Its official. We have stopped breastfeeding. The milk has gone.. After five consecutive nights without a dream or night feed our breastfeeding journey came to an end back in May. Interestingly it wasn’t anywhere as traumatic, difficult or emotional as I thought it would be. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Easy almost. Dropping one feed, then another, and another, gradually transitioning from breastfeeds to formula feeds. Three weeks on and we had gone from exclusively breastfeeding to exclusively formula feeding, with no fuss from the little lady and no discomfort for me. No leaks, no engorgement. Nothing. It felt comfortable (figuratively and literally), natural and most importantly it felt right for both the little lady and I. What surprised me the most though, is how easily the little lady took to formula feeds. After her rejection of expressed milk from a bottle in her early months I was expecting some degree of resistance to the move to formula, but there was nothing. She happily accepted formula feeds as soon as I introduced them which made the whole process a lot easier and a lot less emotional.
Stopping breastfeeding is something that I was expecting to be difficult. I had considered stopping before, but when it came to the crunch I wasn’t ready. The thought of it was fine, but the reality of stopping was too hard. Too emotional. Too personal. But this time round it just happened, much without me thinking about it after realising that the return to work was looming on the horizon.
Two months on and it feels like we were breastfeeding a million years ago. You forget how quickly things move on with a little one. But in the moment things always seem like so much more than they are. Hours can feel like days, days like weeks and weeks like months. The smallest things can consume you without you realising it. I can barely remember how those early days of breastfeeding felt, a journey that I never imagined would last so long. A journey that I wasnt even sure would begin. A journey that was almost cut short. But a journey that I am so glad we made.