Okay trying to stick with my idea about just getting on to post without thinking too much about it. I just had to write about the end of my love hate relationship with breastfeeding, which after 6 years appears to be coming to its conclusion.
For the last two nights my last little baby girl has not wanted a breastfeed. She turns her head away and acts as if I’ve placed tuna mornay on my nipples!(FYI- tuna mornay is clearly hated and an offensive word in our household!) yes she is teething and feverish- so maybe she’ll be back tomorrow? But…..
I feel really sad, and I’m not sure why because to be honest I’ve never been one of those women who LOVED breastfeeding anyway. But I guess over the years I have come to ‘not hate it’ as much as I thought I would. Maybe it’s because it hasn’t been my choice? Maybe because I didn’t know it was our last time at 5 am through closed eyes as I stumbled to her room for our usual dawn ritual?
I never thought I would feed in the first place. The thought of it made me feel a bit yuck. My mum didn’t breastfeed and to be honest, having not been around many babies until having my own- it didn’t seem to be the natural thing for me to do.
Looking back to having my first son 6 years ago, feeding was awful. He had an early tongue tie and had damaged me so badly that the sound of him crying for a feed made me shudder with dread- while instead I should’ve been happy he was awake. I hated it- and also hated how it continued to dictate what I did with my body after already being taken over for 9 months. If it hadn’t been for the fact my mother in law was a pro- breastfeeding midwife I would’ve chucked it in after 2 days. I persevered for 3 months- but my hormones were going nuts and I just needed to be on the pill where I seemed to return to ‘myself’afyerbsome months of struggling alone to adjust to my role as a new mum.Looking back it was a horrible time, and being a new mum I thought that’s how you were supposed to feel.
Three years later with my second and breastfeeding came easy. I knew what I was doing and to be honest who could be bothered making bottles every 3 hours. So I fed Sammy until he no longer woke at night, which was 6 months. Yes – I now loved the ease of whipping it out !!
Fast forward to my beautiful baby Elsie. 8.5 months and I’m clinging on for dear life. Granted we are only down to feeding once a day- and yes partly through sheer laziness and knowing it was there and was easy. But there’s something about this last time…. Knowing that despite never being a gushy mother who bored everyone to tears telling them about ‘how connected’ breastfeeding made me feel, I am going to miss it just a little. Maybe it’s because this is the last time I’ll have a little baby. Now I move into being a mother of older kids, and as much as I know there are great times ahead- I’ll only realise how perfect these days were, when they are long behind me.
Don’t get me wrong- I still can’t stand women who make vile passive aggressive judgements on bottle feeding mums, and I still shiver when people say, each to their own then follow up with statistic, facts and slogans such as ‘breast is best. A women’s mental health is just as important, and having a mother who is ‘alive and present’ is surely best? And to the women who go out of their way to create controversy by removing their entire dress over their heads when feeding in public and expect no one to look sideways – I certainly won’t miss being lumped as part of your gang. I managed to feed all of my kids in public without showing my underwear to strangers. And those who did get a look actually deserved a little peek for trying so hard !I wouldn’t show my nipples strangers when not breastfeeding so certainly wouldn’t ‘PURPOSELY’ do it to prove a point just because I was feeding my children. As natural as it is and should be- the female body has been sexualised, and until that changes indiscreet boobs out on the dinner plate will continue to cause a stir… And as I said, being half naked makes me personally feel uncomfortable! It is something that I chose not to do. (I can already feel the wolves beginning to attack 😂…. Funny how bottle feeding mums don’t go out of their way to make breastfeeding mothers feel like shit??)
But for a mum who never wanted to feed at all-I’m really glad that I fed all 3. So farewell my friend- we never saw nipple to nipple. But I bid you adieu.