Trauma for me, trauma for him – and the end of our breastfeeding journey [018]

sara-in-hospital

Hours after surgery – I was still a bit out of it!

When I fell on the stairs at home and broke my leg a couple of months ago, it was a pretty big shock. It was slightly traumatic, in fact.

Somehow, I sprang into action quite quickly, because I instantly knew it was serious. I knew that the quicker I could have my leg in a cast, the better it would be. But…

…trauma is trauma.

It was traumatic for me (obviously)

When the ’emergency’ part of the day was over, and I did have my leg in a cast, lying in a hospital bed, now knowing it was a little more serious than I thought, the whole thing hit me again.

Every time I closed my eyes I could see myself on the steps again. I could hear the leg making that awful noise, like I had sand inside it. And I could feel that pang in my heart again – the one I felt when I realised that I had actually broken my leg. I had gone 23 long years without breaking a bone – why again? Why?

The extent of my previous experience, aged 13 and having spent the summer alternating between a wheelchair and crutches when my friends were out and about enjoying the hot weather, hit me again.

The sudden feeling of being 13 again and ‘missing out’ on 3 months of summer life and being ready to walk again just in time to go back to school, hit me again.

Those days spent at home in tears trying to learn how to walk again, hit me again.

More than anything, it was that feeling of thinking of myself as being ‘vulnerable’ and ‘weak’ again – why do I break so easily, doing ‘normal’ things that shouldn’t really result in injuries this serious? Why does this seem to happen just to me? Again?!

But this time, it wasn’t just my trauma

My Little Guy, just turned 2 about 10 days before, saw me falling. He didn’t hear me scream or cry, because I didn’t. So I know I didn’t scare him – there was no way he knew how serious it was. After I carried myself (and my leg) down the rest of the steps, he came to me, but with one hand holding my leg, I used the other one to try and keep him away from my leg.

He didn’t like that.

Shortly afterwards his uncle came, and hopefully distracted him and his brothers in the next room from what was going on with me and the 2 paramedics. After that, he knows that I got taken in the ambulance (he did see it and popped in briefly) and went on to spend the day with his brothers and his cousins.

All very good, had it not been for the fact that he had spent the previous 3 weeks with me, day and night, and because we were travelling and stayed in a couple of different places, he found comfort in breastfeeding a bit more often than usual. That would also help him to go to sleep in new places he wasn’t used to sleep in.

So when nap time came, Mamma wasn’t there. His milk wasn’t there.

By the time he was ready for a nap I was still going back and forth between A&E and the X-rays department. My brother-in-law told me there were tears. Many tears. And eventually he cried himself to sleep, holding his hand.

My heart broke a little.

The rejection part

That night was the first night in his life that we were separated. The first night without me. The first night without his milk.

It felt awful for me. But probably not even close to how it felt for him. How would The Husband try and get him to sleep without milk for the first time? How would he settle him in the night? How would HE get any sleep?

Somehow, they found a way.

But my fall was certainly as traumatic for him as it was for me. In a different way, but still traumatic, no doubt.

And whenever he came to visit me in hospital, he wouldn’t come close to me.

He took one look at me, with my leg in a cast, in an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people, unfamiliar clothes, and needles, wires and plasters sticking out of my arm.

He didn’t like that.

And so he refused to come to me. For 5 long days.

His dad tried every day. We even tried to bribe him with chocolates one day – “go to Mamma, and she’ll give you a chocolate”. Nope, he didn’t want Mamma.

And my heart broke a little more.

But I understood. I didn’t blame him.

There was a slightly funny side too…

There were also some ‘funny’ moments for me – the first night was ok, but on the second night I started feeling uncomfortable, and I didn’t want to add mastitis and antibiotics to my latest adventure, so I called the nurse and asked for a container, so I could express some milk.

“Are you breastfeeding??! How old is your child?!”

“Ehm.. 2? Don’t worry, I don’t need a bottle”, I said, pre-emptying her next question, “I just need something to collect it in. I’ll throw it away” (Considering all the morphine I had, it probably wouldn’t have been a good idea to keep it anyway, even my child had been a lot younger than that!)

She scoffed and returned with a container that read ‘dentures’.

