We have not been breastfeeding for several months now. Honestly, writing about it makes me a bit sad, so I was putting off this post, but I want to share the end of our story with you. Before Tiny One was born I intended to breastfeed her for 1-2 years, until she self-weaned. However, after discovering I had insufficient glandular tissue I had to readjust my mindset. I had hoped to be able to breastfeed at least a little until her first birthday. But a couple months in, we were already struggling.
When my cycle returned, my milk supply drastically decreased. Each month it seemed to get less and less and pumping was frustrating and exhausting. So when we introduced solid food around 6 months I decided to stop pumping and just breastfeed when we could. We continued to bottle feed as well, and she continued to prefer the bottle, being fussy and impatient at the breast. When our pediatrician asked at her 9 month appointment, I had no idea how much breast milk she was getting as it was comfort nursing. Soon after that appointment, Tiny One breastfed for the final time. I knew it was coming. I was prepared at that point for each nursing session to be our last. And eventually, I made a conscious decision to stop trying. To put my effort into other things. After the challenges and effort, it was really freeing to be done, but I also cried. I cried for the nursing relationship I wanted that we never had, and I cried that those already few and far between nursing sessions with Tiny One were over.
So where are we now? Several months since we have breastfed I feel pretty good. I still get snuggles from Tiny One; she gives really good hugs now. She is healthy and big for her age. I learned a lot from our breastfeeding experiences, and I have ideas of things I want to try next time. But mostly I am grateful for the time we did have, as difficult as it was. It was our journey, and I hope I will remember all of the time and effort I put in out of love instead of the end result of never exclusively breastfeeding Tiny One and being done at 9 months.