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Hello, it's me again!

I hope the new year is off to a great start for you. If the year started off a bit slow, or rocky,  I want you to know that you are not the only one! This does not mean that the rest of the year will be this way. Let's just say we're setting the foundation for a wonderful year ;)

During our New Year's celebration at my parent's house, I jokingly said that this year was going to be the year that I weaned Luna off  breastfeeding and guess what? Four days later, Luna is no longer nursing and now, here I am typing in shock that this happened so quickly. I want to share our weaning journey with you because I hope new/future moms can takeaway something useful from our story.



Luna was almost exclusively breastfed. What that means is that even though I still offered her three meals a day with many snacks in between, she always preferred the boob. There were some days she would hardly eat any solids. I was her main source for nutrients, comfort, security, etc... She never drank out of a bottle, never used a pacifier and didn't have a security blanket or toy. Sometimes this felt extremely overwhelming, but I also felt proud about having this amazing superpower. 

Truth is, I struggled and in some ways, I am still struggling. I thought I was well-prepared to begin the weaning process, but I jumped in too quickly and suffered physically as well as emotionally. I didn't really know when I was going to nurse Luna for the last time and I now wish I had cherished that last feeding session, or at least had a a picture of that moment! Instead I am left with the thought that the last time I breastfed Luna consisted of me grumbling at 5AM while I whipped out my boob to calm my fussy baby.

I'm reluctant to share why I stopped breastfeeding because I feel ashamed. I've typed out all the reasons so many times only to quickly delete them as soon as I read them. Ultimately, this is a deep and personal connection that can only be shared between a mother and her child, so please never let outside influences pressure you into continuing or stopping breastfeeding. Whether you believe a child should be weaned at a certain age, or that the child should decide, never offer unsolicited advice to a breastfeeding mother because weaning is much more complicated than it seems.

The pain is real. I mean, I've experienced engorgement in the very early stages of breastfeeding, but that was fixed with a quick pumping session. Now I have to walk around with lumpy, hard boobs that feel like they are on fire and sting whenever anything touches them. I tried all of the remedies from cabbage leaves, to teas and warm compresses, but what is going to protect me against my toddler banging her head against my sore boobs?

The physical symptoms go on and on.
ME: I am having a hard time sleeping on my side because my boobs are on fire, so ibuprofen should help me sleep better, right? 
BODY: Nah.
Enter: *Insomnia*
ME: Well, I am going to try my best to look well-rested and put together, so this crop top should look cute with these jeans, right?
BODY: Nope!
Enter: *Bloating*
ME: Dang. Well, exercise always makes me feel better.
BODY: Ha!
Enter: *Extreme Fatigue*
ME: Since I am no longer breastfeeding I don't need extra calories, so I should get enough energy from eating a nutritious salad.
BODY: Hahaha!
Enter: *Unexplainable Hunger*
ME: At least eating always makes me happy :)
BODY: YOU FOOL!! BWAHAHA!
Enter: *Nausea*


Pero like, I'm just really sad. The first four days were especially tough. Luckily, I had family staying at my house for a few days, so that served as a distraction. As soon as they left, I found myself crying uncontrollably at random times. I felt like such a horrible mom and kept doubting myself. It took so much effort to complete basic tasks like cleaning, or even having a conversation with my husband.
I always thought that becoming a mother had changed me for the best because I became a calmer and a much more patient person. Yes, I believed motherhood magically turned me into a pleasant person overnight and boy, was I wrong! All this breastfeeding meant I had higher levels of oxytocin, you know, the "love" hormone. I didn't know it at the time and my husband certainly didn't either! 
Oxytocin reduces stress, anxiety and makes you feel relaxed. Naturally, when you stop breastfeeding oxytocin and prolactin levels drop, making you feel anxious, depressed and all-around sad. It's really important for me to share this because some women may experience intense withdrawal symptoms, bad anxiety, and/or fall into the dark hole of depression without even knowing why. 

If I am suffering, my baby must be too. I wanted to gradually wean Luna, but that did not end up happening. I first went a whole day without nursing her by distracting her with extra playtime (which she absolutely loved), holding her more and only nursing at night. The next day she casually asked for "chichi" and I casually acted like I didn't hear her. That night we came home from a party and she was so tired that I did not have nurse her to sleep.
She woke up in the middle of the night half asleep with tears streaming down her face, but I was determined to not give in. I held her closely and silently cried while I caressed her hair and apologized over and over. This was the moment we knew our breastfeeding journey had come to an end and it felt like we were mourning together. Luckily, that was the only difficult night we had to endure since I started the weaning process.

