So I have finished my breasfeeding completely now and realised that I didn't do my final diary entry on the experience. So here goes...
I actually didn't have to make the decision to stop the final night feed, Mabel made it for me. I think she was just enjoying the full fat, faster flowing version too much. One night I offered her a boob and she looked at me like I was crazy. Like a serious, 'what, THE HELL, is that?' look - hmmm, way to thank a girl who has let you use her boobs as milk cartons for the past 7 months. It was actually really strange. I tried to encourage her to take a swig (thinking it might stop the blockages) but she didn't seem to know what to do (though she clearly did - she has drama queen tendancies).
I was really lucky not to have any more mastitis or need to do much more expressing. In fact the end was much less painful than I'd expected. Job done. Boobs returned (I say 'boobs', they have been returned way smaller than prior to getting pregnant, I wonder if it is a lack of contraceptive pill...?)
The only thing I'd say is that considering all the advice at the start, things dried up on both counts by the end. And I actually do think I could have done with knowing a little more about how to stop and the process of reducing milk down when weaning.
I hadn't realised that by now she only needs a pint a day (we've just spent weeks getting her on to formula and working out what the hell we do with sterilising etc). In hindsight I might have given it to her in a cup with meals rather than even introduce day bottle feeds.
But we can't complain, she loves her food (doesn't refuse anything) and doesn't seem to have even noticed that we dropped one milk feed this week.
And I actually don't feel too sad in the end to have finished. It is lovely to have my boobs back and it has returned a load of freedom. I'm happy that I managed to do it for 7 months and will definitely try to do it again if we have more children. Only very occasionally, like the other day in M&S cafe when a lady was breastfeeding, do I feel a twinge of, erm, I'm not sure what really. Nostalgia? Sadness? Bizaarely perhaps I felt the need to say, "I did breastfeed, I have just finished" - hmmm a sudden insight into the feelings of those unable to breastfeed perhaps...? Or perhaps it is more to reassure, "Don't you worry about being discreet, you just crack on". I didn't have anyone make negative comments when I breastfed in public but you just don't seem to see it that often which did, particularly by the end when she wriggled, make me feel a bit consipcuous. I won't miss that!
So all thats left for me to do is find a good push up bra!