about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



The Final Feeding.

Fourteen months and two weeks later, we’re done.  I nursed Cullen for the final time on Thursday evening.  I feel really proud of and really grateful for such a wonderful first experience with breastfeeding.

In his early days as a newborn, I savored each feeding, knowing I’d get a good chunk of time with him – relaxed, still, and staring up at my with those big baby blues.  Back in those days, feedings usually led to something even better – a long snooze on my lap.

Back then, I’d let him sleep on my lap or chest for hours.  I’d stroke his cheeks, read books, and occasionally nap myself.  I knew that time was fleeting and even though it’s so hard to see when you’re in the thick of it – I knew he’d be to big for my lap soon enough.  Looking back, I can say with certainty that I don’t regret a single hour or nap spent in that rocking chair.  What I wouldn’t give for just one more!

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Cullen never really got into the bottle, so for over a year we were pretty much tied together physically.  Obviously there were times when this led to frustration, and I had to seriously readjust my idea of free time, but for the most part it wasn’t a big deal.  Honestly, I found pumping and bottle feeding to be much more of a hassle.

I have a lot of people write and ask about breastfeeding advice and support, and what I’ve found through blogs and friends is that it is truly an individual experience.  I feel really lucky that things went so well for us.  I know for a lot of women, breastfeeding can actually stir up some depression and feelings of being trapped.  For whatever reason, I never felt any of that.  Almost the opposite.  Feeding him sent waves of happiness through my body, and it was always my most relaxed and peaceful time of the day.

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We didn’t really have any physical hurdles, other than me getting mastitis a few times. But Cullen was a good latcher and eater from the get-go, which made it much easier for me. 

I also surprised myself by being really comfortable and confident in my role as a nursing mom.  I thought nursing covers were cumbersome and sort of ridiculous, and I totally became that person that was willing to pull out a boob pretty much everywhere.  In a crowd, I’d toss a blanket over my shoulder.  In a park, I’d just find a bench and hug Cullen close to my chest.  I should add that Seattle is also a very pro-breastfeeding city, so I never felt inappropriate or strange when we were out in public. 

I even fed him while standing and cheering for Casey while he ran a marathon last summer! 

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After the early days of nursing round the clock passed, I started to really look forward to our feedings.  It was such a nice, peaceful break in the day, and I could feel both of our bodies relax as soon as we’d hit the glider

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One of the things I will miss most about breastfeeding, is that quiet, calm time with Cullen.  He’s such a wild man these days, so feeding him was one of the only times where he’d just be still in my arms.  It was ten minutes when I could play with his hair or stroke his back, and he’d reach out and rub my fingers in his hand or play with my necklace.  I will miss that.

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We’ve been actively weaning since his first birthday, but I wanted to take it slow (for both of us).  Once we dropped down to two feedings a day, I was happy to keep those up for a while, but I found that the end just seemed like it was naturally coming. 

In the early days of breastfeeding, I couldn’t even imagine what weaning would feel like.  I pictured it as this huge finale, and assumed I’d be sobbing through his final feedings and an emotional mess for days.  But as do most things in parenting, it has turned out to be far different. 

Like I said, the end has come naturally.  As we’ve slowly dropped each feeding, we have both readjusted and gotten used to less and less.  And so by the end, while yes I am nostalgic and a bit sad, I have also had time to emotionally prepare and move on to this next stage of motherhood. 

Last week we were still doing two feedings a day, and had been for probably a month or so.  And then one day I went to get dressed and realized that I’d actually forgotten Cullen’s morning feeding.  We’d gone straight from diaper change to breakfast, and neither of us seemed to remember.  So with that, the morning feeding was dropped.  No sense in going backward. 

I knew my supply was really dwindling at this point, and I didn’t think he was really getting a huge amount of milk anyway.  I figured I needed to set an end date and just go with it.  I had dinner plans on Friday night, and wouldn’t be feeding him then.  Pumping sounded ridiculous.  So Thursday would be it – the final feeding.

I think it really, really helped me to know that we were going to be finished ahead of time.  There was no abrupt ending, or sudden nursing rejection.  I was at peace with it before it even happened, and it allowed us to have a really nice day.  I don’t mean to make it sound so dramatic, but fourteen months of breastfeeding was a big deal to me.  My body went through thousands and thousands of feedings, and it took a big physical toll on me. 

So Thursday was a special day for me and Cullen.  I was more patient, more relaxed, more willing to sit on the floor and read the same book over and over again, just to feel his little body in my lap.  It was a rare gorgeous and sunny day for this time of year.  We went down to the beach near our house to get some fresh air.

We walked down to the water’s edge, and let the cold water trickle in over our winter shoes. Cullen squatted and splashed, and while my first instinct was to pull him back to the sidewalk so he didn’t get wet and sandy, something in me just watched and let him laugh and play. 

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I felt a huge surge of pride and closure as I watched him do his toddler shuffle along the empty stretch of sand.  He’s growing up – fast – and while he might not need me in the ways he did as a baby, he’ll still reach out toward mom for new things at new ages.

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He discovered the wonder of loose sand – something he was too small to enjoy last summer.  He looked so funny, all bundled up in his winter hat and coat – tossing fist-fulls of sand into the air with all the happiness and joy of a child in the height of summer.

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Which is just one more reminder that while one door is closing, there is still so so much good left to look forward to. 

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That night, after bath time with daddy, and a fresh pair of rocket ship jammies, he was ready to curl up in my lap for one more feeding.  I’m probably crazy, but I think he understood.  I let him nurse much longer than usual, and when he was finished and I said, “all done!” – we both smiled, and we were just that.  All done. 

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Onto the next chapter!

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143 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker     at 8:02 am

<3 times a million, girl. great job. and thanks for all your help.

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Maureen     at 8:07 am

I do not have kids, and don’t even want any {at least for now}, but this post had me in tears. Cullen is so lucky to have a loving mom like you!

