June 21, 2013
About a week ago, I breastfed my littlest boy for the last time. I didn't realise it at the time, but I've known it was coming. I went back to work, expressing lasted a little while, but mainly, the breastfeeds have been restricted to night feeds and the occasional morning feed; so, it was only a matter of time before it'd be hard to sustain the one or two feeds a day he was getting.
I have mixed feelings about it all because I know that if breastfeeding had been that important to me, I would have found a way to continue. But without listing the reasons it came to an end, one of the feelings I want to remember is how sad I am that it's over. I'm sad I don't get to give Hugo that connection any more, the cuddliness in the middle of the night, the ability to soothe him almost immediately. But more than that, I'm sad that this phase of my life is over. Save for a few months between Max and Hugo, I've been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for the last five years or so. I'm lucky that I loved it. I loved being pregnant, carrying my sons, feeling them grow and move and I loved breastfeeding each of my sons for nearly a whole year. There were times I didn't feel so great about it but more often than not, I felt I was doing the best I could, and that felt amazing. So, it's a tough thing to admit that phase of our lives is over, we have no intention of adding any more babies to our family (though there is talk of chicks and kittens). Now, we look onwards, forwards, away from this phase of having these exquisite little babies in our lives, the ones that feel so soft and little, that know so little but learn so much and so quickly, the ones that show their emotions as clearly as can be on those faces that smile, laugh, cry, burp, these babies that you hold almost every moment they're awake, looking forward to the days they'll be more independent but knowing full well those days will make you write soppy words about how sad you are that they're growing up.
Much as I wish I had known Hugo was breastfeeding for the last time, I suppose really, it's a good thing I didn't. It's a good thing it came and went and now it's time to move on. There are other ways we continue to try our best, and lord knows we fail a LOT, but we keep trying, keep chipping away, trying our damnedest to help shape these little boys into the best that they can be. But for now, this phase, it's over. Time to move on.