Wow, Rudi stopped breastfeeding last week and so my 7 years and 11 months of almost continual pregnancy and breastfeeding has finished. I feel incredibly proud of my body but can also understand why I feel pretty tired right now!
Although I am feeling a bit sad at the moment that I will never breastfeed again and am missing those special times with Rudi, it also feels completely right that this stage of my life has finished. I always feared that I would get to this point and feel an aching for the whole pregnancy, newborn thing and somehow have to get through that....without having another one! But I don't feel like that at all.
Our family feels complete and so right. It's such a warm and fuzzy feeling to have and one which I get at least once a day...even on the craziest of days! I am treasuring the baby days with Rudi but I am also loving having older children too. The conversations, the learning, the drawing, the reading, the love, the kindness, the warmth, the growing personalities, the jokes and oh so many laughs and giggles. And watching the four of them together is just so, so wonderful. They are such a little tight crew, it's adorable.
I feel so, so lucky to have been pregnant four times, had four beautiful births and four happy, healthy children. It wasn't completely straight forward and I will always carry our three lost babies (two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy) in my heart but I am thankful every day for my amazing children.
I also feel so lucky to have been able to breastfeed all of them. It was something I always wanted to do as a mother. I know it's not right for everyone and not everyone has a happy experience of it but for me it was just so wonderful and kind of blew my mind. Each of them fed slightly differently and each of them got the hang of it at a slightly different pace, and each one stopped at the right time for them. I can remember trying to stop when Imogen, my first, reached 6 months. That was the magical goal and some people told me she would just stop then. What...just like that? Well, I gave it a go but she wasn't having any of it! We battled for a week and then carried on for another 6 months. I can still remember the night she rejected me in favour of snuggling up with her monkey. And that was that! Rudi was less subtle this week and pulled away making a "yuck" face and hasn't fed from me since! It made me feel so sad at the time but is already making me giggle!
Now it's time for me to get my body feeling more like me again, to finally buy some nice underwear for the first time in my 30s and to start buying clothes that don't have to be stretchy or have milk access! I am actually feeling a bit lost when it comes to clothes at the moment but hopefully as my exercise regime starts to pay off and the Spring arrives, I will start to feel inspired and motivated to explore the shops again.
As I read this back before pressing publish and sharing it with you I am feeling so emotional. These past 8 years have been incredible and I know they contain some huge life highlights. That's a very emotional thing to reflect on. But look what I have! I am so, so excited about this next chapter. xxxx