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Gabrielle Reply:

I’m exactly the same, no children, never will, but this was very touching, just beautifully written.

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Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras     at 8:08 am

What a sweet, sweet post. You’re such a great mom, Emily.

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Jessica     at 8:09 am

What a beautiful post! We just finished nursing about a month ago just shy of 11 months. I’m pregnant again and my milk was basically gone. Nursing ended pretty abruptly for us, though I did know when it was our last time. I wish I would have thought to document it with words instead of just a note on the calendar, but your post sums it all up perfectly!! Thanks!

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 8:11 am

Even though I went through this once… (my first was 15mo/2wks old when I ran out of milk in the middle of pregnancy)and it wasn’t something to sob during, I am crying and crying over this post!

Mostly because I am currently nursing my 7 month old and don’t want that to end and also because I haven’t slept in seven months and that means I’m just ridiculously emotional. haha

I’m so glad you were able to have such a good experience. I, like you, never had issues with latch, supply, etc and had such a beautiful nursing relationship with my first (and my second!). I love that you didn’t deal with covers either, I hated those things! I totally relate with you on so many mother things.

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morgan     at 8:12 am

This was such a sweet and beautiful post. I have to say I’m a bit jealous of your experience. I resorted to exclusively pumping after my daughter’s first month due to how many problems we had with nursing. I am very proud that I lasted 6 months pumping (which eventually became the bane of my existence) but I wish that I could have nursed her as successfully as you nursed Cullen. Thanks for sharing this experience.

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Katy @ MonsterProof     at 8:13 am

I remember when my son was young crying over the thought of one day weaning, but like you, with a slow weaning process, it seemed very natural. When we stopped in November right around 18m, it was still hard to let go of the baby days, but I wasn’t in tears like I thought I’d be back when he was a frequent nurser. And for him? Didn’t phase him one bit. I’m glad the process was smooth for the two of you!

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Sara J     at 8:13 am

Thanks for sharing! I’m in month 8 myself and your posts have been very inspirational. I’m in an office 8 hours a day, so I have to pump three times a day, but I always savor those nursing sessions.

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Mari     at 8:14 am

Your post brought back memories and tears! Nursing my first was very similar to your nursing journey. I was happy and sad to see it end at 15 months. I’m in the middle of nursing my 2nd, and treasuring just the same! Way to go mama!

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Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 8:16 am

I’m so glad nursing went well for you. I know many moms who didn’t have such a good experience and it’s great to hear the positive experiences too. I almost didn’t recognize that first picture of Cullen – he’s such a little man now. On to the next chapter, as you said, with many more exciting things to come!

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Marissa     at 8:18 am

Beautiful post Emily. I was down to just a few feelings a day and then my 16mo old got the stomach bug, cold, and his first molar so now we are feeding pretty frequently again. I hope our last nursing session is as wonderful as yours. :)

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Nicole     at 8:18 am

Beautiful post Emily. I am a long time reader since before the Cullen days as I have always loved your style and your recipes. It seemed quite perfect that I actually got pregnant with my first about a month after you so I feel like I have shared this journey with you. I am currently in the same weaning process you spoke of and its been an interesting transition. Although Amelia is an amazing eater and a pretty good sleeper and we haven’t had too much trouble dropping daily nursing time I find that if she does wake up at night (which thankfully is rare) the only thing that will calm her down is to nurse. We are down to first thing in the morning and right before bed otherwise and I honestly think we could drop those… I’m only hesitant because if we do I wont be able to nurse her overnight if she wakes up. Any thoughts?

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Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength     at 8:20 am

Beautiful…as always. :) You’re such a great mama.

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Penny     at 8:25 am

Beautiful post. 4 months in, I can’t imagine this day coming, and it hurts my heart to think about. But, reading this makes me think we’ll be ok, when that time comes (a long, long time from now!!) I’ll cherish every moment until then!

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Julie     at 8:26 am

Beautiful post! The quiet snuggles are what I enjoy the most about nursing my toddler!

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Kate     at 8:31 am

Awe, this post made me sad and miss nursing. Nursing our first born did not go well at all, and we didn’t even make it to one month. I had very little help or support. Baby #2 I was determined to make nursing work and she weaned at 19 months. Then with our third, I knew she would be our last and she nursed until 23 months. I still miss the intimate bond, now she’s a super busy 2.5 year old.
Nursing time together is the best bond, bottle feeding our first was still bonding time, it’s just not the same.

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Brittany (healthy slice of life)     at 8:33 am

Gosh Emily, you have such a gorgeous way with words! Your experience felt very reminiscent of my experience with h, just 1.5 months ago. We both haven’t looked back and we both don’t miss it now, but I will always hold on fondly to the beautiful memories I have of nursing H for 14 months. Thanks so much for sharing!

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Amy     at 8:34 am

Amazing. I cried from the first line to the last – almost 8 months in with my first, and I can’t even imagine weaning. When I was pregnant, I knew I’d nurse (if I could), but I just thought of it as feeding the baby. It’s so much more. I feel so blessed to have a good, strong nursing relationship (depsite 2 bouts of mastitis, one away from home where I had to deal with crazy insurance regulations just to be seen and treated). We’ve recently made an international move, and I was worried about the stress of the move and the 9 hour time change, but it didn’t affect my supply at all. I never really got into pumping; I just didn’t need to, thankfully. So we’ve never been apart more than a few hours for nearly 8 months now. It can be exhausting. This post gives me hope that our weaning day will come naturally and beautifully – something I’ll be praying for!

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Elisabeth     at 8:42 am

Beautiful pst, Emily! I’m not a momma (and am not really planning to be), but this had me tearing up. ;)

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Liz     at 8:42 am

Love this beautiful post!

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Kristi     at 8:47 am

Reading this after feeding my 5 week old and lulling him to sleep in my arms. I always fel bad putting him down when he sleeps so much better in arms. I keep reminding myself that he won’t always be this little or snuggly! Beautiful post!

