“Whatever is of the nature to arise, all that is of the nature to cease”, said the Buddha meaning that “Everything that has a beginning, has an ending.” Likewise our breastfeeding journey has, as of 4 days now, officially come to its end.
Some great fanatics of the sport might argue that “the baby wasn’t ready, she will guide the way as to when she is, it’s a shame since you’ve got so much milk”, advocating many reasons as to why it shouldn’t have now stopped. Others who are less fans of it might wonder in surprise why or how on earth I was still breastfeeding a one and a half year old baby. Yet the decisions of our lives are made by us alone, honoured by us and timed by us, thus I made this decision for us 4 days ago, in full confidence that the right time had come. My heart, my logic and my sanity all dictated so – not one day less, not one day more.
A wise being taught me that what matters more than any action and what essentially determines the resulting emotion, are our intentions behind it. I breastfed you with my intention being to give you all the strength that Mother Nature intended through breastfeeding. I have witnessed the beauty, the hurdles, the miracles and the sacrifices that come with the entire package. On a physical level, on a mental, on an emotional level – the whole lot for both mother and baby. Yet what starts off as a strength can often boomerang and turn into a weakness and I wanted to keep it going for as long as that truly served me and you. Breastfeeding is defined by the freedom it grants. I had to catch it before it started becoming a prison for either of us.
Surely you waking up on average 2-3 times a night to breastfeed took its toll on both of us (I mean no baby likes an interrupted sleep) but seeing you lately becoming clingy on the breast, whining and crying for it every so often in the day, seeing it negatively affecting your mood and ability to stay calm and enjoy (either because refusing to breastfeed you merely increased your wish, or better yet your addiction, for it or because being a second-time mother and dealing simultaneously with the tiredness stemming from an older child’s needs or distractions, meant that I caved into your demands to breastfeed much more frequently than I should have had) all made this decision very clear to me.
I felt desperate. I felt trapped. And worst of all, I felt your desperation, your entrapment. And just like it was my responsibility to lure you into the mystical path of breastfeeding, it was my responsibility to lure you out of it.
My Aloe, my little flower, my little nutter rainbow! They say the umbilical cord of a breastfeeding mother and her baby truly ever gets cut when the breastfeeding ends. They are right. And though I shall in essence always follow you like a shadow wherever you may be, up until 4 days ago I was not your shadow; we were one body still, one shade, one breath. And in the last emotional breastfeeding session I had with you, I tried to give us both closure and told you my words in tears:
My darling, here our bodily connection ends but you are now more than ready to swim out on your own! In a world gone shallow, I wish you go deep. In a world that can sometimes feel like a nightmare, I wish you always manifest to turn it into a dream. In a world that can at times look grey, may you always find colours to paint yours with. May you do whatever it takes, to stay happy, stay kind, stay aware and stay alive. Thank you for this journey. I never contemplated I’d be able to last a second round of 18 months of breastfeeding after your sister, and yet with baby steps, look at us! It was one marathon to start breastfeeding, another to last a long way and a marathon on its own to end it. But look at us! We made it! Look how far we’ve come my baby! Thank you thank you thank you. I LOVE YOU.
Now fly away my butterfly 🦋 ! Safe takeoffs, safe landings and safe travels my precious. I’ll be by your side every step of the way!