The last breastfeed

B had his last breastfeed on Tuesday.

I had thought it might be the Sunday feed that would be the last. My husband had taken the kids to Chipmunks and they’d had a busy morning out and about, while I pottered around at home. B didn’t fall asleep in the car and was overtired when we got home – but hot and thirsty and hungry too. And, though we were planning on weaning him, it seemed like an easy win for me to lie down with him in our bed, and feed him to sleep. Like we’d done hundreds of times before, me lying there resting, him sleeping, with his blonde curls making him look exactly like a storybook angel.

Later, when he didn’t have a breastfeed on Monday or Tuesday morning I thought, oh, that was it then. Last time. All gone.

But Tuesday we picked the kids up early and went to the swimming pools, and after the swim, we realised time had run away with us. B was a bit over it while D was still keen. So the last breastfeed was on a bench in the foyer of the pools. And we sat, and he looked at me while I watched the world go by. I remembered previous times doing this – in Zealandia, at the zoo, anywhere and everywhere. I’ve loved the stillness of breastfeeding the second time, the break from focusing on the older more active child, the chance to sit quietly and really look a the baby. I’ve sat feeding him in public so often, while D runs about, it’s been such a feature of our life, and this was it – done.

The real last time.

I was glad that the last could be one I offered, rather than acquiesced to. I was glad it was an awake one for him too, one where I could look down at him and have him look back, rather than wondering when to de-latch him without waking. Nice to let him finish in peace for the very last time.

Suddenly he seems older. I was ready to wean. For ages I wasn’t, and then, I was. Ready for the connection to shift, ready for that next stage.

But it seems so final. They don’t stay babies. He was such a good baby! And now he’s not a baby anymore. Almost two. So much more verbal now than a month ago. So ready to be a big kid.

I’m not a mother of a baby anymore.

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