Weaning is a double-edged sword, not just for me but for many women. On the one hand, it's yet another step that your baby takes away from you, from dependence on you and from the dark, secret world you kept him or her hidden for nine magical (yes magical!! despite weight gain, night sweats and piles!) months. On the other, it's liberation from "breastfeeding-friendly" clothes and from the ugly boob slingage that is otherwise known as the nursing bra. It's dresses rather than tops, it's being able to leave the house without a handy scarf, it's not having to worry about yanking clothes down and revealing your breasts or hoiking them up and revealing a mummy tummy.
For me, The Bub's decision to drop feeds - down to 4 a day, then down to 3 .. now it's just once, at 5am, which at least means that I get to snooze through my last few bedtime hours snuggled up with him - has also been tinged with sadness because he's probably my last baby (but let's never say never, eh?).
And, let's be honest, I'm also a bit gutted about the lost shopping opportunities. It's all very well getting your baby to sleep through the night, but let me tell you, there is a world of retail out there and it is open for business all night. What better way to pass the time on the seemingly never-ending 2am feed? (and we all know that most experts advise against falling asleep whilst breastfeeding, don't we?)
So the absence of bags beneath my eyes is being pretty much matched by the absence of bags left in my porch by obliging DHL and Interlink men, which is kind of a shame. But, always one to exit on a high note, on one of the last late-night feeds I was up for, I found the most gorgeous dress, a hummingbird print silk maxi by Tibi. It was in the sale. It was £94. It had been close to £500. I had to have it, despite it being a size or two too big. I clicked to buy. I bought.
Or so I thought. Early the next morning, an email came from the retailer, Question Air. Sorry, it said, due to technical error blah blah actually out of stock, you want something else? No, I do not. My (possibly) last baby is growing up way too fast and you won't give me the lovely dress I had my heart set on. I am in a pit of despair. A pit, I tell you! Not much call for anything else from your website down here.
A few days later, after I've done a few fashion-y good turns for others (a discount code passed on here, a dress loaned there) the fashion fairies intervene and, in an example of possibly the best customer service I have ever encountered, a Charlotte from Question Air phones. There's been a return. Would I still like the dress? She remembers how disappointed I was not to get it last week (I promise I didn't swear or shout at her).
A day later, it's in my hands, yards and yards of swooshy, silky hummingbird loveliness. Yes, it's too big and yes, when I wear it out for dinner at fifteen a few nights later I have to sit bolt upright to stop it slipping it down and revealing my no-longer-fit-for-anything-more-than-a-5am-feed breasts. So what. Good posture is no bad thing. And my dress is divine.
wearing Tibi Hummingbird-print silk chiffon maxi gown, Swedish Hasbeens and Gap denim jacket. All photos by The Bearded One - Dave Miller Cinematography