My son and I ended our breastfeeding journey a month ago, but thankfully we were able to make it to 2 years and 3 months. It was not an easy chapter to have end. It was probably one of the hardest and emotional chapters to have ended thus far in my parenting journey. Weaning is hard, no matter at what point it happens. After 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years... you all know the sadness of saying goodbye to something that was important to you and your child. Even if you never breastfed in your parenting journey, I'm sure you can look back and remember some part of your relationship with your child that had to end, transform or change. No matter what, these things are difficult!
I know some of you have varying thoughts and opinions about my having breastfed as long as I did, and that's fine. I'm not here to talk about the (many) benefits of extended breastfeeding, or to even promote breastfeeding at all. I'm just here to share my story, my feelings about something significant in my mama journey. Though, both Ash and I are avid promoters of mama choice and breastfeeding. We support breastfeeding no matter what, even if that means you choose to not do it. No mommy wars here, we're all just trying to do our best!
I remember the first time Oliver breastfed. It was soon after he was born and we were still snuggled up in the bed that he was born in. I remember feeling so relieved that he knew what to do! Little did I know that breastfeeding wouldn't necessarily get easier after that, in fact it got a lot harder. For those first few months of our breastfeeding journey, we both had to work very hard to keep at it! Maybe that's one reason why it was such a hard thing to say goodbye to, because we had to fight so hard for it to be successful. It's funny to look back and remember that my initial breastfeeding goal was 1 year. When I set that goal while I was still pregnant, little did I know that that 1 year mark would come and go with no end in sight! I had always hoped that he would just wean on his own, HA! That was not in our cards :-) As hard as it was to turn the page on that chapter of our journey together, our relationship has not changed so much! We still snuggle all the time and are still very close. I think that the anxiety of anticipating the end of our breastfeeding journey was harder than actually ending it. Of course, I cried a bit while he was nursing for that last time, and then cried a bit more when he all of a sudden sat up and asked to snuggle. I guess that was him telling we that he too was ready to move on. Thankfully my husband took a few photos of our last time breastfeeding so that I can always look back on that special time and remember the exact moment that chapter ended.
I guess all of this is to say, wow, being a mama is hard sometimes! Am I right?! The emotional ups and downs are not to be underestimated. I'm learning everyday as my son gets older that each new phase of his life is wonderful but also different from the last, and that's ok. It's ok to grieve the "lasts" as well as be excited for all the new "firsts" that await us! It's always going to be difficult when chapters of our story that we loved come to an end, but we have so many other new chapters to look forward to!
It was a great 2 years a 3 months my little wild man, but I'm excited to see what this next chapter has in store for you <3