Today as I lay with you in your bed, snuggling you to sleep, I held back tears. We haven’t nursed in about a week and a half so I suppose it’s time to realize we are done. I’ve even thought about offering it to you out of nowhere just to see if you’ll go for it but I told myself I would simply stop when your requests stopped. I know I’m ready to be done, but there is a part of me that so isn’t either.
Now I find myself wishing I could go back to when you were 15 months old so I could stop myself from cutting off your night time nursing; then again going to when you were 19 months old so I could stop myself from potty training you in order to not cut off the before nap nursing and before bed nursing. In reality, I know I was so maxed out in those moments when I decided those milk snacks had to go but I wish I could have just pushed past them because I feel we would still be going strong now, nursing 3 – 4 times day, but instead we are all done. For a long time we held onto once a day, usually just if we hit it first thing in the morning. I had to ask you to stop nursing usually before you were finished due to the sensitivity of my pregnancy nipples being too much to handle and perhaps that’s why you decided to give it up altogether, to avoid being pulled off before you were ready. Part of me hopes you’ll start up again in a mere 6-7 weeks when Baby Two arrives, but part of me thinks you simply were ready to grow up that one more big step.
People always told me you’d grow up too fast. The first year of your life was so long and sleepless, I did not feel it flying at all. The second year of your life, however, did fly. Suddenly my baby is a little girl and I am having a hard time keeping up with how fast you’re growing up. I know a large part of these feelings are due to us leaving behind this last babyhood activity.
In all honestly, though I adore you, I very much did not adore nursing. To me, nursing had nothing to do with whether I liked it or not but everything to do with aiming for at least your second birthday and from there letting you decide when you were ready to stop. As a result we nursed for a good, long 26 months. I largely didn’t like nursing a lot of the time because it felt uncomfortably ticklish, awkwardly stimulating, and occasionally it hurt. What I did love about nursing though was holding you, mostly near the end when I wasn’t doing it all the time. My favorite nursing sessions with you were often right when you woke from your nap. You needed the transition time back into waking and I liked this session because you were alert enough to keep a solid, comfortable latch but sleepy enough to be mellow and cuddly.
What I really love most though is our time now. When we snuggle you don’t ask to nurse, I simply get to hold you. That’s what I loved about nursing anyways, the holding a still you so close to me. I love that you have to wrap all your limbs into it, that your body molds to mine. Even now with a baby belly you wrap so perfectly into me. You snuggle your head into the crook of my shoulder so I can rest my head comfortably on your forehead and breath deeply the naturally sweet scent of your hair. You curl your body neatly and tightly around my large belly. And you tuck your knees up at the base of my belly and nestle your toes in-between my legs. These moments, very honestly are my very favorite. When they end I know I will be heartbroken.