25 May 2014.
Pegasus Air flight.
Somewhere over Europe…
What’s the significance?
It was my last breastfeed…
I struggled to start and continue breastfeeding, but once I had the hang of it I had set my mind on doing it until 6 months. Once it settled down I decided to continue until a year old. Whilst I had
days and weeks moments of doubt where I felt trapped, like a milk machine and frustrated that no one else could look after my baby because of the boob addiction, by 9 months Jem went down to feeding only in the morning and last thing at night so it was manageable. I even discovered that if I went out in the evening (about once a month I have an evening meeting for my voluntary work) although he wouldn’t take a bottle he would settle to sleep without milk with the Turk. I began to question what he was really getting from breastfeeding, but given that it was only twice a day for about 5 minutes I figured that even if it was only for comfort or routine I could live with it.
In fact I was planning on continuing this pattern even when I returned to work, but Jem took a different view. When we were on holiday shortly after his first birthday he didn’t seem bothered about his morning feed, in fact twice he went without it and didn’t bother at all! By the final week of our holiday when I tried to feed him in the evening he actually burst into giggles (RUDE!) when I tried to feed him and was more interested in playing.
I can take a hint…
On the flight home Jem slept for an hour and then got very fussy, singing, toys, breadsticks, leftover simit, rice cakes didn’t do the trick so I broke out the failsafe booby distraction to try and stop invoking the rage from the other passengers. He was still very tired so I thought it might make him nod off…it did not.
Anyway, what I didn’t appreciate at the time was that this was it. When we came home I decided to start the “real” milk, and Jem loved it. I was really surprised as he never really took to formula, it took months to get him to drink ANY water and when I tried cow milk before he wasn’t bothered. Perhaps it was because I warmed it, or maybe he was just ready to move on, whatever it was I had expected to wind down from the breast and have a month or so of switching over, but it wasn’t needed.
I was reading other blog posts around the time and Donna from Red Head Baby Led was writing about her experience of finishing breastfeeding and my NCT friends whom mostly fed up to 12 months were going through the same thing. It struck me that they were all experiencing pain, engorgement or other niggles from finishing bf…but I wasn’t. In fact for a couple of months I’d been back in pre-pregnancy bras, I literally had no “side effects” from stopping…
…I suspect that Jem had been rather taking me for a ride for a little while!
Well I’m not complaining, it was mixed but overall I’m pretty glad it’s over.
Although as this is probably my last opportunity to comment on breastfeeding can I direct you to the Two Boys One Mum blog, here, for what is probably my favourite ever post on this topic.