When I was pregnant with Annabelle b/feeding was always something I had wanted to do and had assumed I would be able to do. Neither my sisters nor my mum had ever had any problems and I hoped I would be the same.
I will never forget the first moment Annabelle was put to my breast; in the operating theatre while I was being sutured up. It was truly awe-inspiring. Her beautiful big brown eyes gawping at me and my beaten and bruised body providing nutrition for her tiny and needy body.
The first few weeks of our breastfeeding relationship weren’t plain sailing but they also weren’t half as stressful as some friends I know. We had engorgement and we had cracked and bleeding nipples. I also had a slight oversupply so I had numerous embarrassing leakage moments. I remember my sister saying to me “you’ll not want to give up” and I thought she must have been mad. In my mind I was aiming for 6 weeks and if possible 6 months. But no way would this be something I wouldn’t want to give up!
My sister was right. After the first 2-3 weeks we managed to get the hang of it and by six weeks Annabelle was a total pro. We both enjoyed it. I found it convenient, easy, soothing, enjoyable and a wonderful way to have quiet time and to bond. It’s fair to say I loved it. I hated pumping and so feeding was the one thing that only I could do and that felt nice.
Now at 11months Annabelle has decided that her time is up. Boobs are for babies and she’s a big girl now, nearly one after all! She literally woke up one morning and decided she was offended by the sight of my boob; she looked up at me and burst in tears. I wondered what was up? She had only just woken up so surely she was hungry. I decided to offer her the other breast, nope. Equally as repulsed at that idea, clearly. I made up a cup of formula and she glugged it down like I’d been starving her! This went on for the whole day but I thought to myself ‘at least at bedtime I know she will take it’ as she loves the bedtime sleepy feed/cuddle. Nope. She didn’t want it. The realization set in with me and the tears followed shortly after. How could this possibly be the end? My husband made up a bottle of milk and she snatched it from me and started drinking.
I have pumped when I can and she’ll drink whatever is in the cup or bottle, it seems she just doesn’t want it from the source.
What’s funny is that I was thinking of weaning at 12months anyway since my husband and I have many weekends away and Annabelle has lots of dates with Grandma and Granny. That was my plan. For her to beat me to it and decide to give up a month early has caught me a little of guard. I feel like we’ve had a massive argument and she’s using this as a tool to win the fight, being defiant. Of course I know she’s not.
I am looking at the positives though; 11 months is a great achievement and I should be proud of that. Plus I have heard horror stories of weaning older children so at least we’ve had a fairly easy transition. Now I can look forward to the odd night away and to having my body back. Also, now when she feeds she plays with my fingers and it feels wonderful.
But what about my excuse for eating? What will I blame it on now?