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Sara     at 8:47 am

What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing, Emily! I’m due in May and I hope breastfeeding will work for us. I’m nervous because I will be going to work after 10 weeks and I’m not sure how pumping will work (I’m out of the office a lot for my job too.) I really wish I could stay at home with my son but I know I’ll do the best that I can :-) That’s all anyone can do and hope for!

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Carolyn     at 8:47 am

First time commenter, but this brought me to tears. Maybe because I’m on my second week back to work after 3 months maternity leave and miss my girl and breastfeeding. I now have to pump at work. This just makes me cherish our special time together when I get it.

What a beautiful post.

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Abby     at 8:54 am

So sweet! Be proud of your 14 months and time nursing C. You summed it up perfectly. Tears!

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Marlène     at 8:56 am

Thanks for this post! When I read the title I actually gasped – Oh no! I thought. I’m having a REALLY hard time with weaning my 16 month old (he, of course, is fine with skipped feedings), and it was so lovely and encouraging to read such a positive take on it.

Thank you for showing us that the end of breastfeeding isn’t the end of everything!!

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erica     at 8:56 am

This was sweet. It made me tear up a bit as I remember our last feeding. Even though it can be a pain at times (for me at least), looking back the time was so short. I’m glad I was able to nurse for as long as I did, and congrats to you as well.

The next chapter is fun! :)

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Leatitia     at 8:58 am

:*( you made me cry. It’s coming for me but I’m not ready. Thinking about it makes me so sad. How did you know it wa time to stop?

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Whitney     at 9:00 am

You should be proud of yourself! I am nowhere close to having kids but the thought of breastfeeding scares me to death. It’s something I want to do but just hope I can stick with it because it seems like hard work! It seems like you really savored those special moments with your son and that’s what it’s all about :)

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Emily @ Life on Food     at 9:03 am

This was a great beautifully written post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with everyone on this topic.

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Sara Palacios     at 9:05 am

Is it odd that I cried reading this. My little man is 7 months old and I absolutely cherish my time nursing him. I planned on stopping around a year and as most things with a baby, time will fly and the year will creep up on us before I know it. He has grown into such a little man and I am sad to know that his time as a teeny baby is coming to a close!

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Mari     at 9:10 am

This is so beautiful! I hope that every breastfeeding mother can have such a calm, relaxed weaning (including myself!). Thanks for sharing.

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Emily     at 9:13 am

What a sweet post. Thank you for sharing! I don’t comment much here but I definitely follow along… and at 25 weeks am newly fascinated with all your pregnancy posts again. Thanks for always being so open and candid about your adventures in parenting, from being pregnant to feeding Cullen. Many of us absorb this information daily! Keep it up.

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Laine     at 9:17 am

That is beautiful. My mom always said that breastfeeding was like looking at the stars, and that it felt like you were doing exactly what your body was made for.

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Lissa     at 9:19 am

Good job on going 14 months! It sounds like weaning worked out great for you, although it’s always a little bittersweet :) I always miss the times where my boys were frantically hungry, and then as soon as they started nursing, their eyes would roll back and they’d relax. Milk-drunk ;)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Love the eye roll!

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Natalie Rae     at 9:23 am

I rarely get emotional at your posts. Today, as a nursing mother to a 10 month old, I did. Nursing in the beginning (4-5 months or so) was rocky and hard- now it is fun and my little lady is almost entertaining at eating time. I love the noises she makes when I nurse her to sleep.

Thank you for this post- I know my time is coming soon.

Also, thank you for talking about nursing in public. I never really “pulled the boob out” until I travelled to Seattle this last summer, and ever since then it has been on the regular. My dd HATES covers and bottles, and eats ALL THE TIME :) My husband is almost use to nursing in public now; when before he was irked by it. My mother is a whole other story- always trying to run around to sheild others from seeing me and making it innapropriate by her reations and actions- can’t win them all! :)

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Lisa     at 9:26 am

I’ve never commented before on this or any other blog but your post brought me to tears! I’m nursing my 8 month old son and can’t even imagine weaning! I love breastfeeding too but it’s nice to know that the end can come naturally. A friend told me about your blog when I was pregnant and I loved reading all of your pregnancy – now baby – updates. This post was so touching so thanks for sharing.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Lisa! :)

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Laura     at 9:26 am

Emily this was an amazingly beautiful post. You described everything that I have felt as a breastfeeding mom so pinpoint perfectly. I started BFing my DD because I knew it was the “best” thing for her but I have to admit I was kind of freaked out about it and it wasn’t something I went into excited about. 4.5 months in and I’m determined to nurse her for a full year now when originally I only planned on going 6 months. Thank you for writing such a beautiful tribute to breastfeeding.

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Olivia     at 9:27 am

What a beautiful post on an experience that you both with always treasure! One of my favorite photos is of me and mother while she breastfeeding me, such a special bond! I hope to have that one day!

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Katie     at 9:38 am

This post is beautiful! I’m currently 7 months pregnant and have been reading your parenting and babble posts which are so helpful! Did you find any foods that helped increased your milk supply? I would LOVE to be able to feed my little guy for that long!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Not really – just consistent nursing, even through the night. :/

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Jeannine     at 9:39 am

Beautiful weaning story! Thanks for sharing.

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emily s     at 9:43 am

Beautiful! And bravo! I nursed Parker for 16 months, 3 days, and it was a wonderful experience. Even better than i dreamed. I am so proud.

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Kelley     at 10:08 am

I just cried reading this post. It was so beautiful. I know that point is coming for me as well (but likely closer to 8 or 9 months instead of 14). I’m so torn between being excited BF is nearing the end and also so so so sad. But I am definitely looking forward to all of the ‘next chapters’ in my daughter’s life.

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Desiree     at 10:15 am

I have been reading your blog for a while now and this is the first post that has made me cry. I have two little ones (almost 3 yr old and 16 month old) and something about this post hit home. It is them growing up, changing, and needing you just a little less everyday. They will always be babies, no matter the age, but everyday they become more and more independent. Love your blog, Cullen is super cute, and wish you all the best this new year!

