Remember that post I wrote about the end of breastfeeding?
Well, the morning after I wrote that post Maisy asked for milk, I said ok, and she hopped back on the nursing train like she never got off. So here we are again.
A Letter to Maisy
The End of Nursing, Part 2
One wintery afternoon, some time in February, I said “no.” For some weeks I’d been attempting to trim your milk sessions down from 3 times a day to 2 times a day to one time a day and to none but you simply kept on asking.
I tried to offer you alternatives – almond milk, rice milk, cows milk, a snack. “No, I want Mommy’s milk.”
I tried to distract you from your milk request. “Hey, can you color me a picture?” “Hey do you want some grapes?” (In our house grapes are a treat.) “Hey can you build me a tower?”
I tried saying no without saying “no” outright. “Not right now.” “Maybe later.”
I tried playing it off to be something else. “Mommy, can I have milk?” “Sure baby, it’s in the fridge for you.” “No Mommy, I want Mommy’s milk.”
I started just sharing how I felt about it. “Babe, I really just don’t want to. Is it really that important to you? Can you have some rice milk instead?”
I worked on coming up with reasons why you should be done having Mommy’s milk. “Maisy, milk is actually for babies. Big girls don’t have Mommy’s milk. Big girls get to have things like ice cream, and apples, and treats. Are you a big girl?” Sometimes she actually wanted milk so deeply she actually shook her head no.
Finally, just mere weeks ago, I just said “no.” You melted into the saddest puddle. Ripped my heart out. I just held you as you cried, wracking my brain for how to fix the situation. Should I just give you the milk now? Could I offer you anything else. I wanted to take it back! But after that heart-wrenching moment the requests mostly stopped. I didn’t hear about milk for days.
Several days later you randomly asked, “Mommy, I wan moke.” I laughed, “Maisy big girls don’t have Mommy’s milk.” You didn’t fight it. We had finally arrived.
One evening, I nursed Penny at the dinner table. She was a half a second away from shrieking her displeasure, cracking like a bolt of lightning into a quiet night, but I caught her just in time. After I finished nursing her I met eyes with you. You plainly just looked on longingly at the scene before you. Finally, you opened your mouth, “Mommy, only babies have moke. Big ghews (girls) don’t have Mommy’s moke.” In my mind I’m thinking, “oh you sweet sweet girl, no, of course you can have Mommy’s milk.” Instead, with a forlorn look on my face and sad grit to my voice I utter, “yeah baby that’s right.”
It’s so good to be done nursing you, but it is also so sad to me. I couldn’t take the tandem nursing anymore nor could I handle how it messed with my supply, leaving me too dried up to adequately nurse your baby sister.
I love you so much, Maisy, it makes my heart hurt and soar at the same time. You make me smile and laugh more than anything in my world. You make me a little crazy sometimes too but what’s life without a little crazy? You are sweet, full of feelings, compassionate, observant, passionate, and so silly.
I love you with all my heart,