I got my boobs back!!! They are all mine again. I didn’t know that I missed them so much, but I truly did. Thanks, boobies for hanging in there…err…
I made a commitment to myself and Chi to nurse him pretty much on demand until he was at least a year old. I was open to allowing the self-weaning process to lead us, but I began itching for more freedom. Nursing a baby is definitely a life-style choice. Because Chi didn’t take bottles, I needed to be around for every feeding. As he grew into toddler-hood, nursing was mainly a comfort measure and a sleep inducer. I believe that the nursing relationship should end when one or both parties are ready. In this case, I think we both were. Chi would ask to nurse when he was tired or needed comfort, but he was also open to alternatives…like canned pears (lol) or time with daddy. When I felt confident that he didn’t need mama’s milk, and I made sure that we had other ways of bonding fully established, I made the decision to fully wean him from the boob.
The process (for us) took about a month. It felt slow enough that he (and my supply) was able to adjust, but quick enough that it wasn’t dragged out. Were there tears? Yes. And Chi was like “Mama, suck it up. I’m good with my pears and the daddy-man.”
Our last nursing session was on New Years Evening. Which also marked Chi’s 16th month of life. Besides giving birth, there is nothing more meaningful nor beautiful that I have ever done with my body than sustain his life. I know that my journey as a mother will be marked by a million good-byes; leaving the body that we shared, moving away from my breast to self-comfort, beginning school, sharing his heart and fears with others, college, marriage. I will have to say goodbye to my boy a million times, and I’m sure that each good-bye will be difficult in its own way. While I am so relieved to have more freedom to do things that I enjoy (like going to dance class without double bra-ing it up for fear that my milk jugs will fall out of my leotard. Not like that happened or anything…:sigh:), I ache to have more cuddle time with my little man. He now cuddles with daddy at night, content to eat a graham cracker, or cheerios, listen to his bed-time stories, and let daddy pray over him and rock him to sleep. As mamas, there is a sort of dependence that we crave from our babies even though it is natural and necessary for the unit to grow independently.
Chi is growing so quickly, and I am slowly learning how to adjust to being a more well-rounded mother. There were so many times during my time nursing Chi that I truly wondered if I would last til the 1 year mark. In hindsight, those moments were just rough seconds in the lifetime journey. Those were seconds that he needed his mama, and they flew by way too quickly. Now he needs me less and less each day.
So, here’s to me! (Yea, I said it!) For providing milk on tap for 16 months straight. For abstaining from dinner time wine and morning mimosas. Here’s to leaky boobs, and all of the confidence that was gained from nursing in public. Here’s one for all of the friends who continued conversation without missing a beat as I whipped out my girls to calm my hungry baby. Here’s to countless nights, rocking my baby to sleep; wrapped in mama’s arms, soothed by the echo of my heartbeat, and nourished by the sweetest blessing the Lord has every allowed me to experience.