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EmilyC     at 10:17 am

Congrats, Emily!

My daughter is 4 days older than Cullen and just this weekend we cut from 2x down to one with the knowledge that the end is nigh. I like your bit about anticipating weaning being traumatic when of course much like my own, it’s just the way of things. And as always when I get nostalgic, I remember that things keep getting better.

Way to go, Mama!

-Emily

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Ella     at 10:24 am

Oh Emily. So so sweet. My 11.5 month old is napping in my arms while I type this and we are at 3 feeds about to drop to two. I see the end in sight and I am excited but it’s also bittersweet. Thanks for this touching reflection.

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Lauren     at 10:34 am

This had me in tears! My daughter is 10.5 months and it makes me so sad to think about weaning. Our breastfeeding journey started off super rocky, but I am so grateful we figured things out together and never had to supplement. So while we dealt with not latching, cracked and bleeding nipples, clogged ducts, I wouldn’t change any of it for what it has taught me as a mom to persevere and how blessed I am to be able to nurse. However, my daughter has never slept through the night–so that’s something I don’t really like persevering through haha. Thank you for sharing-you are such an amazing writer!

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Christine     at 10:35 am

I’m in tears reading this as I remember weaning my now 21 month old. I nursed him until around 16 months and like you it happened naturally. I still miss it, mostly the quiet snugly time we had, but I’m really proud that we did it for as long as we did.
Thanks for sharing and great post as usual!

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Kelly     at 10:35 am

What a beautiful post. You had me crying at the end! I can totally relate as I nursed my daughter for 7 months. Going back to work caused me to naturally wean at that time. Incredible job on making it 14 months!!

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Lara     at 10:39 am

This made me tear up! Beautifully written. G is in a phase where is feeding all night long right now (well, it feels like it anyway). Because of your post I will be treasuring our feedings more now. It was the perfect reminder that they are limited. I love that you knew when your last feed was…great tip.

You’re an inspiring mama to me, Emily!

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Erin @ WholsomeRD.com     at 10:43 am

Tears. So beautifully written Emily! <3

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Colleen     at 10:44 am

I had tears in my eyes reading this post. What a beautiful blessing to be able to nurse him for so long!

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Hallie @ ChasingHallie     at 10:54 am

Congratulations on 14 months. That is amazing!

And what a beautiful post.

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Michelle     at 10:56 am

What an absolutely beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this…

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Cindy     at 11:03 am

What a sweet, beautiful post. I am in tears now after reading it! I can so relate – I’m just starting to think about weaning my one year old, who also never took to bottles. Part of me never thought we’d make it this far and now I’m a bit emotional about it ending, though part of me is excited to have my body back, I will miss a lot about nursing. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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Jess (will run for cheeseburgers)     at 11:12 am

This was so poetic and beautifully written. Hope my last BF session with Mason goes as smoothly.

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Michelle@Peachy Palate     at 11:19 am

Oh wow such an epic journey and beautifully told! :) Thank you as always for sharing and I hope it inspires more mothers to breastfeed whenever possible.

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Nicole     at 11:27 am

This made me cry! My little guy is seven months, and I have quit nursing due to being bit and in excruitiating pain too many times in one night! It was abrupt, but I am looking forward to the next chapter (PS- formula and bottles are NOT enjoyable!)! Thank you for sharing your story in such a beautiful post.

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Tiffany     at 11:33 am

This post is beautiful. I just welcomed my beautiful daughter and am breastfeeding her. She is an amazing feeder, and it is going wonderfully. I, too, love this time together so much. It is amazing to sit with her, rub her back, look into her eyes, and do this together.

I’m glad to see sticking with it for a year can be enjoyable and beautiful. That’s my hope for us. I wouldn’t trade our time feeding for anything!

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Lori     at 11:39 am

This brought tears to my eyes. I’m currently nursing my 11 week old (who’s due date was Oct 21!). I love it so much and I know i’ll feel just how you’ve described it – grateful for that quiet time when my little boy will be still in my lap. You wrote about this so beautifully. It makes me sad to think of when my child’s and my breasfeeding relationship will end, but like you said, there is so much still to look forward to!

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Kristen @ Change of Pace     at 11:42 am

This is such a sweet post. I struggled with breastfeeding with both of my kids but I still miss it. I know exactly what you mean about that surge of happiness. You feel needed and you can take care of whatever they need. It’s an amazing feeling only a mommy can have :)

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Melissa     at 11:44 am

I had a double mastectomy after my son was born so I could only nurse for 3 weeks before I had to stop to prepare for surgery. Everyone said it wasn’t a big deal. It is. And you gave words to emotions that I couldn’t grasp. So beautiful. Thank you for such a poetic post. You’re a great mom Emily!

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Leah Reply:

Hi there. Not to sound strange but I’ve never talked to anyone that has had a double mastectomy in recent years. My Mom had one in 2010 and reconstruction in 2011. I’ve talked to women that have had partial or single side–but never both. Just curious–are you okay now health wise? Did you go for the reconstruction? (my Mom is glad she did–her surgeon was amazing). Anyway…just wanted to say hi and say thanks for speaking up about your surgery. Hope you are okay now (my Mom celebrated 1 year cancer free in Aug 2012, but she gets tested every 3 months since her form of cancer was so rare).

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Melissa Reply:

Oh that’s very sweet of you to ask Leah! Thank you! I had the double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction/hysterectomy and I’m doing great! 24 of 26 of my family members passed away from breast and ovarian cancer, most two years after they gave birth in their 20s and early 30s (I’m 32). I got tested while pregnant and had the same BRCA1 mutation so I felt like a ticking time bomb to have the surgery. :) I can’t have any more children and we would LOVE another child so Emily’s blog is so wonderful to read since she appreciates motherhood so much. It makes me smile. I hope your mom is doing great and the surgeries went well. If she has any questions or she’d like to talk to someone who had a double with reconstruction, please feel free to have her email me anytime: rompeskybills@gmail.com. It’s a club no one wants to be in but you are for the rest of your life. Please tell her I’ll keep her in my thoughts and prayers! Thanks again!

