Friday, October 18, 2013

End of an Era: Our Breastfeeding Days Are Over

It's one of those things that I feel like needs to be documented and yet...  I am not sure that I actually have all that much to say about it.

So, yeah.  Zuzu is finished with breastfeeding.  It's been almost a month now and it feels like forever.  She was just shy of 15 months when we stopped.  She'd only been nursing at bedtime and it had gotten to the point where I wasn't looking forward to it.  Instead of cuddling up close and actually being interested in nursing, she would squirm and twist around, pop on and off the boob, try to stand up, and frequently pinch me.  

One evening we were sitting there and instead of nursing, she kind of fussed around and then ended up just leaning against me and hanging out for a minute before nursing for like 30 seconds.  When she popped off, I offered her the pacifier, and she was more than happy to take it.  So the next night I didn't offer her the boob and she didn't ask.  The following night, she did ask for it, but only nursed for a few seconds on each side and squirmed around obnoxiously the whole time.  We skipped another night, she came back again, we skipped another night...  And then she was over it.

She fussed and pulled at my shirt exactly one time after that--when she woke up hungry from a long nap on a Saturday afternoon.  Instead of my boob, I offered her a sippy of cow's milk and she was perfectly content.  She has shown zero interest since then.  It's like she doesn't even remember that just a few months ago she used love nothing more than to hang out with my boobs eight times a day.  My boobs were kind of like, What the hell?  We used to be her favorite things in the world!  But then I bought them a couple new bras and they got over it.

Seriously, though, I would have been happy to keep going if she had been enthusiastic and eager and (let's be honest) appreciative about it.  But I've got to tell you, it's just not that fun to take your shirt off for someone who is easily distracted by anything and everything else in the room.  I guess if I'm flashing my boobs around, I kind of want them to be the center of attention, you know? 

In a way, I'm happy that it's over.  I'm so glad that we had fifteen months of successful breastfeeding, but I'm also glad to have my body back to myself, and my boobs back to a relatively normal and non-fluctuating size.  I'm glad that boob-accessibility is no longer a requirement for deciding what to wear in the morning.  I'm glad I never-ever-ever have to think about pumping and I'm glad that if I go to dinner with friends or have an evening meeting, there's no anxiety about how bedtime is going to go down without boob-time.

My face was broken out for a little while (ugh) but I've also been motivated to exercise again.  No idea if those things are directly related to not breastfeeding, but it feels that way.

Of course, I'm also a little bit sad that it's over, but I find I'm not nostalgic for breastfeeding itself (at least not the distracted half-ass version we had going on lately).  Of course, I sometimes think wistfully about those early months when it was just me and wee little baby Zuzu and the boobs and she was so damn eager to eat and it was such a relaxing experience for both of us.  But that may also be because I feel wistful about those days when Zu was a wee baby who didn't have such VERY STRONG OPINIONS about things like what she'd like to eat for dinner and whether we should go inside for a nap (her opinions?  nothing but applesauce and bread, and NO).  These last couple months of breastfeeding slash topless-wrestling a toddler were not nearly as enjoyable for me, personally.  I stuck with it because while Zuzu seemed to be less and less interested, she also didn't seem willing to give it up entirely, and I wasn't going to push it.  I was hoping that she'd decide on her own that she was finished, but I'd also told myself that we'd keep going through cold and flu season.  

And then she really did give it up entirely and I wasn't going to argue with her about it.  It is kind of weird to feel like she grew up and got over me (or at least my boobs) but I'm also kind of relieved that she weaned herself and that it happened so easily.  

Considering the fact that she BIT ME over the weekend (we had a difference of opinion about whether it was time to go inside and take a nap--the fact that she bit me was indicative of the SUPREME NEED for said nap, and she slept for almost three hours, so I WIN except the bite hurt my arm and my feelings), it's probably a good thing I'm no longer putting body parts in her mouth on purpose.  She's dangerous enough as it is.


  1. LOL I love the way you told this story. Everyone's "over it" including the boobs!

  2. Topless wrestling a toddler. Totally remember that and it was no fun.

    The biting... dang. Benjamin has bit a few times (has she bit your FACE yet? omg), but his favorite is hitting. And usually when he's most tired. It's fun. Except to everyone but him.

    Benjamin would happily give his bread and applesauce for all of the peanut butter in your house.

  3. You done good Mama.

    Finn bite me twice at the end if our nursing relationship (probably a "hey, don't stick this thing in my mouth if it's only going to trickle - what a tease") and it was AWFUL. I don't ever understand why someone would willingly pierce their nipples!

  4. Bittersweet but yay! Glad it was so easy! I am SO SO ready to be done, already have whole milk in the fridge!
    Oh boy on the biting. Matthew turned his head and tried to bite me last weekend when we were at the model train show and I wouldn't let him grab the train as it rolled by. He is going to be tough.

  5. Such a bittersweet time! Glad it was easy and both of you were ready. Enjoy wearing dresses again!

  6. Almost there. I asked him tonight if he "really needed it." He shook his head no and never bugged me again. 2 nights in a row. Yay! The first thing in the morning one is going to be rough though. He already slaps me in the face enough as it is. This is going to be wonderful! ~M