Today Boy 3 is eight and a half months old. I can barely believe it. He continues to be loving and funny and so affectionate. Our whole family has so much love for him, as he does for us, and it is like he has always been here – belonging to our family.
He is still very much a mummy’s boy, and whilst he is not overly clingy in a negative way, he is ‘all about me’. Sometimes I feel bad for my husband, knowing this fact, but we know exactly why that is and why I am so precious to my baby boy…
I have boobs!
There are some other reasons…I am the main carer, the one here for him 24/7, I am after all on maternity leave, and thus we do everything together – baby swimming, baby music classes and lots of trips to Costa….
But mainly it’s because I have boobs!
And for us, we are lucky enough to say that Boobs = Milk = Baby Happiness.
I know not everyone is lucky enough to be able to breast-feed – in fact ten years ago, with Boy 1, I wasn’t able to breast-feed either – but with Boys 2 and 3 it has worked. They have fed from me, with ease. (To read all about that, click here.)
Boy 3 has been my biggest breast-feeding success. He has loved it and so have I. Older and wiser, I lost my inhibitions when it came to public breast-feeding and we have made quite a team. It has been easy and he has fed well. (Check out the rolls on his arms below and know that my milk mostly did that!)
For six months he was exclusively breast-fed. There was no top-up feeding; no bottles to allow me to leave him with someone else; it was just us. (This wasn’t entirely through choice – a few weak attempts at bottle-feeding failed, perhaps because we left it too late, so I found myself tied to him 24/7, although there are worst things in the world than spending every waking moment with my beautiful bundle of joy!)
However, about a month ago, we decided that the breast-feeding needed to come to an end. There were various reasons for this (selfish ones mostly – I am so over breast pads and nursing bras!) and with a holiday looming, my return to work fast-approaching and the need to be able to let someone else ‘do bedtime’, we set about introducing a bottle.
Three brands of bottles later (and then realising actually he just wanted the milk warm!) and we have cracked it. We are down to just one breast-feed a day. The bedtime feed. The most special time of the day, when we sit in his dimly-lit room, and he nuzzles in to me, feeding himself to sleep. And I take time out to stare at him, wow at the wonder of him and thank my lucky stars that we are so blessed with him.
I had debated keeping this last feed going. Sneaking a bit longer with our bedtime snuggles. Enjoying those moments for a while longer.
But this week there have been a few factors that have forced my hand. The most pertinent of these is a slowing of the improvement in the progress of my prolapse. (See this post for more information about that prolapse!) It is likely that whilst I am still breast-feeding, everything remains a bit ‘baggy’ and loose. This has something to do with hormones. But it could be why my pelvic floor muscles aren’t strengthening as I would like. And until I stop producing these hormones, my prolapse may not improve. And while my prolapse doesn’t improve, I continue to keep Tena Lady in business! Not cool!
And so the end is nigh.
In less than 48 hours time, I know that we will have had our last breast-feed together. Boy 3 will have had his last feed from me. And I will have breast-fed my last baby for the last time.
It is a sad time.
I know that on Thursday evening I will give that final feed with tears in my eyes.
(Gosh – the tears are even starting as I type this.)
I know to many of you, that must sound silly, sentimental and strange, and I have even taken myself by surprise, feeling this way, but there is it. Six months ago I referred to breast-feeding as ‘just something that I do’, but hands up, half a year later, it has become so much more. It has become ‘our time’. Our precious time. Our uninterrupted, special time.
And I will miss it.
I really hope that our special bond will continue, albeit in a different way, but I will keep you posted on that one.
The end is nigh!