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Leah Reply:

You are such a sweetheart! Thank you for writing back and for sharing your info. Yes, it was a very tough time for my family. My mom had chemo and could not get the reconstruction for 1 year after. Thank you for sharing your info. I learned through my Mom to support small local Cancer care centers (Vs the large pink ribbon companies). One in particular called Rays of Hope was incredible in providing classes for the patients and support. I try to tell my friends in my area that as much as possible–look and find out what is in your county or city versus large national companies. My Mom even took an art class recently through one of the organizations and made beautiful silver jewelry for everyone for Christmas. My Mom was 60 when she was diagnosed–you are much closer to my age. I’m not getting any of the tests because BC does not run in the family, the doctor’s say it was due to hormone replacement therapy that my Mom got cancer. There’s a new blood test out now that shows tests 17 months sooner than a mammogram (I live near Boston so the care is awesome here). My Mom’s cancer was not found in a mammogram, so my doctor is also not doing early mammograms on me. Blood tests for now anyway…
Glad to hear you had a baby and that you find joy in reading this blog. Even though I’m not a Mom I do a lot of volunteer work with children so I enjoy the Cullen stories. :) Thank you again for writing right back to me and for sharing your story!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Such an amazing story, Melissa! So glad you have a healthy baby, and it sounds like you are healthy yourself. :)

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Ali     at 11:53 am

That was such a beautifully written post!

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Leah     at 12:09 pm

Wow, Emily. Great post. Although not a Mom I often wonder about various transitions like this. :)

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Rebecca     at 12:29 pm

Your words are perfect. I cried as I read them while nursing my 7 month old daughter.

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Stephanie     at 12:33 pm

Loved this post! I had a very similar experience with my 2.5 year old, who I weaned at almost 14 months as well. And just 1 and a half years later, I only vaguely recall those details that were such a huge part of my life at the time. I’m currently 20 weeks pregnant with my second and I can’t wait to go through that stage again.

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Amber     at 1:10 pm

I’ve stopped reading most “mommy blogs” because I just don’t relate but I can’t stop reading yours and posts like this are why. So beautifully written! Thanks for sharing.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for reading, Amber!

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Lindsay Johnstone     at 1:51 pm

Wow, that post was a total tear jerker. I nursed both my babies until they were 12-14 months and wouldn’t have done it any other way. I remember a few times with my first feeling really tied down and a bit resentful but then it was over so fast I wished I’d enjoyed it more. With my second I soaked up every moment of it! Congrats, you may find yourself a wee bit emotional for the next little bit as hormones even out but enjoy the freedom! :)

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Candice     at 2:04 pm

I absolutely LOVED this post, Emily. One of my favorites of yours ever. Nursing my twins is my favorite part of the day, and while there has been so much fear and anxiety along the way of whether I have enough milk, I’m still nursing them exclusively now 6 months later. Every doctor’s appt I worry will be the one where our ped says they haven’t gained enough and we need to supplement, and with their 7 month appt this week this post really touched me. I hope the end of our nursing days are as peaceful and natural as yours and Cullen’s. Thanks so much for sharing this post and congrats on over a year of nursing your sweet boy!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Can’t believe you have TWINS, Candice! Just clicked over – they are gorgeous. So many congrats!

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Candice Reply:

Thanks so much! They are such a huge blessing:)

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Anna     at 2:15 pm

What? I remember you complaining incessantly that you no longer had an identity, or time for yourself because Cullen wouldn’t take the bottle. Make your mind up girl

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Emily Malone Reply:

Well I am glad we remember it differently! I did mention it being frustrating and that I had to readjust my idea of free time. Sad that that is all you could take away from this post.

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morgan Reply:

Anna, are you a mother? I don’t think someone can understand the highs and lows of parenthood until you experience it. One can have struggles and doubts about things from day to day but overall have a beautiful experience with it. That’s kind of the definition of parenthood.

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kim @ vegan mama Reply:

So true Morgan! There have been many times during the same day that I have both wanted to quit breastfeeding altogether, and wanted to continue until well beyond a year.

I’ve read all of Emily’s parenting posts, and I do not recall any incessant complaining about anything.

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Alison Reply:

I haven’t gotten that impression at all from this post or Emily’s blog in general. Obviously there are highs and lows, but in the end it’s all worth it (and Emily articulated that quite well).

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Rhi     at 2:31 pm

Congratulations for making it this long! My guy is just a smidge younger and we’re down to nursing once per day. I’m not sure how much longer we’ll make it, but I’m so thankful for every additional day I’m able to nurse.

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afarmerinthedell.com     at 2:43 pm

beautiful post Emily. you are a fabulous mom. on to the next chapter. xo

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Lori     at 2:53 pm

I rarely comment, but I just wanted to say thank you for your blog. I have been reading since you were in cooking school and it has been so fun following your little family through so many big life changes. I am a mom of a 3 month old boy and have also had a wonderful experience with breastfeeding so far. I don’t know how long we will keep it up, but your post brought tears to my eyes thinking about the end. Since my baby was also born in October I read your blog and get a glimpse as to what my boy will be up to a year from now. I know it must be tough to keep this blog up as a mom, but I LOVE reading it so please don’t ever stop posting.

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kim @ vegan mama     at 2:58 pm

What a wonderful weaning story! I hope to nurse my 11 month old for another year, but with a history of low milk supply, I’m not sure what is realistic. I only hope that our weaning journey is as peaceful as yours, whenever it does happen :)

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Beth     at 3:19 pm

This also made me so emotional! At 8mths with my little guy & I cherish every feeding knowing weaning is inevitable though I’d like to go as long as possible. I hope we have a gentle ending as well. Thanks for sharing such s beautiful personal experience!

