I had a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. While I loved the convenience of being able to do it anywhere and everywhere, I hated that it was such a struggle for me. All three of my children had weight issues and all three of those issues were blamed on my breastfeeding them. While it took a lot of work, I’m so proud to say that I made it well over a year with all three.
But now, it’s over. And I have to say, I had no idea that so many parts of it would linger.
The other morning I was getting ready to take my kids to school and I had this crazy sensation of a letdown in my breasts. It’s been six months since I’ve nursed my son, so I know that there is no possible way that I still have a milk supply. But the feeling of my milk coming in brought back a flood of memories to those days when I was nursing. I’d never had this happen after I was finished nursing my daughters, but it’s been recurring with my son. This “phantom letdown” was new and something that I never knew existed after weaning. But after a quick Google search, sure enough, it happens to many nursing moms.
The whole letdown sensation had me taking a walk down memory lane, through my breastfeeding journey. Although there were struggles and at times I couldn’t wait for us to be finished with it, when the actual time came to do it, I tried to hold on for as long as I could. And now I miss it. Friends told me that I’d miss those moments, but they failed to tell me how much I’d miss it. I miss having my kids in bed with me co-sleeping, and my little one nursing throughout the night. I miss the convenience of being able to provide my child nourishment wherever we were.
When my oldest daughter was weaning, it was shortly after we moved to a new city. I’d left the comfort of my doctors back home and was in a new town with very little support. The thing that is so vivid in my mind was how painful the entire process was. It hurt. I mean, it really hurt. My breasts we so engorged and my daughter wanted nothing to do with them. I was trying to get my supply to dry up, but was afraid if I pumped to get some relief it would only increase my supply. I finally couldn’t take the pain any longer so I just pumped to get rid of the pain. Thankfully that worked, and shortly after, my supply officially dried up.
And once it was over, it was over. I myself have all of these memories of our breastfeeding journeys — but my kids? They have no recollection of it whatsoever. Not that I expect them to, but they forgot very quickly. Almost too quickly. It felt like as soon as they mentally blocked it in their mind and refused to nurse, they also erased all memories.
Still, there are so many amazing things that I have to look back on from my breastfeeding journey, with all three of my children. And it’s this journey that’s left a big imprint on me and my role as a mother.
I just never knew that saying goodbye would be so hard.More On