Friday, September 10, 2010

The end of an era.

Three days ago, I offered Koen a moment to nurse.
He snuggled up in my lap, turned his head,
took one look at me and said "no."
He then scooted off of my lap and
ran off to play and hasn't asked for it since.

Just like that, it's over.

I've had my suspicions that we were almost done
but when I heard him say "no" with such resolve,
I felt a twinge of sadness as he engaged himself
in a toy and didn't even look back.
It was organic and easy for him.

That is a blessing.

Yet, for me, the mama
who has breasts that still hold milk,
I feel a bit listless and full.
It has been 17 months of feedings
and my day feels a bit empty.
My lap feels empty.

My heart aches a bit to feel
that closeness with my baby.
Luckily, it's been a gradual weaning so I am not uncomfortable.
I think that I will avoid engorgement.

I'm just a bit lonely for my baby to curl into me.
I will always cherish our bond and
remember his sweet hand rubbing my neck as he nursed.
I will forever hold onto the loving gaze that my met mine
during those early morning feedings.
Perhaps this sadness comes from knowing that
he is my last baby and that my nursing days are over?
It's bittersweet to feel the freedom settling in
but I would trade it for one more feeding so I that I could say goodbye.
Goodbye to my sweet baby's need for me to nourish him.

To all you nursing moms out there,
cherish it. Before you know it it will be over
and you will be where I am at today...

I am letting go,
I am shedding tears,
I am watching my baby grow
right before my eyes.

Speaking of engorgement, scroll on down to play Freakshow Friday.

32 comments:

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

It is definitely a bittersweet milestone.

Mom24 said...

I've been there, mine were right about that same age when we stopped. I'm glad you had that special time, and I understand completely your feelings today.

Sarah said...

Awe! This post made me tear up. I rememeber those days, it is very bittersweet.

Sabrina said...

I can so remember like it was yesterday. On occasion I "feel" that lovely twinge; no need to explain- it makes me smile. Even though it is not real. Hang in there!!

LisaDay said...

At almost two I do believe I am going to be the one who has to say no and so far I am not strong enough. Beautiful post.

LisaDay

Dee Crowe said...

I so wish I had had that experience to begin with. Hailey never would take my milk and so we never got that special connection....I believe though, since you have had that connection it is probably much harder on you than the whole thing was on me!

MommyLovesStilettos said...

*HUGS*

Katherine said...

I'm impressed that you were able to breast feed for 17 months! My oldest weaned himself at 9 months, despite all my efforts. And with my second, I had to go back to work when he was 6 months old, and between the crazy schedule and the stress, was only able to continue a month longer.

I'm glad that you got so much time with your little one. Such sweetness.

R Montalban said...

I do know how you feel, but hold those thoughts you have here. My memory is of Dexter coming off, stretch in complete relaxation having a punch drunk high as a kite expression on his wee sleepy face and looking as though he were about to say "that was fantastic, cheers" before konking out! I sometimes see it when he is sleeping and deliriously happy and moving to make a contented sleep!

Sue said...

I remember it well, but I didn't know it would be my last because I thought we would have more children.

Maybe that made it less painful, the not knowing.

Hugs.

=)

Kelly Lund and Kids said...

It's been almost 5 years for me since I last had a baby to feed... :( my heart goes out to you... I remember when my baby girl was done... I felt so empty (yet so full of milk ;)) I agree, it's a bittersweet milestone.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I sent my firstborn to preschool on Wednesday and TODAY my second wanted to go...so I let her. Talk about a clean break! LOL I'm feeling for you my dear...and I never did nurse, but I know what you mean still...

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

you made me cry leigh. boo hoo. really you did. so. must've been good :)

Busted Kate said...

I think that's the perfect word for it, "bittersweet". This kid hasn't even been born yet and I'm already worried about him growing up!

flat yeast bread said...

