Friday, February 20, 2015

The End of Breastfeeding

We haven't completely stopped nursing, but the end will be soon.  Jonah gets nursed first thing in the morning, before bed at night, and when he wakes up for a feeding in the middle of the night.  But other than that, it's mostly formula and solids.

And I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I'm not really sure how I expected to feel about it either.

In a lot of ways I'm relieved.  Nursing was so hard for me in the beginning, and I never really fell in love with it.  Which I feel bad about as well- I feel like I'm supposed to love everything about being able to provide for my son.  But nursing often felt overwhelming, especially when he refused to take a bottle and I was literally the only person who could feed him.  It was hard telling Noelle all the time that she needed to wait until Jonah was finished with a nursing session before I could help her with anything.

It was hard feeling like I could never be away from Jonah, and worrying about him whenever I was away.  I think I've gotten better about this, but it's still hard! In his almost 10 months of life, I've only been away from him three times at bedtime.  By the time Noelle was 11 months old, I had spent three full nights completely away from her! It's definitely a completely different thing when you're nursing your baby versus formula feeding them.

I'm also a little bit sad.  I don't really feel like I can even say I'm nursing him anymore because he gets so little from me- my supply really isn't much at all.  My goal was to make it to a year, and even if I continue to give him the little I'm giving him now, I feel like I've failed at that goal. BUT I'm so incredibly grateful for formula, and for the fact that it has helped him fatten up a bit.  Noelle didn't get nursed at all really, so I'm thankful for the time that I have been able to nurse Jonah.

I feel a tiny bit scared as well- how will I soothe him back to sleep at night?!?  He has only slept completely through the night a handful of times, and it's so easy to just nurse him for 5 to 10 minutes and put him back in bed.  I know that once we cut out nursing completely, we'll just have to deal with some cry-it-out sessions and eventually he'll learn.

I am looking forward to more independence though.  Luke and I could actually go away for the night and Jonah and I would both be okay.  He is very much a mama's boy and has not done well when we've left him in the nursery at church.  And he usually doesn't do well when other people are holding him, even if I'm right there in the room with him.  I also usually feed him his bottles, so hopefully being weaned completely will help him realize that he's just fine even when other people are holding him.

Noelle gave Jonah a "hat"

Overall, I'm so thankful that I have been able to nurse Jonah.  God certainly helped me through the super tough times in the beginning, and has been leading us the whole time.  Giving Jonah formula at six months is just another reminder to me that God is in control.  One day, when we have a third baby, my breastfeeding goals might be a little different, but hopefully having been able to do it this time will make it a little bit easier!

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