The End of an Era…

The time has come, that I once wondered if it would ever come… the boys have weaned. It happened so gradually, I cannot say exactly when, though I know it was very shortly after their 2nd birthday. It started with them no longer asking to nurse after naps, then they didn’t ask at bedtime, and I didn’t offer. Finally they stopped asking first thing in the morning too. And suddenly we were done.

Randomly enough, days later, they started asking to nurse again. But by then I figured it was time to just be done with it, so I said no. And a part of me was so incredibly sad to do so. It has been quite a ride. From the moment I found out I was pregnant with Connor, in October of 2009, my body has not been my own. I carried Connor, nursed him, weaned him when I was 10 weeks pregnant with the twins, carried them, nursed them until they turned 2. For the first time in 4.5 years, my body is my own once more. And it’s leaving me feeling rather hollow and empty inside.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the primary factor at play here is hormones. I have talked to many women who experience depression after weaning, thanks to all the crazy changes going on inside. I get that. I understand that I am, at least in part, a victim to that right now. That’s why I didn’t want to let the boys start nursing again. Why prolong this transition any longer than necessary? Particularly if it is affecting me in such a negative way? I’d much rather suffer now and get it over with, so I can return to my (semi) normal self. That’s what my boys need most.

I am very proud of what we accomplished. Breastfeeding is hard, so hard. I know this first-hand after I almost gave up on Connor. Heck, I did give up for a few months before returning to it, the best decision I could have possibly made. And then breastfeeding two babies at the same time? Unbelievably hard. But we did it. My goal was two years, and we made it! I have three healthy, beautiful boys who have all received the best gift I could possibly give them, and for that I am proud. I survived depression, relactation, bad latches, thrush, clogged ducts, excess lipase, colic and reflux caused by a cow’s milk allergy… and I didn’t give up. We did good.

I think the best thing I can do now, now that my breastfeeding days are over, is to take a little time to focus on me. That is really hard for me, the boys are my first and foremost priority always, so making time for me is not something I really do. But I think it is time, for my own mental and emotional wellbeing. I think taking some time for myself might just make me a better mother too.

 

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