Since July 2014, I have either been pregnant or breast feeding and though I have been able to make use of my body, it always belonged to Silas. He needed it to grow and develop and ensuring those things was my priority.
But on Monday night, I nursed Si for the last time.
I have mentally been ready to be finished breast feeding for quite some time as I had hoped to have him fully weaned by a year. However, his apathy toward bottles and sippy cups made it a challenge, and I didn't want to quit when I was not certain that he would be willing and able to get his nutrients elsewhere.
The discovery of a Nuby cup with a 360 straw was a game changer, and Si has become more and more proficient in drinking from it. About six weeks ago, I was able to drop down to just nursing at night, middle of the night and morning and a month ago, I dropped the morning session.
Since then, I have noticed my supply drop but wasn't worried. I knew my body could possibly maintain it for months. And, anyway, I was going to be done at 15 months. I just needed to be.
It had been OK for that month, and I even started to cherish those moments with Si in the Ikea Poang chair when he was quiet and calm. I knew they were numbered and the ease of getting him to sleep would soon be replaced with a possible battle.
However, the nurse-rock-bed routine that had been so dependable crashed to a halt on Monday. I put Si down and he screamed. I mean SCREAMED. I could tell, physically, that I had no more to give him or with which to comfort him. It was a shock. It took me a moment to figure out what to do – which was grab his cup and cuddle with him in the chair as he gulped and gulped the cow's milk. Clearly, our nursing session had not given him what he needed. When he was done, he pushed it away and snuggled in. I held him for a short time before laying him down, where he rolled over and went fast asleep.
Even still, I wasn't so sure that would be the end of breastfeeding. I thought I'd give it to the weekend, when the boys are going to Camp Nana overnight.It would give me, us, time to prepare for the end. But as we read had bath and read books on Tuesday, I couldn't bear the thought of another night of struggle.
So without fanfare or an official goodbye, I decided that we were officially done. I cuddled him as I gave him his cup and prayed that he would be OK. Because even though I was mentally and now physically finished, I didn't know that Si would be. I didn't want to take something away from him.
He nuzzled his head into the crook of my arm, his left arm around my back, and sipped from his Nuby. When he was finished, he pushed it away and relaxed his body into a cradle position. His eyes fluttered closed and fell into slumber. I laid him down in his crib, where he slept until the next morning.