Is it time to stop breastfeeding?
Photos by Briana Lindsey Photography
I've been breastfeeding for far longer than most people I know. I mean, I'm sure I'm a crazy stat at this point as Ava is 19 months old and still going strong. And when I say strong, I mean like really strong. She basically breastfeeds like she's a newborn and while it's nice that I'm her walking vending machine and have less meal prep for her, I'm starting to feel like a prisoner.
I'm a prisoner and my boobs have created a monster.
Here's the thing: In addition to being Ava's vending machine, I'm also her pacifier. See why I feel a bit like a prisoner now? She doesn't take a pacifier, never really has (well, minus the first 2 weeks of her life) and so, when she needs pacifying, I'm her girl.
Just think of the times your kids want/need their pacifier...she's on my boobs at all of those times, morning, afternoon and night. And up until real recently, I didn't really mind it much. I don't care if Ava is breastfeeding when she knows how to talk and I don't care if everyone and their mother tells me, "It's time to stop." I care about me, I care about her and that's all there is to it.
So you're probably thinking -- If you're ready to be done, then just be done!
1. That's easier said than done. She loves my boobs. and 2. I'm scared to death to stop.
And here's why I'm scared:
First of all, I think I will miss it. I never thought I'd be the mom who gets attached to breastfeeding but here I am and I'm so attached, as is Ava.
And second, I feel like I won't be able to console her, to comfort her and to calm her down when she needs it. Rocking Ava doesn't calm her down for me or for her dad and when she's crying, upset, or really any time she needs to be consoled, my boob always does the trick. It's my lifeline and if I lose that lifeline, will I be able to console her? Will my hugs and my kisses and my rocking her and holding her be enough? Will I be enough without my boobs?
So I'm scared -- I'm scared to death. I want so badly to be done but I'm in a bit of a pickle here, as you can see.
Anyone else experienced this before?
What made you decide "it's time to stop" or on the other side of the spectrum, that maybe it wasn't your time yet?
Advice? Similar experiences? Help?