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Jolene (Homespun Heritage)     at 3:20 pm

Such a bittersweet moment! I nursed my 2nd baby for 20 months…around 18 months she was so busy running around that she started to drop a few daytime feedings and I jumped on the chance to start the process…it still took 2 months to fully wean her. It was truly a sad ending, yet, I was so happy…such strange feelings!

My littlest one is 3.5 months and doing great on nursing and I’m not sure how we’ll go but will be grateful for each feeding we get together!

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Gauri     at 4:03 pm

Beautifully written Emily. You have a wonderful way with words. I really look forward to your posts and this was definitely one of my favorites. Thanks so much for sharing!

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Amanda     at 4:04 pm

Beautiful post! I am still nursing my 2 year old daughter and sometimes think people find that a bit strange, but it is completely natural for us. I know we will stop someday soon but until that day I am savoring the quiet time I get with her every day.

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Julie Reply:

My little guy is 2 1/2 and still nursing for nap and nighttime ;). His brother weaned at 3 1/2…years. Nice to hear someone else is still going strong!

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annie Reply:

My little one turned two on Monday and we still enjoy our nursing relationship. I sometimes wish she didn’t like to nurse quite so much at night, but at the same time she is so sweet and polite when she gently kisses my cheek and asks for “more silk please momma.” She nurses three to four times during the day and then at least twice during the night. My oldest who is seven now nursed until she was three and her night nursings were some of the last to go, so this isn’t my first rodeo. I really missed nursing my older one after she weaned and I remember being so excited to embark on my nursing journy with my now two year old. Nursing is such a lovely part of mommyhood, so snuggly and warm. I feel so blessed to be able to nurse my little bugs. I loved this article. It illustrated so beautifully the weaning process and all of the mixed emotions.

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Amber K     at 6:06 pm

Emily, you are such an amazing writer. I can always fully understand where you’re coming from. This was a beautiful post. It’s so sweet seeing Cullen grow up!

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Kath     at 6:16 pm

This totally made me cry

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LB     at 6:19 pm

Beautiful words, made me stop in my day and be extra thankful for my little one. We are still nursing at 19 months and this reminded me to stop and savor because it won’t be forever. What a blessing these little ones are!

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Bopril     at 6:50 pm

This was so beautiful. Really just perfect. Congratulations on your 14 awesome months, and I can’t wait to follow along for all that’s yet to come.

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Christie     at 7:02 pm

So proud of you, Emily! You’ve done such a great thing for your son, providing for him in the best way possible, even through all the drama. It seemed like you were constantly battling mastitis- UGH- I couldn’t imagine!
I was lucky, like you, and enjoyed almost exclusively breastfeeding, although I am a bit scarred about the fact that it all starts over tomorrow when baby #2 is born!

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Coreen- Online Community Manager for the Midwives Alliance of North America     at 7:05 pm

What a beautiful story! I really admire how you’ve shared your breastfeeding struggles and successes. It’s neat that after all the ups and downs, you have such positive memories of the whole experience. Very inspiring!

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Rebecca     at 7:17 pm

This was a beautiful post, Emily! My son (2 months younger than Cullen) just began the weaning process, so this post really resonated with me. I’m finding that weaning feels like as natural a process as breastfeeding itself was. I am finding that I have mixed feelings about the whole thing (I recently wrote a post on that very subject) — a combination of sadness and excitement about our growing independence.

By the way, I am an avid reader of your blog — have been since it was recommended to me by a co-worker [who I think must know you -- lucky girl] while you and I were pregnant. It’s been so much fun to follow your pregnancy and adventures in parenting, etc. Thank you for your blog! Keep writing! :)

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Casey     at 7:19 pm

Beautiful post! Chalk another one up for the cryers. I’ve commented before, but love reading your blog because we have sons very close in age. I am in the trenches of weaning as well, we are down to 2-3 feedings a day. I plan to let Leo go until 18 months, and then reevaluate at that time.

I was curious if you could either respond via comment or maybe in a future post-what is the experience like now that Cullen is completly weaned? Did you have engorgement to deal with or pump through? Or was your supply basically dryed up at this point that it wasnt a big deal?

Thanks in advance, and keep up the amazing work (both as mother and writer) :)

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Alison     at 8:49 pm

Definitely teared up at the end of this post! I know that day will come soon for my 13-month-old and me. Thanks for putting the perfect words to the emotions.

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Haley     at 9:41 pm

Aww, so sweet. I am one of those women who actually got depressed by not being able to breastfeed, but I feel so grateful to be nursing my son with an at-breast supplement. He’s now 6 months old and to make our lives easier we’ve weaned to just two feedings at-breast per day… I plan to just follow his lead with the weaning, but I too absolutely cherish the times he’s just in my arms. I never could have imagined how much it would mean to me.

Thank you for sharing <3

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Hillary     at 10:28 pm

A touching post (even for a non-mother)… as all your motherhood posts are. Cullen’s lucky to have you as his mama :)

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Megan     at 10:28 pm

I’m not a mother yet, nor (not too surprisingly) have I ever breast fed, but I found this post so wonderful and nostalgic. I often imagine the love and connection a mother has for her child – one that can really only be experienced, not described. But, I gotta say, Emily, you did a tremendous job of sharing the journey, from beginning to end, of this stage in childhood and parenthood. Thanks for a lovely and poignant post!

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Stacy     at 10:50 pm

I know you aren’t hurting for traffic on your site, but you ought to submit this to Offbeatmama.com It would be great there.

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Fern     at 2:15 am

Beautiful post! Has reminded me to savour each precious nursing moment with my little one.

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Anna @ On Anna's Plate     at 5:08 am

Breastfeeding didn’t work out for us, and formula feeding has actually been great, but I think a part of me will always be sad that my daughter and I didn’t get to have this experience together. But…you move on, right? :-)

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Colleen     at 5:08 am

Awww, this post made me tear up. My son is 8 months old, and I’ve noticed his nursing decreasing as we introduce solids. I love nursing him, and I definitely am trying to take in every minute!

