I never thought I would jump for joy, plotting how I can make a mini celebration to commemorate the end of my breastfeeding journey.
But I am. My son is 19 months and I remember a friend encouraging me a few months ago, saying if I talk to him and explain that he’s a big boy and he doesn’t need this anymore, he will understand. I pulled that trick out of my hat last week and it worked! Along with other strategies of course.
What did NOT work, was being away from him for a week. A few other moms told me to try this but it just didn’t work for me. When I returned from Germany after being gone for a week, he demanded to nurse and was hysterical when I refused him. He even started to reach into my shirt. That was cute for an hour and was also my limit.
What also worked and really was the secret sauce to this finale, was the thing that made breastfeeding successful to begin with: My Mom.
She was here the week I returned and basically frowned at me for “giving in.” She pressed me, “Erykah stop. You have to stop.” I wanted to stop for a while, but kept giving in because it was easier to say yes than no.
My mom knew it was time and helped me get to the finish line. Her mere presence just made me feel more confident to stop.
But the really cool thing, is that when my son was 2 weeks old, she came to visit us in the thick of my struggles and almost like magic, breastfeeding clicked for me.
She gave me the tough talk that many Caribbean moms give their daughters, “Breastfeeding is hard but you have to do it.“You young women today have it easy. It was much harder for us. Just do it.”
I never imagined myself breastfeeding for this long but I am so proud I made it this far.
That I mastered the art of breastfeeding.
A skill I doubted I would even have. But I did it. I did it! And I am so proud of myself for staying on a journey that was painfully challenging in the beginning.