It all happened so fast. That is why the physical and emotional hardships have taken a toll on me. I really thought weaning would take longer, but after that tough night she now only wakes up to take a sip of water or almond milk. I have seen her become very independent and communicative since I stopped breastfeeding. She answers my questions with a slow-motion nod, or a loud "no" and has developed an appetite I have never seen before--all in a matter of a few days!  This was such a surprise because she would use nursing to sleep, to soothe, when she was bored, when she saw me sit, I mean, for everything!

I am bonding with my daughter in ways I had not been able to before. When I used to breastfeed, it was impossible to have a physical connection with Luna without it turning into a feeding session. I know I used to joke around that Luna was only using me for my boobs, but now I know that was never true. I will miss breastfeeding, but she now cuddles with me when we are watching a movie, she sits next to me when she wants company and randomly runs to me to give me a hug without demanding boob time. She has been so amazing. I also have to give my husband a little shoutout for being there to support and help us every step of the way (love you boo).


I am transforming. It's what women do. Yes, it feels like our bodies take a toll with all these physical body and brain chemical changes, but that is what makes us so amazing! I know where these negative feelings come from, so I know to not trust them. The physical pain is improving and I know it will go away soon. All of these changes are just indicators that I am starting a new phase in my life.

I'm not sure if I am becoming the same person I was before I was pregnant, or if this means that I am officially becoming a cool mom (*crosses fingers*)! Jokes aside, the end of our breastfeeding journey has been bittersweet and I feel lucky to have been able to share my story. I hope that I was able to spread some awareness on a topic no one ever talked to me about. I am happy to answer any questions, so comment or email me! 

Thank you so much for stopping by! 

Much Love,
PerlaGiselle


56 comments

  1. Se ve todo estupendo! Todo lo mejor para este año!🎊🎉🎊🎉 Espero verte pronto por mi blog! 💓💓💓

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  2. I hope you're having a wonderful new year Perla!

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  3. What a wonderful post:) Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Breastfeeding is such an important and personal issue. You should definitely never feel "ashamed" or guilty for your decision. My eldest was born with a cleft lip and palate, so I was never able to breastfeed him, but for my other kids, I breastfed them until they started school. SO many people thought I was insane, but you know what, I'm happy with my decision, and all moms should be too no matter what it is.

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    1. You said it perfectly and I agree 100%!! I appreciate your words of encouragement!

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  4. I feel like you are very much a cool mum! Thank you for sharing your journey. I've never had kids but I know there is so much judgement and taboo over this subject. I've never really understood why. If anything I always felt like females would support one and another during such a personal and transformative time yet it really isn't the case. But it's wonderful to see you bravely sharing your story, hopefully attitudes and judgements will cease to exist. One day.

    Sxx
    daringcoco.com

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    Replies
    1. That is so sweet of you! You have no idea how much I appreciate you!

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  5. I like your outfits, so cool! Thank you for share this! 🌺🌸


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  6. Ugh, why are you so stunning dear? Amazing post and look!
    https://mellifluous-blog.blogspot.com/2020/01/beautiful-dresslily-review-fashion.html

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  7. Feliz ano novo, 2020 será maravihoso pra todos nós mesmo que tenha começado não tão bom assim.
    A Luna é linda e eu adorei a camiseta dela do Queen, chei de estilo desde pequena.
    Adorei seu look também! ♥

    https://www.heyimwiththeband.com.br/

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    Replies
    1. Feliz ano menina!! Luna tem mais estilo do que a mamãe! rsrsrs

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  8. Obsessed with your camo joggers :) Hope your 2020 is off to a great start :)

    https://mariannyc.com/24-hours-in-casablanca/

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  9. This was such a moving piece, super brave of you for sharing your experiences! Wishing you all the bext this year and many years to come! Your daughter is super cute too! x

    http://www.lifeofacameo.com/

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  10. Yes indeed hormones are more prominent in peoples bodies then most people realize. I was diagnosed with PMDD which runs in my family marked by very difficult periods with more intense depression and a lot of insomnia. My grandmother suffered from hormonally induced insomnia her whole life and was severe later in life. She also had two miscarriages which led to severe PPD. My mother suffered from monthly migraines. Me? I inherited the PMMD with the accompanying insomnia and the migraines. So yes your body is going through major hormonal changes that are very unsettling. After my friend Lisa had a baby she did not sleep for 9 days and had to go on medication. She was told this was a hyper vigilant response to protect the baby because back in the caveman days it could be eaten by saber toothed tiger. So yeah not an easy trip that is for sure.

