The time has come, and I am no longer a nursing mother. Just like that.
My breasts have been in full production mode for more than three years, and though I had never nursed a child for my previous 36 years of life, this had become such a deep part of my identity that I almost feel like I’ve lost a bit of myself.
But I’ve also gained. No longer obligated to wear a nursing bra, I might be able to have one that actually fits me now. (No one ever talks about this, but apparently nursing bra designers think that only women with large ta-tas breast feed. I am here to advocate for all of the Bs out there, we need bras too! I digress…)
Dresses and shirts that promise no easy access will now be worn again!
My body is my own again, I can eat and drink what I choose, and apply topical creams at will!
So I guess as with all things in motherhood, we trade one phase for another, full of ambivalence. While every step toward independence brings some degree of relief, it also forces us to realize that our children need us just a little less.
This is as painful as it is glorious.
No one ever said that motherhood wasn’t heartbreak and joy in equal measure, but this, this one is difficult. It’s final. The last two times I nursed my little Lila Jane, I was reminded WHY I WANTED TO WEAN.* In all caps.
In December, Sugarpie weaned completely (Yes, she was almost three). Two months ago, I cut Little Sugar’s sessions back to mid morning and early evening. Two times a day, that was it. Surprisingly quickly, she would go all day and not ask for it. I went with it, but wondered if I was really ready for this. A missed session turned into a missed day, then a few, then a week. Here we are.
But I didn’t want to let go, even though it had become unbearable in the most compelling way. I thought, the last time should bring that feeling of peace, love and oxytocin. But it didn’t. My body was done, even if my girl wasn’t. That much had been proven. So I tuned out the irritation, looked into her beautiful big eyes one last time and knew that this was it.
Now, onward we go. I am no longer a nursing mother. I am no longer the mother of a baby. Before I know it, I will no longer be the mother of toddlers, I will be the mother of school-age children, then teenagers, and so on.
But I am so lucky, because I still get to be their mother.
So to my no-longer-nurslings Georgia and Lila: let’s celebrate this new phase. I have grown you in my body, fed you from my body.
We will always be connected in a way that is profound beyond comprehension and because of you, it is lovely beyond anything I could have ever imagined.
*Nursing agitation, it’s a thing. Read about it here.
As hard as breastfeeding has been for me I know I too will miss it. Motherhood is just a series of bittersweet events. Thanks for sharing your beautiful and honest words.
thanks for the visit and the follow, navarre! bittersweet is defnitely what it exactly is 🙂
Beautiful story and precious pic of our grandbabies!!!
thanks mom/dad!! love y’all
So sweet! I loved reading this.
My ‘babies’ are 13, 11 and 9. I haven’t nursed in just over 7 years.
In some ways your story feels like yesterday in mine, and yet it also feels like so long ago.
I remember when my children were so much younger I thought I would ‘never’ get to where we are now… They can put on their own shoes! they can feed themselves! and now, yes, they can do their own homework!
Watching my children grow up and guide them on the following journeys has been magical, just as nursing was, too. Sure, there have been bumps and bruises along the way but it’s still been magical.
Oh.. and enjoy those new bras!! And wearing lotion.. and maybe even perfume once in awhile. 🙂
And take in the new sorts of snuggles you’ll get from your sweeties. I doubt there will be any shortage of those. 🙂
hi amy! thanks for the comment 🙂 we have snuggles galore up in here, so i definitely take advantage! you children are very sweet, looks like you have done something right!
Aaaarh, that made me all teary eyed. Feeding Juniper #2 has been a much happier experience. Though I look forward to more sleep (chuckle), wearing a real bra, not thinking twice of the compatibility of my clothing etc. I will miss this special time where I get to hold my last baby close to me without begging or protest.