|First Latch-in the Recovery Room|
I've been mostly following the "don't offer, don't refuse" rule, which some say is a form of mother-led weaning. Perhaps that's so, but I've been comfortable with it, as it means I'm not denying you my milk when you ask for it, and it's become very predictable when you'll ask for it. With the exception of times of illness or distress, you mostly nurse right when you wake up in the morning, before nap time if I'm home, and before bed. You usually nurse only for a minute or two. Still, even with the limited amount of nursing that you do, I'm starting to feel...done.
|Delilah Nursing-3 Months Old|
When you woke up in the middle of the night, a rare occurrence these days, your father went in to change your diaper. No crying for mama, no asking for milk, you just rolled right over and went back to sleep.
Yesterday morning when you started to stir, I went into your room, expecting to be greeted with enthusiastic signing and requests for milk, as I usually am. No such greeting. You smiled and said "Hi!" then "Up! Eat!" I hugged and kissed you, changed your diaper, and still no requests for milk, so we made our way downstairs and ate breakfast together.
|10 Months Old|
As I thought to myself that this might be the beginning of the end, I once again found myself feeling conflicted. I do want to be done. I want you to be ready to be done. It's been nearly three years since you were conceived. That's nearly three years that my body has been dedicated to your growth and nourishment. There's a reasonable chance that by the end of this year, it will be dedicated to the growth and nourishment of your little brother or sister. Maybe it's selfish of me, but I want it back to myself for a little while first. For a long time, I thought I'd nurse through pregnancy and even tandem nurse, but as that possibility becomes more real, I don't think I'm cut out for it.
Even so, the idea that you might be done nursing soon is bittersweet. While I'm looking forward to moving on, I'll miss the special bond we've had through nursing. I'll miss the way you gently pat my chest. The way you look up at me with pure love in your eyes. The way you smile and say "Mmmmmm!" as if my milk is the most delicious thing you've ever tasted. The way I could magically make everything better with "boobah".
|2 Years Old|
When we tucked you in last night, tears started to well up in my eyes as I wondered if you'd ask for milk. Throughout the day, I was thinking about Sunday morning, the last time you'd nursed. I decided that, if that was indeed the last time you would nurse, I was at peace with it. Sunday mornings are my favorite part of the week; me, you, and Daddy snuggling and sleeping in a bit together, warm and cozy in bed with nowhere to rush off to. You progress from nursing, to patting Daddy's back, to trying to rouse us by pulling back the curtain to let in the light and starting your "Hi! Up! Eat!" refrain.
As it turned out, that wasn't the last time you'd nurse. Tucking you in last night, fighting back those tears, I let out a small sigh of relief when I noticed your hand opening and closing in that familiar sign: milk. This time, I lingered a bit longer, cuddling you and kissing your sweet head, knowing that before too long, mama's milk will be but a distant fond memory for you, one that some day, you'll likely forget altogether. That's alright though, I've got enough fond memories for both of us.