That container ended up (lid on and everything) on my table. Food came and went, and various people went past my table, but no one questioned the box or took it to the bin. Until the night nurse started her shift for that day and noticed the box on my table.

She looked at me: “Do you wear dentures?!?”

“Oh, no, that’s breast milk. You can throw it”.

I don’t think I can describe in words the expression on her face. You should have been there.

The end of our breastfeeding journey

So that’s how the breastfeeding relationship with The Little Guy ended.

It was traumatic. And a bit sad.

And a bit difficult for me, for him and for The Husband.

But we did it, and the only thing that makes me feel slightly better about it, is that I had planned to start weaning him off anyway. It would have been a slow and still painful process, but this was like taking a plaster off as quickly as possible.

I just didn’t know that the last time I fed him that morning would be our last time, ever.

And that makes me a bit sad.

Did you or your partner breastfeed your child? How did you stop breastfeeding your child? Was it hard for you / them?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Quite Frankly She Said Sunday Best
Cuddle Fairy

28 Comments

  1. 27th November 2016 / 2:08 pm

    That is QUITE the breastfeeding story. Good news is he probably won’t remember how he is feeling- you will though! Mama curse I suppose.

    • Sara
      27th November 2016 / 3:38 pm

      Well, it’s good to have a story to tell them when they’re older, right? 😉 We’re best friends again now, and of course I’d be happier if this hadn’t happened, but because it did, I’m glad it happened at this age. I would have been heartbroken (even more and still) had he been a lot younger than this!

  2. 27th November 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Oh I’m so sorry to hear that – it does indeed sound like a hard time for everyone. Hope you’re all taking care of each other #kcacols
    Themotherhub.ie recently posted…Be the Change You Want to SeeMy Profile

    • Sara
      27th November 2016 / 3:36 pm

      Yes, thank you 🙂 I should have said that once I got home from hospital, it was hesitant for the first 5-10 minutes, but then he came to hug me, and we’ve been inseparable since! 🙂

  3. 27th November 2016 / 5:27 pm

    My Number One was Two when I stopped feeding her and I used the slightly unethical bribery and corruption of Disney. I’ve no idea what I’ll do with my second. It sounds like you had such a tough time if it, I hope you’re on the mend now #SundayBest

    • Sara
      27th November 2016 / 11:40 pm

      He he – whatever works is my motto! I left my first one with my mum for 3 nights at 18 months when he was down to just one feed first thing in the morning! And that was out of choice! So bribery and corruption sounds like a good one to me! 😉

  4. Kellie - Hooray for Moms
    27th November 2016 / 11:34 pm

    First off, I’m so sorry to hear about your leg! Second, I’m so sorry to hear about your little guy. I can’t imagine the feeling of him not wanting to come to you, and then the feeling of the end of breastfeeding this way. I know it was hard for both of you, but you’re the one who is going to remember it, not him at least. Not that that makes you feel better now, but you know what I mean. Hang in there.
    #SundayBest

    • Sara
      27th November 2016 / 11:38 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Kellie – it’s true, he won’t remember it, and we’re super close again now. We’re a team 🙂

    • Sara
      1st December 2016 / 10:18 am

      Thanks Alana – you’re right. 3 months on today, and he doesn’t seem to be that bothered! 😉

  5. 1st December 2016 / 10:56 am

    sometimes sometimes it upsets me tha I could only breastfeed for the first 8 weeks or so both times. But when i read blogs like this. im kind of glad, they dont depend on me as much. You will heal soon and you done all the right stuff 🙂
    Lx
    http://workingmumy.blogspot.com
    #bloggerclubuk

    • Sara
      1st December 2016 / 4:21 pm

      Ah, thank you Lisa, that’s very kind. Yep, it pretty much meant I never left any of them until very late (18m, 2 and half and 2), and it does take it out on you a bit! We all do what we can / what’s right or best for us, and that’s the beauty of it!

