The Mean Wean
When you stop breastfeeding in the actual "latching onto the nipple" sense, it's like your baby breaks up with you. I know this doesn't happen with everyone, but it happened to me about a month ago. Tess just wasn't interested in nursing anymore. I've had difficulties with her eating from the start, so instead of fighting it, I just went to all bottles entirely. I was disappointed, hurt even, but was mostly upset that I didn't know when that "last" feeding would be. To sort of memorialize it! But, I accepted it.
Then two weeks later, out of nowhere, she turned to latch. I was shocked, I remember looking down and she looked up and smiled. Almost like "ha, you thought I was done, but really, I still own you!" and, naturally, she does ha. I knew then, that that was the actual "last" time. Her smirk after she fed said it all, and sure enough, it was (trust me, I've tried, and a month later, I know it was the last time). So this marked the beginning of the "ending breastfeeding" process. She decided for me. So for the past month, I've just pumped, at first 4x a day, then 3x and now I'm down to 2 - 1.5x a day. Just yesterday, the hormone change kicked in, at least emotionally. I know that she no longer was actually nursing for a month, but there's something to be said about knowing your child is drinking milk you produced. You still feel that connection whether its physical contact or not.
It feels like the end of an era. My body is entirely free soon. My fertility journey is officially ending (at least this time around). I feel so weird about that. I surrendered my body for the last 2 and a half years and soon it will be mine again. I can drink whatever I want, eat whatever I want, inhale whatever I want, etc etc. I know I should be excited, and I've heard I'll feel SO good but, right now, I'm feeling really emotional about it. I almost want to make a scrapbook of all my breastfeeding photos (Lol, someone has DEFINITELY done this, don't judge me). For a year I was eating a certain way for fertility reasons, then I was pregnant for 10 months, and then I breastfed for 6. I'll get my period again soon for the first time in almost a year and a half.
The logical "me" knows that this is just the beginning of an amazing journey with my baby girl and that I have a lifetime of connecting with her in so many other ways, but two days into the weaning process and its a little hard to see. So when you see the girl whimpering in the tampon aisle at CVS, it's probably me.