This morning will be the last morning that my baby will really be my baby. She’ll still wake up every morning and ask for me, and I will still be there, but I won’t offer her any comfort, snuggled in my bed, both of us with eyes closed, sharing those sweet early morning nursing moments.
It’s a hard decision to make, but the last week or so, she’s been demanding more milk and it’s just not there for her. I have tucked her back into bed with a still growling belly and it’s clear that it won’t be good enough anymore. This is our last feeding to drop, and it’s probably the one I’ve enjoyed the most. Opening my eyes to see her staring back at me, then her eyelashes flutter and she drifts back into a comfortable place in her mommy’s arms, safe and protected. Only I could give that to her. Only on me did she depend for that transition from sleepiness to wakefulness, or more likely, to drowse back into a light sleep to finish out the night.
I remember her eyelashes, so pale as to be non-existent, eyebrows barely showing through her skin, fuzzy head with just a wisp of hair. Now, her hair gets in her eyes, her lashes are dark, her brows turned brown, her skin clear and a rosy shade of peach. She’s growing up.
If you’re new here, you probably don’t know that I pumped milk for 3 months for her before switching over to nursing last Feb. 1st. Since then, she’s been fed by me for 14 months, except when I had surgery in September. It’s a constant in her life, probably the only one she’s ever known. I hate to remove that security. I hate to take away that easiest love that I’ve ever given.
I guess you could call the whole thing bittersweet. We’re choosing to do this now because in a couple of weeks, we will be moving. While I would be okay with continuing to nurse her for a while after we move in, it probably is easier now to go ahead and let it go, for both of us.
She will undoubtedly ask for a few days and then she’ll forget all about it. I’ll just be her mommy, not her source of nutrition, not her constant source of comfort. That immune protection that has kept her consistently healthy will be going by the wayside. While she has long since gained her own immune protection, I am glad that it is almost summer. Fewer illnesses to go around.
I know I will always be her mommy, and she will always be my baby, but things are changing, it will still be love, but different.
It’s hard. I’m glad you at least got to make the decision mostly on your own. My body took that choice away from me! Remember, you will still be her source of comfort. You don’t want it to have to be a constant source, because that’s part of growing up, too. But she will ALWAYS need you to comfort her. Kiss her for me. And have Matt give you a hug!
I have cheered for the success of your nursing relationship because I *do* remember how hard it was for you at first. My last baby gave up nursing at 17 months. We were both ready. But I’m glad we had that connection.
And here’s the really fun thing… YOU are experienced now, but the next baby you have will have to learn.
See? Something to look forward to.
You have a lifetime of these moments to experience. Sigh. Mothers heart breaks never NEVER end.
So glad you were able to have this special bond – I cherish the memories of my 22 months with my Munchkin – who is now 5. It’s a precious gift you gave (and received) – and I understand the bittersweet. Hugs!!
Oh, this is so lovely. I’m still nursing my 2 year old once a day as well as full time nursing my 3 month old. I know that my toddler will be ready to stop soon and I find comfort in hearing other mama’s feelings about it. Best to you!
Jill – this is a very nice post about your baby girl and a wonderful bonding experience for the both of you. I’m sure it is hard to end something that is so nurturing to you and to her.