I've been meaning to write this post for weeks - if not months now - but for some reason just never got around to it. Okay...that "some reason" is probably Charlotte herself. Haha! Let's be honest: toddlers are demanding and busy little people. Cute, but needy.
Our breastfeeding journey has been full of ups and downs. We've had great, sweet, cuddly moments and I-want-to-rip-my-hair-out moments. That's just life, and breastfeeding is part of ours. We had a rough time in the beginning, but thankfully it got easier as my body adjusted to doing the breastfeeding thing and finally healed up. There were days when I felt like nothing but a milk-maker....and days when I was the one who needed the cuddles.
3-4 months old. Life is tough for a baby. ;-)
After almost 17 months, our journey has come to an end. I breastfed Charlotte for the last time on Monday morning. I had known this moment was coming for a while, so I tried to enjoy every nursing session I could. Even if she was pulling my hair, shoving Bunny in my face, or putting her fingers in my eyes/mouth/nose (she's big on pointing out facial features and showing off).
I probably could have stopped nursing her weeks ago and she wouldn't have minded much. But I really wanted to wait until she completely refused. That way, it was her idea to stop. Even though Babywise (our go-to parenting method) is all about the parent(s) deciding these things, I felt like it would be easier on both of us if it were her idea. I did wean her down to 2 feedings a day back in June, but she never seemed to miss nursing throughout the day. (Well, with the exception of the stomach virus she - and I - had in July. She nursed like crazy that week! And I was happy to do it considering she wasn't eating and barely drank anything.) She's a busy little thing, so I can't I was surprised she didn't miss her mid-day nursing sessions.
6 months old, nursing in the doctor's office. One of my faves.
She stopped nursing before bed a few weeks ago, which I found kind of odd. Most babies hang on to that feeding for a while... Charlotte was the opposite, though. She hung on to the morning feeding. Can't say I blame her, though. I don't wake up ready to go first thing in the morning, and I like cuddles too! :)
Also around 6 months...another sweet favorite. :)
I'm sure the real reason behind her end to nursing is that my body is producing colostrum now. I feel pretty certain that she'd still be going strong if it weren't for that. Part of me is sad that our breastfeeding relationship has ended....but the other part of me is really glad that she did it on her own so that I didn't have to wean her before December. I know some moms tandem nurse their toddler and newborn, but I personally don't feel like I could handle that. Now, if Charlotte asks to nurse after Amelia arrives....? I have no idea how I'll respond. Haha! I'm not totally opposed to the idea of it, but it doesn't 100% appeal to me, either.
Last breastfeeding picture of us - 16 months old. ❤
An impromptu feeding on the couch, recovering from the stomach virus.
Anyway, I have mixed feelings about this. Overall, I've enjoyed breastfeeding her. Every single moment wasn't fabulous, perfect, or wonderful, but it was a great way for us to relax and bond. That's what I miss. But even now that she's not nursing, we still have a great bond. (I know...it's only been a few days. Humor me here, okay?) She definitely has an attachment to me, and she obviously still needs me for lots of things. She just doesn't need my milk anymore. And...I guess that's alright.