I actually just read a really great book called “Unbuttoned.” it is a collection of short personal essays about the joys and challenges of breastfeeding. It is really great, and might be a good read for you!

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MH     at 6:45 am

Sitting here at work crying reading this!! I’m in the middle of weaning my second at 7 months. I nursed my first til 9 months and was happy with that timing. I figured I’d nurse my second that long if not longer, but we’ve had more challenges. We’re currently down to nursing morning/night (and middle of the night). I’m loving the freedom of not needing to pump in the days at work, but i’m SO emotional about the whole thing still. I know once I’m done I will be happy with the freedom but in the meantime I’m just savoring every nursing session I can. I love how you articulated it–all you said is exactly what I will miss. Very appropriate timing for me to read this! Well said.

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Kerri     at 7:28 am

Very nice post. Although the thought of breastfeeding makes me hyperventilate a little (and this is 4 years after the fact), I am happy that I made it 9 months with one and 7 with the other. Enjoy getting your body back!

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Shannan     at 9:26 am

What a nice and bittersweet post! I bet it’s so exciting to move on to toddler hood, but I can imagine missing those sweet baby days. I always hear Moms almost get a little too emotional about how fast their babies are growing, but it sounds like you have a good mix of knowing its the right thing to do and just cherishing the memories!

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Mary     at 9:54 am

Beautiful.

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Amy     at 9:59 am

The end of breastfeeding was a little emotional for me, too (stopped at 13 months). I remember just knowing that we were both done- nothing was wrong, but it was the end. It’s amazing how connected you are with your child and how meaningful that transition is. I am teary-eyed… congratulations to you, Emily!

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Amanda     at 10:35 am

Emily – what a beautiful post. This had me in tears. I’m nursing my little 9 month old guy still we are down to 4 daytime feedings and usually one at night. He dropped his dinner-time feeding recently, and it’s been replaced with table food. It’s kind of like what you said – I didn’t notice we had even dropped it until one day I realized we weren’t settling down at that time of day anymore. I truly hope the remaining feedings will drop off naturally, too. And I hope I can be in the same place mentally and emotionally as you when it happens. Thank you for sharing :)

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Kerrie     at 12:27 pm

Congratulations! This was a beautiful post and brought tears to my eyes. I’m 6 1/2 months in with my first son and am also having a wonderful experience. I only hope I am as accepting of the end as you are. Thank you for sharing :)

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KJ     at 2:30 pm

Totally off topic of this post, but I wanted to let you know that I made your hearty lentil soup recipe today and it is INCREDIBLE. I stayed home from work today so sick with the flu and it’s enough to get me through the rest of the week. It’s the perfect comfort food! Thank you so much for posting!!

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Sara Zanotto     at 4:20 pm

Thank you for sharing, Emily! So beautiful…had me in tears. My daughter will be 1 yr in a week and my goal was to BF for the first year. I did it, even going back to work 4-days when she was 8 months (my husband took 4 months off after me). I know we’ll start weaning soon…I’m looking forward to freedom again but sad I won’t have that special time. Your post makes me think it’ll be ok. Thank you :)

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Sarah @ A Runners Heart     at 11:20 pm

I know almost everyone has said the same thing, but I seriously cried reading this. I’m still nursing my 19 month old daughter and there are days that I want to quit and get my life back, but then others, I absolutely love the idea that I can calm her down and put her to sleep so easily with it. I’m not sure when our breastfeeding journey will end, but I hope ours will be as peaceful as yours was!

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Adrianne     at 10:27 am

This had me all misty eyed. We weaned at almost exactly 14.5 months as well and now that’s been a month and a half ago. Most days I am so busy keeping up with all of the new developments that those days of nursing don’t even cross my mind. But then I read something like this and it all comes back. And even though I’m happy and at peace with having moved past that stage, this still made me nostalgic. Such a sweet time that I will forever treasure. Thanks for sharing!

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Dena     at 2:25 pm

Hi Emily,

I read your post which included your resolution to cut out sugar and then went down my google reader and read Sarah Wilson’s latest post, which happened to be about her book, I Quit Sugar, so I figured I would share her blog with you, she has lots of sugar-free recipes and other health information. http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/

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Jacquelynn     at 4:32 pm

Hi Emily! Such a great, peaceful post :)

Question: What glider do you have? I am expecting, and we are going to get a glider very soon. If you really liked yours, I would love to know what brand it is.

Thanks!

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Fran     at 6:52 pm

Emily,
I nursed our first daughter for 13 months and I am five months into the year with our second (and last) daughter. This post hit home for me so much that it brought me to tears. I cherish the fact that I am able to nurse. I recently returned to work, so I am pumping a few times a day and feeding a few times a day. I feel like I am constantly at the sink, washing parts and bottles…The part of nursing I hate. But, part of me secretly wishes Celia would stay 5 months forever, she is small enough to still fit on my lap. She is a confident and content feeder-almost 18 pounds at 4 months (HA!) and such a fun age! And when things are hectic in the household, we can retreat to her bedroom and enjoy some quiet, quality time. Even though I want to freeze time with our infant, I look at my four-year old Lucia and she is so fun and funny and amazing…every stage is just that-fun, funny, challenging, REWARDING. I am excited for what the next chapter brings for your family! Thank you for sharing your experience!

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Gabrielle     at 6:38 pm

LOVE this post, Emily, probably my favorite so far of all your Cullen posts. Just beautiful, and so honest, as always. He is going to be so lucky when he grows up to have this blog of yours to read, and all the pictures to look at and laugh, and cry, and remember.

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Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » A Week of Workouts.     at 8:09 pm

[...] The Final Feeding [...]

