This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.
source: Tara Faul via Flickr Creative Commons
Until Friday, I had been breastfeeding or pregnant for all but six months since February 2008. For a few months when I got pregnant with Joshua, I was even both!
I’d been ready to wean Joshua for awhile, honestly. You might think that’s strange since I nursed David until he was 20 months old. And really, I think David just gave up because I was pregnant and there wasn’t much there. He is my most dependent child. And that’s OK! We were mutually OK with nursing.
Joshua is a fierce biter when it comes to nursing. I’ve tried every trick and tool in the arsenal to get him to realize that this isn’t allowed. Nothing works. He might stop for a little while – a few weeks, maybe – and then as soon as he is teething again it’s back with a vengeance. This has been going on since he was about 9 months old. At 10 months, though, he was rather feisty and refused to take a bottle, which hampered any weaning. At 11 months, we were better with the bottle … and then he got the flu. He wouldn’t eat or drink except for nursing. So that’s what we did.
For the last six to eight weeks, I’ve only nursed him once or twice a day. And he hasn’t done much chomping down, but he thinks a little gnawing isn’t too bad. I beg to differ.
source: George Estreich via Flickr Creative Commons
Friday he pretty much demanded to nurse (it’s amazing how insistent a nonverbal person can be, isn’t it?) and then didn’t actually drink anything, just tried to chew. He likes to do this with his bottles – drink some, then chew on the nipples and walk around with the bottle hanging from his mouth. It’s cute when it’s the bottle. Not cute when it’s my body.
After repeating this twice, I gave up. And decided that was that. We were done.
We’ve now gone four days with no nursing. He hasn’t asked, either, so that helps. I thought I would be jubilant. In a way, I am. I will be glad to have my body back. I am sincerely hoping my chest will deflate a little.
But then I saw my Boppy. Someone had tucked it away in the linen closet. It made my heart sink. Because I am guessing Joshua is probably our last baby. I am not 100% sure, but it’s probable. And I do love nursing. I love that connection. I am mourning the fact that I didn’t have one last sweet nursing time with my Joshy. (Not that I remember any “last times” with the other two.) I’m sad that it might be the end of this part of mothering for me.
Like every phase in parenting, I think, there are many times you wish it to be over. And then it is. And you mourn, deep down, soul-sinking kind of sadness. Just one more time, you think.
One more toothless smile.
One more time that he sleeps in your arms.
One more bang on the high chair.
One more glittery shoe.
You wanted her to eat solids, him to sleep through the night, to get rid of that high chair, to stop seeing glitter all over the carpet each day.
But then those pieces of parenting are gone. And you miss them.
Four days without, and I miss the nuzzle of a baby at my breast already. The feeling of accomplishment, that my body nourishes my baby, it does what it’s supposed to do. The sweet wisps of baby hair on my hand as I rub his precious head. Tiny hand beating me like a drum, happy at his milky time.
Please excuse me. I’m going to go sob now.