An Emotional Ending
There are some things that you cannot wait to see the end of. Pap smears, winter and labour all spring to mind. For me, breastfeeding has not been one of those things. Despite all the inconvenient moments spent with boobs on show to the world, the many hours spent feeding the baby in car parks/ cafes/ on the side of the road, the months of wearing spaghetti straps through all seasons and rocking unflattering maternity bras, breastfeeding has been a gift and I am so grateful to have been able to do it for so long.
Tonight, after a story, a cuddle and a debrief of the day, I put Chloe to bed, told her I loved her and walked out of the room. Then burst into a fit of ugly tears. It was the first night she had been happy for me to put her to bed without milk. We’d been working up to this point for a while and she was finally ready. Even though she still threw me a halfhearted, “Milky?” as I lay her down, I knew in my heart she was just asking out of habit and was fine either way.
This motherhood game is SO full of surprises, some irritating as all hell and others so wonderful that they literally take my breath away and leave me melting into a pile of tears on the floor. Before Chloe was born I had no breastfeeding goals, I only wanted to give it a shot and see how it went. After twenty months of it, I look back and don’t know how I would’ve coped without my secret weapon. I used to think of boobs simply as decorative items that could make or break an outfit. These days they are givers of life, pillars of comfort and snuggly cushions of love. They are the absolute bees knees because they have nourished and comforted my baby girl all the way up until now.
The tiny baby I met twenty months ago and who makes me so proud everyday is not a baby anymore. She’s tough as nails when she needs to be, affectionate, smart, funny and full of empathy. I want to give her everything and it makes my heart hurt to think that I won’t be giving her that part of me anymore.
But, that’s the thing about kids - they grow up. They just keep doing it, getting older and more independent, whether you like it or not, needing you slightly less every single day.
So, even though for now I’m moping about, grieving the end of this particular stage, I am taking solace in the fact that there will be a brand new first to celebrate tomorrow, and I can’t wait to see what it is.