    I think or feel like sooner is prob a little better as longer as things go it is harder to change. Other then that I guess it is up to the individual. Though getting a doctors advice is also good. Glad to hear it went so well and I hope you feel better soon.

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

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    1. Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing this! I had no idea what PMDD was. This just shows how many things affect our bodies that we don't know of. I know these post-weaning symptoms are only temporary, so I can only imagine how difficult PMDD must be.

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  11. Such a great post! Wishing you a great year.
    xx- Nina
    http://www.stylingwithnina.com/2020/01/how-to-style-color-block-coat.html

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  12. You are so strong, my friend! In the end, you have to do what's best for you and Luna, and you are the best person to be able to navigate this. She's beautiful just like her momma!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  13. Such a great casual outfit! Weaning is so hard! With my youngest we dropped down to one feed a night and I was so upset when he latched then pulled off and signed finished - I wasn't sure if he meant he was finished or my supply had dried up - he was only 18 months so couldn't tell me! But since we were feeding just that once a day I thankfully didn't have any pain associated with it, and I didn't need to express any after so maybe he meant there was no more milk? He was content for me just to cuddle him to sleep instead for the next few nights. Hope you don't get mastitis and the pain goes away!

    Hope that your week is going well :)

    Away From Blue

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    1. Oh man, I guess it's never easy! I appreciate you sharing your story!

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  14. This is such an enlightening read dear. Thanks for sharing your experience. Anyway, I love your photos, Luna is super adorable!
    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  15. Your baby is so big, I remember when you give a birth and how she grow fast. She is such a cute girl and thank you for sharing your experience with us. I send you a lot of love.

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  16. Nice post dear! Thanks for sharing with us!
    Have a wonderful day! xx

    La ilusión de Nina - http://lailusiondenina.blogspot.com/

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  17. This is so amazing that you are being so brave sharing this story! All the changes our bodies go through in our lifetime as women is incredible. I hope you feel better soon <3

    Jill
    https://jilliancecilia.com/

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  18. Ahh sounds scary & overwhelming, but it also sounds like you're rocking it mama. You're doing amazing especially since you said you've been able to bond more with your daughter!! :]// all the best, Carmen

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  19. I'm glad you are here again, you look very pretty ♥

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  20. Oh Perla it is very courageous of you to open up like this about such a sensitive and personal issue as it will likely help someone else facing a similar situattion. I'm sure the decision to wean Luna was not easy for you at all but sometimes we just have to listen to our bodies and you still were able to share an amazing journey with her while she was still breastfeeding. Parenting will always bring tough choices and you shouldn't be so hard on yourself.

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    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement! I appreciate you Rowena!

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  21. I love reading about your journey because you are always so honest!! I dont have any kids so I really can't even imagine what it is like but I feel your pain girl!

    www.prettyinleather.net

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  22. Aawww thanks for sharing your weaning journey! I enjoyed reading and learning from it. As a first time mom, my breastfeeding journey has only begun - 2 months in now! I'll treasure every moment. :) And happy for you, that you made that decision yourself and not listen to all the people with unsolicited advice!

    www.jeannieinabottleblog.com

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    1. Omg! That is amazing! Let me know if there is anything I can help you with!

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  23. What a fabulous outfit.

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  24. Ohh I can imagine even though I don't have kids yet. It's interesting to hear so many mom stories.
    Happy to see you back Perla!

    www.fashionradi.com

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  25. She's growing up, and that's a non reverse process that I believe is hard to accept some times. But on the other hand reading how you can bond in completely new ways now sounds really lovely <3 Hope you'll be able to free yourself from the sad moments, which should by no chance let you think you could be a bad mom, just someone who truly cares <3

    xx

    LackaDaisy

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    Replies
    1. That is very kind of you to say. Thank you hun!

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  26. It's wonderful that you are sharing your journey with this! All that matters is that you do what's best for you and Luna. Wishing you all the best in 2020!

    x Kara | http://karascloset.net

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  27. This is an amazing story! Good on you to be able to write it down to inform or inspire others. And good thing that you're feeling better now physically and mentally. I underwent a weaning journey 3 times and they were all different each time, the first one was emotionally hard while the second one was more physically painful. The last was a breeze as I knew better but all 3 babies were attached to me emotionally regardless of the process. You look both cool and cute.

    www.busyandfab.com

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    1. I appreciate you sharing your story with me! It's so crazy to me that even with multiple children you still had to experience all that. Thank you so much, Mercy!

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