Eva has lost interest in breast feeding and I’m sad. I realise that it is an appropriate stage developmentally as she wants to gain her independence and also the milk has changed with pregnancy but still I was hoping she would last a bit longer. Thankfully she was very gradual reducing the feed frequency and duration slowly since October in reality. In the end it took me several days to admit to myself that she wasn’t interested but I have now stopped offering. Eva was never one to ask for a feed so I doubt she will ask now. Andrew has been very supportive and keeps telling me what a good job I did but it’s ok for me to be a little sad.
It has been such an important part of our relationship for the past 2 years that it’s hard to imagine that it’s over. At the start pumping liquid gold to be given to Eva down a tube felt like the only way to realise that I was actually a mother. Pumping every 3 hours then waking Eva up to feed every 3 hours when she came home was just part of the routine and a positive way to build a relationship with her. Early feeding attempts led me to think that I might suffocate her given that her head was smaller than my breast. I can remember seeing a 6 month old feeding not long after we were discharged home and couldn’t believe that I would one day be feeding a child that big (Eva probably still isn’t as big as he was!).
Many times during our hospital stay of 32 days just before her discharge I threatened to give up on my dream of breast feeding just so that we could go home sooner. I had many wonderful people convince me that it was my dream and a few extra days in hospital to work out what was best for Eva was worth it in the long run. I wish that I could tell every mother of a premie who is pumping right now that breast feeding can be done even for up to 2 years! I am so grateful for the nutrition and immune benefits that I have been able to provide Eva with.
I have had a blessed journey with breast feeding really and am very thankful for that. I can only hope that my next small person enjoys Mummy’s milk just as much. I feel like part of my motherhood identity has been taken away and am glad for the pregnancy to keep me feeling content and progressing on the motherhood journey.