    • Sara
      1st December 2016 / 11:11 pm

      Thank you Laura – 3 months in now, and he’s all happy, of course. The leg is slowly getting there… 🙂

    • Sara
      2nd December 2016 / 4:33 pm

      Thank you Maddie – getting there 🙂

  6. 2nd December 2016 / 8:41 pm

    wow that is pretty traumatic. I Hope you are ok now? I stopped breastfeeding when my son was 6 months. I was hoping to continue for longer but i had to go back to work plus he started biting me so I packed it in. It was sad because I really enjoyed breastfeeding and didn’t get to with my first born. Thanks for sharing your story #bloggerclubuk

    • Sara
      2nd December 2016 / 11:25 pm

      Thank you Shaney – the leg is taking a while to heal, but it was all to be expected 🙂 Going back to work after 6 months sounds like very soon! And the biting isn’t fun either! 🙁

  7. 3rd December 2016 / 12:37 am

    What an awful way to for it to come to an end. I never breastfed so I can’t imagine how hard it was for both of you with it being so sudden and unexpected. I hope you are feeling better now #kcacols
    Tracey Bowden recently posted…Sprucing up my Home OfficeMy Profile

    • Sara
      3rd December 2016 / 12:47 pm

      Thank you Tracey – we are good now! Best friends again 😉

  8. 3rd December 2016 / 4:59 pm

    Oh I am so sorry to hear about your leg. It must have been really traumatic. I can’t imagine how painful it must have been. I weaned my daughter when she was about 2 and a half – we went for slow, but to be honest it was still traumatic and I was sad that our journey was coming to an end. The night time was the worse, my husband covered nights for a while and that’s how we did it. #KCACOLS

    • Sara
      4th December 2016 / 12:13 pm

      Thank you Jenni. I’m on the mend – it’s a very slow journey, and it requires a lot of patience, but it’s all ‘fixable’, so I’m very grateful for that! I weaned my second son at around that age too – 2 years and 4 months, and it took ages. I was pregnant at the time and not enjoying it anymore, so the nights were really hard. I kept going to him and giving in. There were tears as well. To be honest, I don’t really know what’s worse! Ending it traumatically with the choice taken out of your hands or dragging it out for ages and still feel sad about it and knowing your little one is upset! 🙁 I’m kind of glad it’s done now. I’m sorry to hear you felt the end of your journey was also sad and traumatic – how are you feeling about it now?

  9. 3rd December 2016 / 10:27 pm

    Oh Sara, I just want to hug you. What a hard way to end your journey, for both of you. Even though you were planning to end it soon, it’s never nice when a choice is taken out of your hands. Thank you for sharing with #SundayBest x
    Sian QuiteFranklySheSaid recently posted…Happy Days: Hello DecemberMy Profile

    • Sara
      4th December 2016 / 12:08 pm

      Ah thank you Sian 🙂 We are ok now. You’re right – the worst bit is when the choice is taken away from you. But I’m ok with it now – in a way it was easier, and I’m glad it’s done, rather than something that it’s dragging on. Obviously though, we wouldn’t have chosen to do it so suddenly! xx

  10. Pippa Wood
    7th December 2016 / 5:07 am

    Kit had a week long strike this summer and I found it incredibly tough – I’d reached my two year goal though and so the first few nights I thought maybe I was relieved – but no! I was devastated. There are hormonal changes associated with the end of feeding and a lot of mums in one of the toddler feeding groups I am in talk about feeling really low and weepy for a while after they stop feeding. I feel so sorry that you had to add that in to the mix of everything else to do with your leg.

    (Kit stopped his strike after 8 days and I have no idea how, when or why we’ll wean!)

    • Sara
      7th December 2016 / 3:12 pm

      Ah ha! Maybe that’s why I was crying every 5 minutes! (That, or the frustration of not being able to do anything for myself!) To be honest though, I think I was ready. “After the holidays” was my target, and, well, it got taken quite literally. Thinking about this.. everything is being taken very literally lately.. like when I said “I’ll have a break [from work]” and a break I had!!! 🙁

      • Pippa Wood
        8th December 2016 / 3:44 am

        Probably a combination of the two!

        I think even when you are ready, the physical/hormonal changes and the emotional adjustment can be hard – even if it had been entirely led by you – you might have been ready but it wasn’t how you envisaged it.

        I hope the literal implementation of your thoughts eases up!!!

        • Sara
          8th December 2016 / 11:47 am

          He he – I know! I must be more careful about what I think! 🙂 Well, reading this I should be proud of myself then – as that added to my recovery too… Thank you xx

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