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.