Friday 12th October 2018. 758 days after he was born. Oscar fell asleep without the boob.
You should have seen me when I got downstairs. I was like OMG, did you see what just happened? He actually just fell asleep on his own for the first time EVER!
I was messaging people, knowing full well that it was probably a one off, but it was a one off that was worthy of telling EVERYONE.
Ok, so I’ll backtrack slightly. There was some boob involved. A tiny bit.
He latched on, had a little drink, took himself off, rolled over and asked for a cuddle. And proceeded to go to sleep. I kept waiting for the request for more boobah, but it didn’t come. Instead came the heavier breathing, the slight jerky movement – those signs that he had indeed fallen into a sleep. There was no trying to retrieve my nipple from the clench of his teeth – just the same sneaking out of his bed and out of his limbs that he manages to attach to me every night.
And he slept – all evening. I kept waiting for him to wake up, realising what had happened. But he didn’t. And he even stayed asleep when I went to bed, waking at about 1.30am rather than the minute I got comfy in bed. Of course, plenty of boob happened throughout the night but that’s another step to conquer right there.
So then Saturday night came round. I was fully expecting the same to NOT happen but I thought that since it had happened the once, I really needed to try and make it happen again. And so we went to bed, we laid down, and he requested boobah. So I gave it to him. He finished the one and then wanted the other, but when clearly there was nothing left in the second one, I encouraged him off. I told him to roll over and offered him cuddles. We lay snuggled and whilst it wasn’t as easy as the Friday night (he kept chatting to me saying mummy watermelon, mummy hair, mummy tummy – he did eventually fall asleep. AGAIN. It had happened twice. The first time his decision. The second time mine.
And so here I am, wondering if this is the beginning of the end of our breastfeeding journey. He hasn’t fed in the daytime for two weeks now. He asks on the odd occasion but never really protests when I say no. And now – now he has done the thing that I wasn’t sure he could do, to fall asleep with just a cuddle.
I’m not going to lie – I am SO READY.
Don’t get me wrong, I have loved feeding him. I love the bond it has brought us. I love the nutrition it has given him. I love the comfort it has given him when he’s needed it. But I am so ready to have my boobs back (if that’s the way it’s going). I am so ready to potentially have my life back, where maybe I can go out of an evening – heck I might even be able to go away to a blog conference if I want to (I totally want to!).
I’ve had to brush off so many comments. Smile and laugh when someone’s been surprised that we are still feeding. But for me, it has always been what Oscar has needed and since he is my priority, I never wanted to be the one to just take it away from him. So I was super glad that it was him that made that first move.
Of course, we still have a LONG way to go. This is just step one in many, many steps. I still need to actually not feed him at all before he goes to sleep. I still need to get him to stop feeding throughout the night. I still need him to accept being cuddled to sleep by someone else (aka Daddy). I still need him to not solely need me if he wakes in the night. But there was a time when I questioned whether step one was ever going to happen and now it has.
The final breastfeed may still be a way away, but I feel like we may well be on our way there and no doubt when that time does come, it will be met with a mixture of emotion and relief. I guess what I will now do is savour the feeds that do happen. Because despite the pain and the tears. The frustration and the fortune spent on Lasinoh, I really have loved feeding my boy into toddler-hood and will never have any regrets that we did it for so long.