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And Just Like That — Poof! — My Milk was Gone

Empty milk bottle

Not a drop left

I’ve made no secret of the fact that my attempts at breastfeeding my older daughter ended in spectacular failure. (I’ve also made no secret of the fact that I’m all for breastfeeding in public, especially when it’s done discreetly.)

I really, really wanted to do better the second time around. I knew with my second daughter what no one ever told me with my first: Breastfeeding isn’t as natural as it might seem, it’s hard work, time-consuming and frustrating. In the beginning. But if you stick it out, it’s really no big deal.

So I persevered. And we just stopped.

Did I mention Peony is now nearly 16 months old?

Did I mention she’d only ever had a few bottles of pumped milk? The rest was directly from the source.

Did I mention this is one of my proudest accomplishments — not just of motherhood, but of my life?

I am fortunate that I work from home and was able to have Peony with me and didn’t have to worry about pumping. I was fortunate on a lot of counts — not the least of which was fabulous support from my husband.

I was fortunate that I allowed myself the keep remembering that as much of a drain as it was at times — early mornings, especially — that even though I did it for 15 months, it’s still such a relatively short time in my life and my daughter’s. I let her decide when she was done. And even when I pretty much knew she was over it, I kept on trying. And then when she popped her pacifier in her mouth a couple of weeks ago at the sight of my breast, I finally stopped trying.

It wasn’t such a big deal. At that point we were down to one feeding a day. There was never any pain from the weaning since there wasn’t much milk left anyway.

It’s like a dream now — that I had this amazing power to make milk and sustain a life that I helped create. And now it’s gone. Which makes me sad that it’s an experience I’ll never have again, but thrilled to bits that I got to do it once so fully. I wish it for everyone who wants to do it and feel honored to be part of such an important and nurturing club.

Photo credit: iStock

More from Meredith on Babble’s Toddler blog:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Mom blog, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly syndicated newspaper column at MeredithCarroll.com

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