One Monday morning a few weeks ago was different though. She woke up the same as usual... with a loving slap, but instead of signing for milk she used the food sign. We have been teaching her how to use sign language to communicate her needs, and I do often give her the benefit of the doubt, but thought I would confirm with her what she wanted... "Don't you mean milk?", I ask her. She shakes her head "no" and continues to emphatically let me know that she is indeed ready for her breakfast. With a sigh I heave her out of our bed and start the morning routine for her, without the breastfeed.
Next day was the same, and the next, then the next. And now, two weeks later, there is no more "milk" sign. No more crawling up into my lap and reaching down into my shirt to try and get her milk out. No more milk.
It is a bittersweet time for me. She has been weaning herself for a while, whittling down the feeds from what seemed like every hour, to just the one, and the occasional two feeds per day. This means no engorgement for Mumma (yay). I have also had to be on a strict dairy and egg free diet because of her intolerances. So this now means that Mumma can enjoy a poached egg for breakfast once again, and not have to be overly concerned if a slice of cheese was secretly hidden in a sandwich. And 16 months of feeding is remarkable!
But still my heart is a bit heavy, thinking over the months, that have all too quickly flown by. How quick this special bonding time has come and gone. I remember that very first breastfeed. There really is something incredible about looking down at your chest, and seeing this fresh new little creature rooting for what she instinctively knows is her source of food, comfort and life. The weeks that follow are trying to say the least, but very very rewarding, as establishing a feeding routine (and milk supply) give way to precious moments of bonding and nurturing.
|4.5 months old|
I will miss those days, those special moments that we shared. But I can also rejoice knowing that my little LadyBug is starting to grow up, and becoming an independent little lady.