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Tiaras and Trucks

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Shop is Closed

A year.

Before he was born, I made a conscious decision to breastfeed Dylan for a full year if at all possible. 

My breastfeeding experience with Abbey went as well as could be expected, considering my pumping option at work was a dirty supply closet attached to a friend's classroom or under my desk, with the blinds closed, posterboards on the windows on my two hallway doors, chatting with a friend whose desk was housed in my classroom.

I ended up supplementing with formula for daytime feedings.

Since I wouldn't be working outside of the home when I had Dylan, exclusively breastfeeding until he was ready for cow's milk seemed like a reasonable goal, a good fit for our family.

There were times I questioned the decision.  He (mostly) rejected bottles and always rejected nursing covers or blankets or anything that might have added discretion to his feedings.  Since we were often out and about, I was a virtual National Geographic mother (sorry Metro Detroit.)

But in the chaos of having a two-year old and an itty bitty baby, nursing became the eye of the storm for Dylan and me.  It was the time when we were able to carve out some mother-child alone time, even in the middle of a playdate or a shopping trip.  Abbey would sometimes share the moment, listening to a book on the couch with us or just snuggling into my free side, her head on my shoulder.

As his one-year birthday drew near, and he discovered the wonder of solid foods, his feedings naturally decreased.  I groaned about his middle of the night feeding but privately cherished the moments we had alone in a silent house, his sleepy gulps of milk comforting him back to sleep.

It hurt to drop that feeding.

I held onto his final feeding, before bed, until he was fourteen months.  I used his follow-up appointment to his surgery as an end date, and shed tears at that final feeding.

He's our last baby, so that final feeding was truly the final feeding.

He is still a hugger and a kisser and a snuggler and a giggler, so there are plently of moments of closeness to savor and appreciate.  I try to remember that when I look back on those early feedings, when I was the only person who mattered for just a few minutes.

This milk buffet is closed, and some days I feel a little sad about that.

his daddy 
his favorite books 
his sippy of water

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22 Comments:

  • At May 4, 2011 at 8:16 AM , Anonymous Angie In My Own Little Corner said...

    So bitter sweet to give up bf'ing. I know I had mixed emotions when I stopped with both my kids.

     
  • At May 4, 2011 at 8:30 AM , Anonymous Amy said...

    I didn't breastfeed but have had similar thoughts at different times. What a great way to spend time with your boy!

     
  • At May 4, 2011 at 8:43 AM , Anonymous Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

    This post reminded me of my experience with my now 14 month old. I had a hard time giving up that last feeding. He may be my last baby too. I'm STILL sad sometimes, but luckily I still get lots of cuddles.

     
  • At May 4, 2011 at 11:04 AM , Anonymous shellthings said...

    Such a big milestone!

    I was breastfeeding or pregnant or both for something insane like 6 years in a row, so when my youngest was done, I was probably a little too excited about it.

     
  • At May 4, 2011 at 11:17 AM , Anonymous Cheryl said...

    Aw...I know exactly what you mean. X is my last and the only one I got to nurse until he was done. The end was definitely bittersweet.

     
  • At May 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM , Anonymous mama marchand said...

    Ouch ... that last feeding is so hard! I can certainly relate, although I wish I could've nursed longer with my daughter. I, too, had to pump in a less-than-desirable locale which definitely brought my nursing days to an end faster. Like you, I'm cherishing the cuddle time we have now ... even more!

     
  • At May 4, 2011 at 1:06 PM , Anonymous Making It Work Mom said...

    I had almost the exact same ending experience with all three of mine, but certainly my last one was the hardest. I love breastfeeding because of that special time, it makes you sit down and just be with your child and after breastfeeding there is usually an extended giggle and snuggle session.
    I feel for you- it is a heartbreaker.

    Oh and with my 1st I was teaching in a school that had portable classrooms so the only place to pump was the portable bathroom so I had to run an extension cord from the one outlet to my pumping place (the handicapped stall) while middle schoolers traipsed in and out of the bathroom. Talk about sacrifices for motherhood.

     
  • At May 4, 2011 at 3:03 PM , Anonymous Cyndy DysFUNctional Mom said...

    This is sad and sweet. It just goes by so fast!

     
  • At May 4, 2011 at 4:46 PM , Anonymous Kir said...

    Oh my sweet friend, I wish you comfort with this. I did not BF so I can't speak right to this, but I can understand losing that "baby" of yours. One day they are our infants...and the next they are little people. And that hurts your heart no matter what. Mommies are always mommies but babies aren't always babies.

    Hugging u in cyberspace!

     
  • At May 4, 2011 at 10:32 PM , Anonymous Missy said...

    Oh man! That makes me sad for you :(

     
  • At May 5, 2011 at 8:21 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I am not too sad about it most of the time, but there are moments :)

     
  • At May 5, 2011 at 8:23 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I think whether you BF or not, those little moments all add up together to make you realize that you suddenly have little people and not just babies. BFing was just one of those things that was so obvious when it stopped!

    I appreciate the hug :)

     
  • At May 5, 2011 at 8:24 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I feel like I'm going to blink and have teenagers!

     
  • At May 5, 2011 at 8:25 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh, terrible to pump in a bathroom, too! I hear about state/companies that have these lovely pumping rooms and feel a little angry that BF is supposedly so encouraged but not really in the ways that matter.

     
  • At May 5, 2011 at 8:26 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    It's so unfortunate that more workplaces don't support nursing moms better. It seems like that is a reason many women have for stopping when they do. Everyone needs to make that decision for themselves, but it shouldn't be made for them by their employers!

     
  • At May 5, 2011 at 8:27 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Bittersweet is exactly the right word. There were times when I wanted to be done, and I appreciate some of the advantages of being done, but it's still a little sad.

     
  • At May 5, 2011 at 8:27 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    That's a long time to be pregnant or nursing! For me it was about 4 years, and I felt like it was half my life!

     
  • At May 5, 2011 at 8:28 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    The cuddles definitely help!

     
  • At May 5, 2011 at 8:29 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    He's so go go go all the time that it was nice to have a little down time with him. Thankfully, he still stops playing sometimes just to come give me a hug!

     
  • At May 5, 2011 at 8:29 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    It's a tough thing to do :(

     
  • At May 7, 2011 at 8:44 AM , Anonymous Janelle said...

    My one-year old is very close to being done, and I'm dreading that last feeding. Hard to let them grow up! I'm hoping that I feel liberated, rather than sad, as it has been 3+ years of either being pregnant or nursing...

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:19 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I had mixed emotions and was actually surprised at how much sadness cropped up at the end. I think I was not nursing Abbey for about 2-3 months before I got pregnant with Dylan, so it's been a long pregnant/nursing/littlebreak/pregnant/nursing cycle for me, too. Good luck & hugs on that last feeding.

     

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