If you frequently visit and read my blog, you may already know how eager I am to pursue breastfeeding my first born for at least up to his second birthday. I am so keen and dedicated to it that it’s taken a big part for me to have finally decided to quit the corporate work that I have at that time. So this post is a heartbreaking entry for me, as I am now writing about the day I stopped breastfeeding my son.
Four months after I left my corporate work to be a work-at-home-momma, I got pregnant for the second time. I was honestly anxious about my second pregnancy. The hang-over of being a first-time momma to Gabriel hasn’t faded yet (and I don’t think it will ever fade). My focus, my world has been revolving around my little man. So when I saw two red lines in the pregnancy test kit that I used, I was so guilty! Especially when I realized that my second pregnancy might end the breastfeeding journey of my son and I.
Upon knowing about my early pregnancy, my husband and I visited a doctor at the nearby hospital. I was at first hesitant to tell the doctor that I am still breastfeeding my then 16 months old toddler. But I still did anyway. I was hoping that the OB would tell me to go ahead and breastfeed my son but she instead told me that I really had to stop or it may cause me my second child’s life. I was about to cry that moment but I managed to hold it for a while until we got home.
For someone who has fought hard – plugged ducts of at least twice or thrice a month and up to my 8th month of post-partum, mastitis, low milk supply, judgment from people telling me that my milk’s not enough and not nutritious for my son – all that…. For someone who gave up a lot of things to successfully breastfeed her little one… Being told that it is INDEED time to STOP breastfeeding is a devastating news. It added more pain and guilt in my heart. My son is a breastmilk monster. He had no signs of weaning. And I told myself that as long as I have milk, and until he voluntarily weans, I will keep on breastfeeding him. It was my promise to my first born. And I didn’t want to fail him.
Anyway, I was hard-headed and hid the advice of my OB. Instead, I sought advice and inspirational stories of Moms who were able to breastfeed their older babies while they were pregnant. I wanted to know successful stories of Moms who were able to tandem feed. And fortunately, I was able to find a few on some online mommy groups on Facebook! They told that it is possible as long as there are no complications with the current pregnancy – no bleeding, no spotting, and no contractions – I can continue to breastfeed like they did.
And so I did! I just managed to limit his latching time to just morning and bedtime (to put him to sleep). I guess I am that attached to the idea, or my promise rather, that I will breastfeed Gabriel up to two years!
Come to the end of my first trimester, his latch has become more painful. And contractions came into the picture. Those days were scary. Though I didn’t have any bleeding or spotting, I feared that the life inside me is being harmed. I feared for the life of my Gabriel’s baby sister (again, I am assuming and claiming that I am carrying a baby girl right now hehe).
And so 10th of November 2016 was the day, that I finally have decided that I NEED to STOP breastfeeding. It was a bit of an emotional day for me as I broke my promise to my son. There’s a part of me that tells me that I have failed him.
I had to forcibly wean him and it was a hard thing to do. I had to hide my breasts from him and I had to hide from him where he cannot see his momma while his daddy tries to put him to sleep. His loud cries during the first nights were so heartbreaking.
There was even one night (the second or third night, I think) where he really wants to latch but I kept on saying no. He was looking into my eyes as if telling me to please allow him to do so, so he can finally sleep. 🙁 That night, he fell asleep holding just my hand.
Though we bought a formula milk for him, I knew it would take some time for him to get used to not latch on my breast anymore. He’s not even used to feeding bottles with nipples anymore. We mix his milk in a glass or bottle and put a straw on it so he’ll just sip.
Right now, there are still times when he would pull up my shirt as if trying if I will still allow him to latch on my breast but I have to resist and tell him the word NO. I think he understands already as he wouldn’t insist anymore unlike the first few days of forcibly weaning him. It makes me a bit sad but I always tell him that I love him so much in spite of me breaking a promise so dear for him and me.
I know I’ve made the right decision and I know it will be for the best. After all, fed is best, diba? I’ve fought so hard for this breastfeeding journey and it was a long fight I must say. At least I did try. Hanggang dito na lang talaga eh. Babawi na lang ako paglabas ng second baby. 🙂
This second pregnancy of mine gives me a lot of emotional days and I hate it sometimes. Parang ang OA ko na minsan noh? Tumigil lang magpa-breastfeed, umiiyak iyak na. Lol. But this, I guess, is really in my personality. That when I’ve set my goals in my mind, I really pour all my heart and energy to it in order to achieve it – as in no holds barred. Bigay kung bigay! Hehe
If you ever know someone with the same story as mine and you’re wondering why it seems like a big deal that their breastfeeding journey is coming to an end and they’ve become a little bit (or too) emotional about it, just hug them tight. Breastfeeding is not an easy journey talaga. Sobrang dami ng struggles.
Kudos to all the padede mommas!