It’s been about two months now since Adalynn stop breastfeeding… and I don’t miss it.
And I wish I did.
I am carrying some guilt around because of it and I keep reminding myself to drop it for good.
When Adalynn was born I pictured this magical moment where’d she’d be laying on my bare chest and latch immediately, both of us snuggling and bonding. NOPE. She came out and couldn’t even be placed on my chest because the umbilical cord was wrapped around my placenta (or so other medical explanation that sounds better and more accurate than that). She was screaming, facedown on my lower abdomen. When I finally had her on my chest, she continued screaming, and she wouldn’t latch. She was slightly hysterical so her mouth just stayed open. I thought, that’s okay, we’ll try again in a bit. Fast forward, two days, more screaming and crying (the screaming from her, the crying from me). I was beginning to get frustrated but trying to stay strong. The doctors all disagreed about her tongue tie (how bad it was, whether it needed to be snipped, if she even had one!!!), she still wouldn’t latch, and the screaming continued. Seriously she didn’t cry when she was trying to learn to nurse, she screamed hysterically. Fast forward another day and I’m now officially the proud owner of a nipple shield. (Sorry to any of the men that may be reading) I wasn’t happy about it but after about a day she was KIND OF getting the hang of it! A few days later, nursing was going okay, but I was having intense pain…a month later, she was still nursing from the shield (great but ugh), I was still in pain. Meetings with lactation consultants, video after video on YouTube, online forums with other mamas, there was almost constantly discomfort and breastfeeding never felt 100% wonderful for 13 months.
I loved moments we experienced together while I was nursing her but I don’t think I ever grew to love breastfeeding. I love the wonderful things it did for my daughter’s development, I love all the snuggling we did, I love the fact that she truly deeply needed me and I love that no one else could provide for her like me, her mama. But I never loved breastfeeding.
I was completely worn out come month 13 and between her getting teeth and losing interest, I knew it wasn’t going to last much longer. I wanted to cry the last time she nursed but I was too happy to be done with such a grueling journey. It pains me to say that, and hope she doesn’t read these words one day and have her heart broken, because I would do it again, every single bit of it, if I had to choose again.
Looking back I wish I’d written down the date she last nursed, but I can’t beat myself up about that because at the time I just needed to be done and know that that was okay.
I am incredibly proud of what my body was able to provide for her for 13 months, more than a year of her life, and how strong I was in the trying time.
I am filled with love when I think of the wee hours of the morning while the rest of the world slept and it was just her and I, her asleep in my arms from just filling her body with milk and love.
And like I said, if I had to go back and choose, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat, but right now I just don’t miss it.