We were surprised with dougnuts this morning. My sweet baby boy picked a doughtnut over his "nanas". I think I have at lest a few months left, and now I know that nursing is only second best, in his book :)

lauren said...

as one who was never able to breastfeed... be thankful!!! So thankful that you had that time. I longed for it, cried for it and never got used to the idea that I couldn't do what other moms could so very easily. Even after 4 babies.

So, maybe you should have another... :)

Alyssa said...

awww your post made me cry a little. Actually as I'm typing this comment I'm nursing my 16 month old. Many times I have wished for him to just stop on his own but now I think I'll hold him a little tighter. They do grow up fast.

Kate said...

i just stumbled upon your sweet little blog and couldn't help but hit the follow button! look forward to following your adventures in the months to come! xo
kate

blogginggoddess said...

Well said. Your little boy is growing up and becoming independent, and you are allowing it. Brava!

Two Normal Moms said...

I cried when my son stopped nursing. Bittersweet really is the right word.

Ally

Ambyr said...

I teared up too. Gavin and I are going strong after 14 months. It makes me sad to think about him stopping. I hope he means himself, but it will be hard to not know when the last feeding will be. I never realized how much I would enjoy it. When I was pregnant, I was watching a baby show where a woman was nursing. Her older friend said how much she missed it. I couldn't figure out why. Now it makes sense. It's so amazing to be so close, have him stare me in the eye, caress my skin and necklace, and see such contentment in his eyes. I love that my breasts are a sense of comfort for him and can put him to ease. Now that he's an active toddler, its nice to hold him without squirming away. My husband is unsure about having another so I feel like I really have to savor every moment. He still needs the breast to fall asleep and I'm ok with it now. As fast as he's growing, I want every chance possible to hold him.

Laura Lofgreen said...

Oh my goodness, I have five babies and have felt this way about the first four. I currently nursing my 4 month old baby. She might be my last (still not sure I'm done yet) and I'm trying to see if I can mentally prepare myself for that transition. If not, maybe I'll have one more knowing at some point it will be done. Sniff sniff.

I Live In said...

..so true...great words.
It's been 4.5 years...I refer to mine as "once workin' breasts"...now, just for show....and not a pretty one. ;-)

Erin said...

Oh Leigh! My heart breaks for you. I never knew thet bitersweet-ness you describe because nursing didn't work out for us....but I do remember the few times we tried and the girls successfully latched on for a few minutes here and there, the feeling was so powerful and inspiring.

You are in my thoughts.
HUGS

Jenny Blair said...

With my work of supporting newborn babes and mums I get brestfeeding envy more than anything else! Not the overwhelming urge to go forth and have more children but rather to be able to cradle my little one in my arms and let the world go by as we stop and share.
Aaaaaaah, blessed memories :)

Eclectic said...

I'm nursing now and am dreading the day when we'll have to stop, which will be whenever he wants.
<3 Birdie
www.eclecticmommy.com

Gabbi said...

Your baby sounds adorable Leigh... ♥

Homesteadgirl said...

That's the hardest part of weaning...is when you don't remember the last time you nursed. What a beautiful post. Breastfeeding went awry with my third (and presumably last) child, and I'm still making peace with that loss, 18 months later.
Love the photo on this post. Vintage? Or modern, made to look vintage?

Erin said...

Thanks for sharing this, Leigh. I can just imagine Koen saying "no" and walking off. That's startling for you, but it's a blessing to have gotten a clear sign. On a happier note, I see that you have over 500 followers now. Congratulations!

The Blue Zoo said...

Aw, I remember my breastfeeding days. I was glad to have my boobies back though. But it does make me sad to see how mch they've grown.

April said...

I am six months into nursing my third child, nursing right now actually as I read blogs... thanks for the reminder to not take it for granted, -- I've either been pregnant or nursing the last five years so it's easy to take for granted. It is such a precious, precious thing.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

cried like a baby reading this. I can SO relate...