Friday, March 2, 2018

Bittersweet, Part II: An emotional end to breastfeeding

I still remember sitting down to write my last Bittersweet post almost 4 years ago, reflecting on the struggles that come with the end of nursing.  It was a feeling full of emotion, treading into the new territory of a routine without breastmilk.  There is really no other way for me to describe it than "bittersweet."  For a year, with each of my
babies, I shared my body and gave them what I consider the best gift I could ever possibly give them.  There were late nights, middle of the night feedings, pain, discomfort, and literal blood, sweat, and tears throughout those years of breastfeeding.  But there was also comfort, warmth, joy, security, and a million memories wrapped around the gift of feeding your child.  I will never forget looking down at each one of them with their tiny newborn fingers wrapped around one of my own.  The bond that breastfeeding gave me with my children is one that I never expected and one that far surpassed any expectation that I ever had when it came to caring for a child.  This is what I will miss the most but I will hold these precious and irreplaceable memories so so close to my heart.    

I sit here today feeling a bit sad and lost to say goodbye to this chapter.  I knew with Loyal and Roman that I would have this opportunity again because we always talked about having 3.  As much as I am ready to move out of the baby phase, it's days like nursing for the very last time that really make me emotional.  What took an entire year feels like it came and went overnight.  Just like that, it's over.  I know that breastfeeding for the amount of time that I have is nothing short of a huge accomplishment and one that I will forever be grateful for.  I am proud of myself and proud of each of my kids for figuring it with me and sticking with it.  As much as I feel like breastfeeding is a gift I gave my children, they will never know the gift they gave me in return. 


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