Saturday, April 24, 2010

The end is here....

My nursing relationship with my son is quickly coming to an end.

It is so very bitter-sweet.   I am going to miss this look.

He is now 22 months old and my joy. He has grown up so fast and although I was told by a million people that time would fly by, I really didn't believe them. I knew it would pass quickly. I had NO idea that I would literally blink and it would pass.

I knew back in December that my milk supply was getting lower and lower. When my husband and I took vacation without our little guy in January, I was convinced that when we returned that my son wouldn't want to nurse anymore, but he surprised me. He still nursed every morning and most evenings before bed.

When we moved from my mother's house back to our house at the end of March, I never thought that he would want to stop nursing then. I figured that such a big change would prompt him to ask for "nurse" more. So I was surprised when he only asked twice the first week we moved back home. He's nursed a few more times since and actually nursed this morning, but I don't think I have any milk anymore at all.

I cannot believe I breastfed my son for over 22 months. As I posted before, I thought people who nursed longer than a year were nuts. I'd simply never heard or seen it. When I got pregnant, I knew I'd breastfeed...for the first six months. That time came and went so quickly and I was so amazed that I had completely nourished my son, another human being, for half of a year. How huge is that? My body produced what my son needed to sustain and flourish. How miraculous and wonderful is that? Once that six month period passed, it never occurred to me to abruptly stop nursing him simply because I'd reached a time deadline. I was still his food source and doing well at it, if I don't say so myself! Again, like I've mentioned before, it is said that babies need breast milk or formula for the first year of life. Why in the world would I give my baby something processed and manufactured when I was producing the best food in the world for him? My milk was customized for him. Period. No other source of food I can ever give him will be made just for him.

Breastfeeding is such the norm for us in our family now that I'm surprised when others are shocked to learn my son nursed as long as he did. I had a salon appointment today to get my hair cut and colored (yay, I feel like a woman again) with a new stylist and was telling her that my hair was thinner than normal since I'd recently been nursing and had the gobs of hair fall out (which by the way, no one prepared me for!). She asked how old my baby was and when I told her he would be two in June, I thought she was going to fall over. To me, it's now become normal to know many women who nurse even beyond two years, so I think I'm on the earlier side of the weaning! She told me that she nursed her children for six weeks and then switched to formula. So I guess to her, making it to my original goal of six months would have been shocking too!

I know that the weaning means I am raising a confident son who is beginning to make choices already in life. He is assured that his father and I are there for him and love him so much that we can barely pay attention to the world around us because our focus is him! I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to experience this special relationship with my son for as long as I was able.

We have now moved forward to other special bonding times. One of my favorite times with him now is before bedtime, after we've read our many books, when we rock together. He lies in my lap with his head and back on my chest and stomach and wraps both arms up over his head and around my neck to stroke my hair. That has been his thing since he's had control over his hands! He always played with my hair while nursing. I'm so happy that it's continued on and it helps me know that he is content.

I know this isn't a very exciting blog post to many, but it's such a blessing I've been able to experience and although I am very sad that it has reached the end, I know it just means we are on the edge of experiencing ever more wonderful things with our son. I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us!

1 comment:

  1. Very sweet post...if this were Facebook, I'd click "like"!