember being happy to have my body back, but sad as that special time was over.

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  12. Such a heartfelt and bittersweet post x

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  13. Well done for giving him the best start you could. I guess it must be so bittersweet

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  14. Lovely post. I remember when my 2nd baby just turned his nose up at me one day and basically said "enough"! I was surprised, hurt and relieved that it was so easy. It's a big step in motherhood. #LAB

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  15. Such a beautiful post. I really regret that I don't have any photos of my breastfeeding journey with Harry. It was such a lovely time that I didn't really appreciate at the time.

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  16. what a lovely post - I remember that feeling of loss of closeness but within a few weeks we had just established a new routine and everything worked out well.

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  17. Well done for doing it for so long Bex, I miss breastfeeding too. x

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  18. Beautiful Post. My daughter chose her last time too and it was sad it was over, wish in some ways I had known.

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  19. Lovely post. My son is 10 months old and he's not showing any signs of stopping soon, but I will definitely feel mixed emotions when he decides to stop nursing.

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  20. I stopped bfing Little Man about a month ago now. It felt like such a huge thing, I was so emotional, still am at times. LM is our last baby so it's the end of my bfing days but it is nice to be able to wear different clothes, proper bras and not be the only one to put him to bed at night x

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  21. Ahh beautiful post Bex!!! It's do hard to let go of the breastfeeding and that baby era!! But it does feel weird to have your own body back doesn't it? I was the same two pregnancies back to back and two breastfeeding eras behind me. I had to buy my first bikini since all this this week and it felt bizarre. Lovely written post. I can to relate so much here. Makes me want another one but then I am enjoying selfishly my body being mine too. I hope you do too!!!!

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  22. Glad you had such a smooth transition. It must feel really strange to have your body back in that way!

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