Sarah Louise     at 9:14 pm

What a beautiful, well written post. It brought tears to my eyes…although, I am a breadtfeeding mom of a two month old so it’s hard for me to imagine when I will be okay with him not needing me to feed him. I hope we have a similar, peaceful end when the time comes

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Rachel wardell     at 5:22 am

Oh my god that had me in tears! Well done for feeding as you have it’s such an amazing thing. I am on month 13 of feeding and thoughts are turning to cutting down and then weaning. It’s been magical. Thanks for sharing your experiences x x

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Jen     at 2:31 pm

You handle motherhood with such grace. I’m sobbing while reading this. What a wonderful, thoughtful blog. I love being a mother more then anything on this planet and I really hope my breastfeeding journey can end like yours. so special.

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Amy     at 5:34 pm

This post made me tear up! As much of a struggle as breastfeeding has been, I think I will definitely be emotional on our last day. It’s weird, as much as I want to wean her (she’s 2 months younger than Cullen), I also can’t imagine not having that closeness with her. Here’s hoping I handle it as well as you did!

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Lauren     at 9:44 pm

This was such an amazing post. Definitely made me cry. My daughter is 9 months old, and weaning will be just around the corner for us. Thank you for your beautiful words on this topic!

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Kelli     at 8:52 am

Thank you so much for sharing! I am in tears now after reading this. My son will be 11 months on Sunday and I get so sad every time I think about weaning.

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Melissa     at 11:54 am

Whew. Tears. Crying at work. Awesome…LOL.

I weaned my now four year old daughter basically the same way you did and even around the same age. It was gradual, instinctual and amazingly easier than I thought it was going to be. I loved, loved, loved my time with her, feeding her in only a way I could, bonding on so many different levels and watching her fall into a milk coma :) and actually, BECAUSE of her and the amazing, wonderful, special time that we had together, I am on the path to becoming a lactation consultant myself to help nurture this simplistic and natural bond between mama and baby.

Congrats to making it 14 months and two weeks and you’re right – the next stage will be just as great!!!

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sue     at 1:57 pm

You are an AWESOME writer! I have an 11month old daughter and am in the weaning stages myself. I’ve been going back and forth between looking forward to spending that time together differently and being emotional that those moments will no longer be. I appreciate you writing this, it was beautiful and helped me be at peace and comfortable that I soon will have that final feeding. Thank YOU!

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Angela     at 8:52 am

Somehow I missed this post, but I’m so glad I saw it today. Your story is so beautiful and honest. Thanks for sharing!

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kb     at 3:54 am

Hi there, I commented on this article when I saw it on babble. But I’ve finally stopped breastfeeding my bubs (16 months) and found your story touching and beautiful. Thank you for writing this! Looking forward to my adventurous little man moving on. Kx

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Emily Malone Reply:

Congrats KB!

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Amy     at 9:02 pm

Congratulations, Emily! I’m thrilled for you that you had such a wonderful experience! My 8-month-old and I had a rocky start with breastfeeding and I even remember telling a nurse at the hospital on Day 3 to “pass me the the miniature torture device” when she offered to help me get him latched on because it was initially so painful and I was dreading each feeding. I was very committed to breastfeeding, though, and by the time we finally got in the groove after six weeks, I had to go back to school. I’m a teacher but I share a classroom so I never have privacy. Plus, I’m always trying to squeeze every bit of work into the school day so I can pick up my little guy right after school. I pumped exactly one time during the school day. In my car. Where a parent promptly parked right next to me so she could go in and check out her child. It was awesome… Needless to say, my baby had to take formula at daycare from the beginning but I was still so grateful to be able to breastfeed for all the hours we were home together each day. Therefore, I was so disappointed a couple of weeks ago when he suddenly became too busy to settle down and breastfeed, even when we were somewhere dark and quiet. I remember one of the last days that I came home from school and nursed him and he pulled off to laugh for a few seconds, obviously just so happy to settle down with his favorite snack after a long day at daycare. I think my milk supply eventually dwindled to the point that he found the amount he was receiving at each feeding to be frustrating since he was rarely full when the milk ran out but that particular feeding occurred on a Monday afternoon. We used to spend every weekend building up the supply after it would decrease throughout the previous week and because of that, he always had more milk than he could drink on Monday afternoons so I suppose it was just making him so happy to have it flowing to his heart’s (or tummy’s) content. It kills me to know we’ll never have those breastfeeding moments again even though we had gone through some challenges. (You definitely weren’t “incessantly complaing” just because you spoke of some of your own challenges! Maybe the difficult parts are what ultimately make the experience that much more rewarding.) Anyway, for me, breastfeeding was still a very satisfying and absolutely special thing in spite of the tough parts. Thank you for your post and your positive take on giving up breastfeeding. Since I wasn’t really ready to abandon it, I hadn’t read or talked to anyone about what weaning would be like and REALLY wasn’t mentally prepared. I was hanging on every word of your post just to see how the experience would be different if we went through weaning at a mutually acceptable time instead of when the baby decided we were done. Congratulations again on being able to enjoy breastfeeding until you were BOTH ready to let it go!

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Eileen Mayorga     at 1:52 pm

I’m totally crying right now. You are so awesome! I have an 11 month old and I’m trying to figure all of this out as well. I’ve been following you since you found out you were pregnant. LOVE YOUR POSTS!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, Eileen :)

[Reply]

Irene     at 1:15 pm

This post made me cry, it’s so beautiful! Thank you!

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Lara     at 5:46 pm

Oh Emily, I am re-reading this right now and sobbing. G is only not-even-10-months now and I swear he is starting to wean himself. I am devastated. My big fear is that I won’t know when his last feed will be. I am glad this was such a positive experience for you both and just pray that we can have a similarly positive ending :(

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Becca     at 1:38 pm

This was lovely – perfect. Congrats and thanks.

[Reply]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » One More.     at 3:36 pm

[...] and we’re down to four times a day now – usually around 5am, 9am, 12pm, and 7pm.  I was finished breastfeeding Cullen around fourteen months, and I remember after we hit that year mark feeling sort of panicked [...]

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