I am no longer a moo-cow… my breastfeeding days are sadly over. Missy Moo has just had her last bottle of breastmilk from the freezer supply that I had stocked up and I am finished feeding her myself. I am blessed I could give her the six months that I did but the decision to stop wasn’t easy.
I tormented myself for weeks when I finally made the decision to quit because I was quitting on terms that weren’t my own terms. I breastfed Buba for a year and it was easy to wean him straight to a cup and cow’s milk. I didn’t even think twice, that was the plan for Missy Moo too. However, she had a different agenda entirely.
I was in agony most of the six months I forced my self to feed her. Through numerous bouts of mastitis, and her biting, pulling, and chomping I carried on until the point I was so physically sick and in pain I could no longer continue. It was the right decision and I knew at the time that I had enough milk in the freezer to get her passed her six month birthday. Why six months? I have no clue. The hormonal, crazy mother in me wasn’t logical, a few more weeks wouldn’t have made a difference nor would it, if I had never breastfed her. She wouldn’t know the difference, but I would.
Slowly introducing a bottle of breastmilk instead of feeding her myself over a few weeks, I got more used to the idea that she was going to be on formula. My best friend, S, came over with all the supplies I needed (god bless her) and showed me the ropes with bottles, formula, containers, sterilizers, warmers, etc. It was like I was a new mom again learning what to do with a diaper. I had never give Buba bottles so I was clueless. It felt weird to not know how to do something so simple.
Then as I weaned Missy Moo off me, I started to wean her off the breastmilk onto formula. I planned to give her her bedtime bottle with breastmilk until it was gone. That last bottle came quickly and was upon us last night. I didn’t think twice about it at first until I was sitting there rocking her and the last few drops were disappearing. I had this sense of sadness, knowing I would never breastfeed again. It’s a bond and amazing feeling to nurture your own baby. Not saying I don’t still bond with her now bottle feeding her. I was just mourning the lost of an era because Missy Moo is my last baby. It’s more like mourning the baby stages as each one passes knowing that’s it, no more babies.
With that being said I am starting to look at the positives and the advantages of not feeding her myself. Selfish, maybe, but true. Clothing, for example, I haven’t worn normal clothes in over three years, between being pregnant: maternity clothes, and breastfeeding: easy access tops, my wardrobe hasn’t seen the light of day in a long time. Another added bonus is Daddy and Mommy can take turns putting her to bed and getting up with her in the morning. I find it bittersweet to watch Mr. P. feed Missy Moo now. They deserve that bonding and time together as much as I do. It’s even cute when Buba wants to help feed Missy Moo now. His love for her is evident but at two years old he doesn’t understand gentle or easy yet.
So I say goodbye to breastfeeding with a heavy heart but I know I did my best to give her such a great start.
Its one of the hardest and guilt ridden decisions you feel you make at the time but the positives are you both healthy and the bonding continues but in different ways. Your an amazing mom and don’t let this change effect you or make you think you’re different or treated your children differently. You have to do whats right and it was totally out of your control. My two were breast fed in different ways but they had the goodness needed for as long as I could provide and my two have grown into healthy little people who I love with all my heart, and show me unconditional love in return. No guilt just love! X
Thank you S!!! You are very right. Your two are amazing little people. The guilt is fading. It was just the last day and so I had to say goodbye. Boo. Xo
I love this post. My older daughter I only fed to 3 months as I got mastitis – only had it nice, but I couldn’t continue, it was awful. Now my younger daughter us 8 months, I’m still breastfeeding her but I’ve never felt the ‘specialness’ that others describe – I d it because its easier and better for her. Personally I’d like to stop, but ill continue until a year now.
Huge huge well done on getting to 6 months – I agree that there is a lot of pressure put on mums to feed until 6 months, it becomes a magical number doesn’t it. It doesn’t matter that your baby is formula fed, she will still be healthy and happy, and ouve given her a brilliant start.
Thank you for your kind words and encouragements. I know she will be fine and healthy. It was more a selfish thing that I wanted her to have the same as my son had. Each child is so different aren’t they? Mastitis is a nasty thing after the third time I just couldn’t go on. I never had any issues with my first. Funny how we can feed one fine and the other doesn’t work out. All in all at least they are all loved the same! lol Thanks for your comment and stopping by.
I have an interesting breastfeeding tale. Bubby was born 10 days before Christmas and when he was two weeks old, we (my husband, Bubby, and myself) flew to New Hampshire from Washington to see my husbands parents so they could meet our little bundle of joy. We had latching issues from the start so from the very beginning I had been pumping my milk and bottle feeding it to Bubby – we had a pretty good system going, and I was pumping quite a bit of milk each sitting. For some reason while we were in small town New Hampshire, I randomly stopped producing enough milk to feed my son. It was January 1, 2009 in the middle of the night with no stores open. My mother-in-law called the grocery store on the off chance that someone might be there willing to help, and a man named Mike answered the phone and agreed to help. He retrieved a can of formula for us and left it at the self check out, unlocked the door for my mother-in-law and my husband and let them buy the formula we needed to feed the baby. Two days later we went back to the store to introduce Mike to the baby he had saved that night, but there were only two Mike’s employed in the whole store, neither of which were the Mike that helped us that night. We were helped by what I believe to be a guardian angel! I ended up having the same breast milk situation with my daughter as well, and I was so heartbroken that I was unable to feed my own babies breast milk for very long, but I feel so blessed to have been saved that night when I truly feared that my baby was going to starve!
Jess @ Along Came Cherry says
Ahh you did so well to carry on through all the infections. As you know J bit me once and it was the most excruciating thing ever. I think it’s really hard to stop sooner than you did with the first. I fed Cherry for 18 months and really wanted to do the same for J but he’s nearly one and I’m already thinking about stopping as he drinks cows milk out of a cup with no problems. I find he just wants my boob out the entire time to go on and off when he pleases and screams when I say no. I’m going to try and feed him at set times for a few days first to see if that helps. I will miss being able to eat the extra cake though! x
Oh Jess, I feel you. It’s so hard to decide to stop feeding sooner than you planned but as each baby is so very different you have to do what’s best for J and you. If you are exhausted and it’s not really a necessity rather a comfort, it might be worth finding other comforting ways for both of your sanities. It’s so hard. I made myself sick over stop feeding Missy Moo. I wasn’t ready and I ended up in so much physical pain I was going to pass out and vomit. At first determined then my momma said you both aren’t happy so how is it any good. Made me realize to take a step back and assess the situation fully from outside looking in. If J is doing well with cow’s milk in a cup that’s fantastic. It’s hard I know, been there, the guilt of it and what to dos is hard because no one else can make the decision for you, just you. Mr. P. didn’t really understand why I was so upset, made it harder. I miss it, but now looking back it works so much better for the both of us now. Happy and healthy! Best of luck in whatever you decide. You know what’s best for you both follow your gut. 😉