in Breastfeeding, Motherhood

Why Saying Goodbye To Breastfeeding Is Bittersweet

  • March 19, 2018
  • By Ashleigh
Why Saying Goodbye To Breastfeeding Is Bittersweet
It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to breastfeeding, pumping and nursing in its entirety. After 7 exceptionally long months, I’m closing up shop. This decision was partly made for me when my supply took a serious dip after returning to work, but mostly I’m ready to be done.

Will I miss it? Absolutely. Nothing will replace that exclusive, one-one-one time with my little one – rocking her while breathing in that sweet baby smell. I’m going to miss the ease of my boobs always locked and loaded with milk. No need to bottle prep or mess around with formula. And you better believe, I’m going to miss the expense-free diet I was able to provide – No worrying about the cost or inconvenience of buying formula.

Although, I can’t help but to reminisce about certain aspects associated with breastfeeding, as time goes on, feelings of sadness are quickly replaced with excitement of the freedom that lies ahead.

For starters, I’ll tell you what I won’t miss. I’m not going to miss being the sole provider of nourishment – looking over at my husband sleeping peacefully at 3 am while our baby’s cries of hunger beckoning my immediate presence. I’m not going to miss juggling the pumping and nursing sessions. Oh, and don’t get me started on the relentless cleaning of pump parts. I’m almost certainly not going to miss walking around on a schedule as if my teats are ticking time bombs ready to explode at a moment’s notice – rushing around like a lunatic before a leak erupts. 

Ugh, and the nursing clothing. I’m definitely not going to miss choosing tops solely based on the ability to stretch a neckline so a tit can easily be extracted. No more annoying clip claps of nursing bras and tops.

I’m not going to miss unassuming sharp pains from baby teeth gnawing into my nipple or tiny hands strongly squeezing, scratching and pinching my breasts as if they were play toys. My poor nips sure in hell aren’t going to miss the torture it endured while a tiny human chewed them up and spit them out on repeat for 7 long months. Chaffing. Cracking. Bleeding. The torture stops here.

Most of all, I’m not going to miss having to share my body or feel like these foreign objects attached to me are not my own. Did I enjoy breastfeeding? Yes, I enjoyed nursing and the overall experience – for the most part – but I’m ready to reclaim these bosoms as mine, even if they no longer resemble the perky lady lovelies they once were pre-kids.

This was third time breastfeeding in under four years and although, these boobs have had it, this time did feel different. I wasn’t a fan with my previous attempts, barely making it to 4 months. With my third, I was determined to make it to 6 months and although I was open to the potential of not reaching this benchmark – as I was well aware of the issues, struggles and other obstacles that may present itself in this journey – I made it. I was able to stay home and without the pressure of returning to work added to the fact I actually enjoyed it more than I expected, I made it to my goal and then some.

Now? I’m ready for it to be over. In the beginning of this transition, I was more than emotional. I was her source of food and it grew to become apart of my identity. I was proud of this superpower ability and worked damn hard to make it that long. Discontinuing made me feel as though it reflected negatively on me as a mother and as a provider. I often wondered if I was a bad mom as if I was being selfish, and apart of me worries the end of our nursing relationship may affect this intensely strong bond we share that I feel is largely related to breastfeeding. 

All of these feelings were overwhelming at times leaving me in the saddest puddle of tears, but as time goes on, those feelings have quickly dissipated. When I see my husband feeding her and witness him growing an even stronger bond with our sweet little girl, I couldn’t be happier. When 3 am rolls around and our little one is crying, you better believe the snoring giant next to me is getting up while I catch up on some much-needed sleep. One of the best parts? This mama is expanding her wardrobe beyond the clip claps of nursing bras and tanks. Bye Bye breastfeeding. Hello freedom!

By Ashleigh, March 19, 2018
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