It’s been over 2 weeks since I breastfed Miles. I never thought I’d see the day, but our nursing journey has officially come to an end.
Above all else, the feeling I am feeling is RELIEF. This is the first time in a long time that I feel like a truly independent person. Nursing was the last physical tether to my kid, and now I’m free! I’ve also got to give props to this body of mine for producing nourishment for this long. I really had myself believing that six months was my cutoff, but as it became very obvious to me that Miles was not ready to stop nursing at six months, it also occurred to me that I wasn’t ready to give it up either.
As much as I wanted this to end, I was lowkey sad because I was totally unprepared. I didn’t see it coming. Just before the new year, I broke out in what doctors suspect were stress-induced, full-body, itchy and painful as hell hives. We sent Miles to stay with my mom for a few days, because it caused me physical pain to try to move and walk. The severe hives and the absence of Miles—and whatever other scientific/biological reasons that I’m unaware of—seemed to halt milk production, and it just made sense to stop nursing from there. I’d hoped for a slow, steady transition. Cold turkey was absolutely not the plan. However, that’s how it happened, and it makes me sad to know that neither of us were aware that the last time I nursed him to sleep would be the last. Just like every other phase so far, the comings and goings move so swiftly and unexpectedly that you have no choice but to go with the current of conflicting emotions that come along with them.
Looking back, I’m glad that I never took this part of early motherhood for granted. I know how lucky I am to have been able to feed Miles the way I’d hoped to for as long as I did. Having experienced this chapter pushed my limits and gave me an indescribable bond to my kid that I am so grateful for.
So here I am, healing from one last round of blocked ducts (because of course this would happen), wearing a nursing bra for support and coverage, but with no intention of using it for its intended purpose. I even shopped for new, non-nursing bras recently, which felt strange and sad and fantastic all at the same time. My body will still be forever altered by pregnancy and childbirth, but this is another physical part of me that I have been able to reclaim for myself.
As always, for anyone still on “the journey,” remember that it is normal and TOTALLY fine to struggle, change course, or not want to breastfeed at all. A fed and healthy baby is the goal and priority, and no matter how you choose/are able to achieve that goal is YOUR CHOICE. We’re all just doing our best, and that is enough.