Bye Bye Breastfeeding

We did it!
My little nursling and I made it to the one year mark, and some change (13 months, 1 week and 2 days to be exact).  We made it through the beginning with cracked nipples and cluster feeding.  We made it through cutting 14 teeth without a single bite (Oh yes, 14 razor sharp little teeth that close to one of the most sensitive parts of your body, just let that sink in for a minute...).  We made it through the pinching stage and the distraction stage.  We even made it through all of this without a single bottle.  I have a very picky little princess that refused bottles completely so it was all mommy - all the time.  In the end, I wouldn't change a thing or trade one moment of our time together.  I love how close we are and I know that we have a special bond because of nursing.  I have always known that our time was limited and I tried to burn every sweet moment in my memory.  I never want to forget the way she rests her dimpled, little hand on my chest and pats me as she drifts off to sleep or the way she looks so peaceful and content as I hold her so close to my heart.  Sometimes I wish I could freeze time for just a little while as I am rocking her, because I know life just doesn't get much sweeter than that right there.

We are down to only 2 or 3 feedings a day now and I know it is more comfort nursing rather than for actual nutrition. I feel like it is time for us to end this special journey.  It breaks my heart, but I know we will both be just fine and it is a natural part of her growing up and gaining her independence.  I want to document this experience so I can go back and look with baby #2 one day and know that we will both survive...even if I do have a big lump in my throat right now.  

Day 1-
So far, Olivia doesn't know the difference, which is a very good thing, but seems to almost make me more sad.  I know, I am a total crazy person.  I pumped this morning, because she will not drink whole milk right now so I wanted to try mixing some of my milk in with it and see if she would take it, fail.  She won't even drink my milk out of a sippy by itself.  Not sure what else to do besides just keep offering it to her and hopefully she will take it. She woke up around 4:30 in the morning as she sometimes does and I had to let her soothe herself back to sleep.  I normally go in and nurse her and those are some of the sweetest snuggles so I definitely missed it during those 10 minutes of fussing, but she went back to sleep on her own.

Day 2-
Aaaahhhh day 2, I don't have very much nice to say about today so I will keep it short.  This morning I was pretty nervous about how she would do.  I usually get her and bring her to my bed when she wakes up and we nurse and snuggle for a while before we get up for the day.  I didn't even bring her in my room this morning, because I didn't want her to want to nurse.  I fixed her some milk in a sippy and we sat on the couch and cuddled and watched cartoons and she actually drank a little bit, score!  That is about where the niceness of today ends...she woke up from her nap after only an hour and was pretty much inconsolable for 2 hours until Chad got home.  I spent the afternoon holding her walking around the house singing to keep her from screaming as tears rolled down both of our faces.  She is having a hard time with her teeth right now and I know that, but I cannot help but think it has something to do with stopping nursing, even if she hasn't shown any signs of asking to nurse.  I pretty much feel like crap today emotionally and if you are wondering my boobs feel like they are loaded with rocks, yikes! I am trying not to pump unless I absolutely have to so I am off to a hot shower and maybe some benadryl.  High hopes for a better day tomorrow.

Day 3-
Today was great.  Well, as great as a day can be with two leaky, achy time bombs that threaten to explode at any moment attached to your chest ;)  Olivia slept through the night and was super sweet all day long.  She has been super loving, wanting to be held and rocked a lot and that is just what this emotional mama needs right now.  I have only cried once today and it was a happy cry when Olivia actually let me rock her before her nap and then passed out in my arms after only 20 seconds.  That is the first time she has done that in forever and it was such a sweet feeling getting to hold her while she slept for a moment.  I taught Step and Pump tonight with my ginormous boobies and amazingly made it through without my whole shirt being soaked.  I hand expressed some milk in the shower, but so far I have managed to get by without pumping.  I did think seriously about making a trip to the grocery store in the middle of the night last night for some cabbage leaves though.  So far, so good, still holding strong and it makes it so much easier when my baby is feeling better. Bring it on day 4!

Days 4-10
The days really started running together!  Olivia has done amazing with this transition, which has made the whole thing easier for me as well.  She hasn't tried to nurse once and seems completely content.  She still won't drink whole milk no matter how I serve it to her so I am going to try coconut milk today and see how that goes.  My milk is still not gone yet, feels like it is taking forever!  I have had this irrational fear that my milk was going to just dry up from day one and I can truly see how silly that was now.  I am so very thankful that I was able to produce more than enough milk for my sweet girl for the first year of her life.  It was so important to me to make it to this milestone.

It feels weird to be done with breastfeeding.  I still tear up when I look at my baby girl and know that we will never do that again.  It is more than just stopping a feeding.  I feel like a am breaking a bond that runs so deep.  Of course, we are still close and always will be, but it is a very emotional process (and the raging hormones don't really help).  She has been super snugly and sweet lately though and I am loving every second of it.  She is actually letting me hold her and rock her a little before bed and I cherish every moment, because I know this too, will change soon.  That's the deal with babies, just when you get comfortable with something, they change it up on you.  Overall, this experience was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be and I am so happy Olivia has done so well with it.
And just like that, she is a big girl :)

I do have to take a moment and brag on my husband.  He has been nothing but supportive of my goal to breastfeed since day one.  From feeding me bites of grilled cheese in the early days when it took both of my hands and sometimes a knee to nurse to encouraging me to keep going even after we hit the one year mark he has wanted nothing but the best for me and our sweet girl.  He is such an amazing father and husband and I probably don't tell him enough so babe, if you're reading this, we appreciate you and love you dearly :)  God has blessed me with so much!  Love my little family more than words can describe.

One more picture cause this little lady is just too cute not to share...cuttin' a rug ;)

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