Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Farwell to Breastfeeding

I warned you it was coming, people. If you are breast-feeding squeamish, or my father in law, you may want to go check your email, or read a golf blog.

After 18 months of breastfeeding Coco is weaned. It was a two part decision.

First, Coco has finally decided that she likes table food. Apparently she did not realize that she was born into a family of foodies. This newfound enjoyment of food was a long time coming. After six months of extra pediatrician appointments focused solely on checking her weight gain she has finally maintained a steady growth curve. She is still in the negative three percentile on the weight charts, but she is gaining weight.

Second, Patrick and I were taking a trip by ourselves for the weekend and I did not want to pack the breast pump. I have not traveled anywhere without my breast pump in four years. That pump has been to Las Vegas, Carmel, San Diego, the mountains, and the dessert multiple times. I pumped during lunch breaks of the bar exam. I really should have named it- we are that close. But, after five years of being pregnant and/or breastfeeding I wanted to sit down at the end of the night with a cocktail in hand and call it a day.

You may notice that neither reason includes the natural child led weaning that is recommended by most breastfeeding experts. This causes me great guilt.

While I should be patting myself on the back that I breastfeed past a year, it feels very selfish to stop now. Coco will still drag me the boppy and point to my lap when she wants to nurse. If I am desperate to get her to sleep, she will drift off faster at the breast than on a car trip around the block.

I didn’t stop her cold turkey, she was down to one feeding a day, but the whole process is heartbreaking. I didn’t feel this way when Franklin was weaned, but I attribute this to the fact that he was ready, and I was pregnant with Colette. Maybe that is where some of my angst is coming from. Will this be the last sweet baby I peacefully nurse while stroking their tiny pink cheeks?

On the night before we left for our weekend away, I tucked the boys into bed and went to nurse Colette for the last time before putting her down in her crib. I found her snoring on Patrick’s shoulder, already in dreamland. It was very anticlimactic for me, but maybe she was ready after all.


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