Ooo secrets. I hope you don’t think by the heading that I am going to give you any juicy gossip! I don’t know any so am completely unable to!
What I am going to tell you is a secret that is in my head. I haven’t said it out loud for a long time as the issue was pushed away, but it has risen to the surface and this time I think I actually mean it.
Are you ready?
I am so done with breastfeeding
There, I said it. It’s out there.
For 13 months I have been feeding Oscar and I absolutely give myself a pat on the back for making it this far. But you know what? I am so over it now.
This has happened before and I quite quickly fell in love with it again, but this time, with every feed comes a bit more of me just wanting to stop.
The biggest problem right now is that it blinking hurts. Oscar has eight massive teeth and another one coming through and breastfeeding now really hurts. He mostly only feeds to sleep now, although sometimes in the day he feeds to stay asleep. And it is because he is asleep that he gets a bit lax with his latch, or he might get frustrated that he’s not quite asleep and start yanking my nipple around in frustration. And when he feeds in the middle of the night, he quite often bites me as he’s latching on and by god it makes me squeal.
My right nipple has been in agony the last few days because of a bad bite and every single feed from it has been horrendous. Equally, now the other one is a bit sore too and I am wincing whilst feeding.
Of course there are parts of it that I still love. It is still a beautiful moment between the two of us and sometimes, when he is super tired and he latches on in desperation, with a big sigh following it – well, I love that. I look down at him, nuzzled into my chest and stroke his beautiful hair, gazing at him adoringly.
But it sadly doesn’t feel worth it anymore. Those few moments that I do love it no longer outweigh the bad moments.
The ones where my straps are being pinged or I’m being whacked round the face. Or when he is grabbing at my mouth and wrestling in my arms.
Breastfeeding feels more like a battle now than it does a calm feeding moment.
So, what am I going to do?
In all honestly, I don’t know. I have already massively cut down his daytime feeds because he now eats much more food. He isn’t the biggest fan of cow’s milk (he was in the beginning and then he seemed to realise it was replacing boob and so pokes his nose up at it a bit more), but isn’t too bad with water.
I think that I still need to feed him to sleep, although for the last couple of nights that has been a nightmare too, so I also think I am going to try him with a bottle to see if it satisfies him more. I don’t know how that will go but I am not expecting good results.
The main thing I need to focus on is the night feeds because he doesn’t need them. He is waking up and the only way he knows how to get back to sleep is with the boob. It is his comfort. He doesn’t have a dummy, he doesn’t have a comforter. Boob is his way of getting back to sleep.
But I can’t go on. I need him to sleep better and I need for my poor nipples to not be sore anymore.
And so I am going to attempt to gently try and get him off the boob throughout the night. A lovely blogger has given me some advice and I am going to try that and see how we get on.
I am not one for going cold turkey. I am not going to make my not wanting to breastfeed anymore a punishment to him. That is not fair.
But I do need to get him to sleep better and I do need him to stop waking up so regularly. It isn’t good for me and it isn’t good for him.
Now I’ve got it out there, I feel better for it.
I think that once you get as far as I have gotten with breastfeeding, there is almost a sense inside that I should be enjoying it, that I shouldn’t want to give up, that I should want to do what my child wants me to do and that I should persevere. But we have done so well, we have come so far. And now, this mumma needs a bit of herself back.
It’s not going to happen overnight, but I really am going to try and give it a go this time, rather than wait and see if I fall back in love with it again! Because this time, I really don’t think I will.