DeeDee nursed for the very last time this morning. It's hard for me to believe we have been doing this for 21 months! I never expected it to go on for so long, but I'm really grateful it did. There were a few tears, surprisingly not from me, when I told her no this afternoon. We talked a little about how she was big now, how we needed to start saving the "nursies" (or "nonnies" as she calls them) for a new baby. She was over it quickly, moved on to coloring in her Dora book. Admittedly it felt less bittersweet than I expected. She's such a wiggly, giggly toddler now that it felt like any other play time to her. I mean, let's be real, it's hard to feel sappy when you have an almost-two-year-old blowing raspberries on your boobs and then giggling hysterically! It leaves little question in my mind that we chose the right time.
Still, it feels odd to have a finality to it today. I've told her no before, but there was always an expectation that she could nurse again the next morning. Feels a little like I'm letting go of my baby's babyhood. Not in a bad way, though. She's just growing up, and it's just one of the many "letting go" days we will experience. My sister-in-law once described motherhood to me in that way.
Motherhood is just a series of letting go.
Today it's breastfeeding, some other day it will be kindergarten, training wheels, a driver's license...
It really does go by as fast as everyone tells you. That's the one piece of parenting advice I'm really, really glad I listened to. Savor your time while they are babies. Smell their little heads. Memorize their features. It's over in a snap, and I'm so happy that I didn't waste (much) time worrying about the next milestone and when I would have more free time. I let her nap on my lap for more months than I care to admit, and I don't regret it at all. I definitely still miss the snuggles, since they happen a lot less now, but I feel like I memorized the feeling so well that it will always be imprinted in my mind. And nursing was such a pivotal part of that idea. It forces you to slow down, take a few minutes out of your day to look in your baby's eyes, just soak them in for a bit. It allowed us a lot of private bonding time, time to engage each other. It's definitely something I will miss, but I think we are ready to move on.
What was it like when you stopped nursing your babies? Was it sad, relieving, bittersweet? Share your stories in the comments!