at 21 months old, just two days shy of being three months old, cooper and i ended our nursing relationship. i was feeling strong and good about it until i just typed that sentence and now i am crying because that is just how it goes with things like this. when i was pregnant i knew i was going to breastfeed. i read, talked to people, and gathered as much information as i could because i knew it was going to be hard, but the best option for us, and it was. i was persistent and knew that we would definitely not be stopping at 12 months old because that would be solely happening for me and not him. the benefits of nursing don't stop at 12 months. around 14 months i decided we would go until two. slowly we went from six feedings a day, to five, to three, and then lately to two. once at nap time and once at bed time.
two days ago, on may 6th, i felt like we were ready. i thought that weaning a toddler was going to be very hard. i was prepared for him to cry for the comfort that i had been giving him every day for the past 21 months and i knew it was going to break my heart. it didn't happen though. he said "nursey!" as soon as we shut the lights off, turned the sound machine on, and sat in our rocker and i said "it's all gone gone! let's sing twinkle twinkle" he cried for all of thirty seconds and then snuggled into me as i sang. i was crying as i sang because i had just found out earlier that afternoon about the mama would lost her 3.5 year old son when he was hit by a truck trying to retrieve his frisbee. i wanted so badly in that moment to just give him what he wanted because it made him happy and it was our thing, one of the only things that is just ours. a sacred thing, chapter, memory that is just for the two of us. the next day at nap time he said "nursey!" again just as soon as we sat in the rocker and once again i said "it's all gone gone" and that was enough for him. we sang and rocked as i kissed his cheeks and held his hands and then i laid him down. tonight was the third night and he didn't even ask. i am proud of him but so, so terribly sad.
extended breastfeeding isn't talked about much so i've felt pretty alone with these feelings. shouldn't i be happy that i have my body back to myself? i'm not sure, but i know that i'm sad. i loved using my very own body to nourish my sweet 8 pound baby all the way up until he was 26 pounds. it might be one of my very biggest accomplishments yet. it has quite literally taken blood (tmi?), sweat, and many tears.
i mourn each bit of baby-ness that dissolves but this one is the hardest. while i know this is as untrue as ever, i feel like he doesn't need me anymore because now everyone else can fulfill his needs just as much as i can.
i am sad. and that's okay.
i love you cooper james. you are the light of my life.