Younger Brother is a year old, and I’m weaning him from breast milk to cow’s milk. I started this process at the same age with Little Boy, but went slowly, dropping one feeding at a time over many months. This time around, we’re doing it quickly, because I’m ready to be done.
It’s not so much that I “want my body back,” the way some women describe it; it’s that I’m ready to unbind myself from the rhythm of a baby’s schedule. When I’m done breastfeeding, I can go out on a Saturday afternoon whenever I want without having to worry about pumping. I can have a drink with dinner without needing to consider if it’s too close to the next feeding. I can wake up and go for a run first thing without feeling uncomfortably engorged in my sports bra.
There’s the work factor, too: because Younger Brother was nearly 11 months by the time I started my new job, I didn’t ask for any pumping accommodations. I just pumped on my lunch hour, which was nice in some ways—it got me in the habit of taking a quiet lunch break out of the office, recharging myself for the rest of the day—but wasn’t going to keep up my full milk supply over the long term.
I’m down to breastfeeding just once a day now, first thing in the morning. For all I’ve said above, part of me wishes we could keep doing this forever, my baby’s solid, warm body snuggled against mine, more relaxed than he is at any other time of day. It’s already becoming clear to me, though, that my milk supply won’t hold up for that, and I don’t want breastfeeding to be something that peters out. I want to know when the last day is and enjoy it and cherish it and be done.
That last day is coming soon, probably this week. I’ll never breastfeed again—I’m never having any more children—and so this milestone feels particularly poignant, a part of my life that is over forever.