This is what I had gone through when my daughter was just 17 months old. Now she is five and a half year old. We stopped breastfeeding completely when she was three years old. Yes I took my own sweet time. Breastfeeding gradually stopped, I never really tried weaning. It all happened very naturally for us.
The article below was written when I realised that soon all this is going to stop and I felt that this would take away a bonding exercise from me and my daughter. I was wrong, as a child grows, responsibilities change but there are always moments to bond. Breastfeeding, learning to talk, walk, write, learn, going to school; moms and kids will always have a lot to do together.
“She lies down in my lap and starts pulling my top. I know this signal, she wants to be fed. Her big bright eyes keep looking at me as I feed her. Now and then she touches my face and sometimes stops and smiles at me. Her eyes slowly close and soon she falls asleep and I keep looking at her wondering what did I do so good to deserve her. Giving up breastfeeding would be like giving up a very important part of my life and somehow I found it difficult.
My daughter is almost 17 months old now and yes I still breast feed her. Before she was born I was scared of this one part. Will it hurt? Will she get used to it and never drink milk from the bottle? Will this affect my figure? I guess motherhood had not hit me completely then. The moment I got her in my arms, I realised that the only thing I want to do is feed her.
It was a C section birth and I could not move much because of my stitches. I was in pain but that could not deter me from doing what I wanted. I tried getting up on the second day and sitting on a chair. It hurt, it hurt real bad but then I knew that the pleasure of having my daughter in my arms and feeding her would take away all the pain. I finally held her in my arms and tried feeding her. She was new to it. The nurse had to massage to stimulate the flow. A little milk came out, she tasted it. She looked puzzled. Finally she understood it was her food. She held me with her teeny tiny hands and fed. Her face was so small, small as in very very small. Her eyes were big and she looked so beautiful.
That was the beginning. Then came the time when she was up all night and wanted to be fed. It was then that I thought I should use bottle as well. I tried using bottle but she would not take it. Anyways, after almost six months we got used to each other. In case I had to go somewhere she would drink milk from her bottle and if I was there I would breast feed her.
It was last week that a fear struck me. I might not be able to feed her anymore. She eats almost everything. My breast milk is not enough for her. It is decreasing, almost negligible. I am using a bottle now. Once, while I was feeding her, she saw the bottle and asked for the bottle instead. It broke my heart. Sounds silly but it did. I felt as if I am no more needed… One thing that made me more special to her than her father, than anyone else was this and now all of a sudden it’s gone. I knew it has to go but this time passed so quickly.
This is difficult for me. It is like giving up something that has been a part of my life for the last 16 months day and night. I was working, I am working from home, every time she wanted to be fed, I was there. She knew to whom she had to go if she was hungry.
I cried, silly but I cried and nobody, not my husband not even my mother could make me understand that I am her mother and I am the most special for her.
Disheartened by this change, today when she wanted to be fed, I asked her nanny to prepare a bottle and feed her. I thought since she is drinking from the bottle, I am not required, her nanny took milk and tried feeding her but she refused, she simply would not take a sip. Phew! I went there, lied down next to her, she was drinking milk from the bottle but she was holding my finger tight. She did not want me to leave. She wanted me to put my hand on her forehead, she wanted the warmth of my love, she wanted to know that I am there to sleep peacefully.
Something that almost everyone failed to make me understand, my little angel conveyed the message within a moment. She held my finger, touched my face while drinking milk from the bottle. It was then that I realised that it does not matter whether I am able to breastfeed my baby or not, what matters is that I am always there for her.
It was then that I understood that being a mom I will always be insecure 😛 Why is she growing up so fast? But in the end giving up breastfeeding taught me that my place in her life would never change, I will be her mom, her first best friend. There might be times when she would be with other friends, she might want to have her own life and I would be happy with it because nothing would change our love for each other.”