So…my daughter is over one year old….So…..I had always planned to stop nursing when she turned one like I did my son, but thus far I haven’t. Not only have I not stopped, but I don’t have any plans to. Why? Oh for so many reasons. The main one being that I’m scared to stop. Scared for so many reasons! I never thought I would be that way. I never imagined that I wouldn’t be ready to let that part of our journey end, but it’s the truth. I know it’s time. I know it….but for some reason I am not mentally or emotionally up for it. Is that OK?
I can remember the last night that I nursed my son very vividly. I remember trying not to cry through it, and I remember crying hard after. It was so hard to accept that I no longer was my sons main source of nutrition. Not only that, but I would miss the closeness that it brought me with my son. I also remember thinking that I could understand why moms wanted to nurse past a year. It made sense, but at the time I knew it was time for me to stop. But this time around I have ZERO desire to quit. I am now that mom that is nursing beyond the year mark and I can’t truly decide if it’s only for me or for her too. Am I being selfish?
I said above that I am scared to quit and it’s true. For many reasons. I currently am nursing 2 times a day. Morning and night. It’s wonderful. Breast milk gives my daughter the nutrition she needs to stay healthy. Her immune system gets help from me and being that school just started she needs it. As a matter of fact she’s got a virus right now and I believe it’s controlled because she is nursing. Am I crazy? Maybe…but I know it can only help! Also, I was so aware of nutrition when it came to my son’s first foods. Now, I feel like I am thankful to get meals out on the table (sorry child number 2!). So if she is nursing at least I know she is getting good nutrients. If she decides she prefers playing to sitting and eating at least I know at bedtime she will get what she needs. When I stop that’s no longer the case. Scary!
Now for the emotional stuff. I love that cuddle time together. My baby girl doesn’t love to sit still or cuddle so nursing is the only time that we get to rest together. My son LOVED to cuddle. Still does! Bedtime we would cuddle during book, and then we would just rock even after I stopped nursing him. Same with nap time. I would rock him and he would settle, then I would put him down. Not her. It’s right into the crib at nap time! It’s a good thing in terms of knowing that she is good at settling herself, but selfishly I want to cuddle my baby.
Lastly, I just know that this is probably the last baby I will breastfeed. You’d think I would be happy but I’m sad. I successfully breastfeed two children for a full year and that is something to be proud of, but once I am none never will my body be used to nourish a baby. Kind of sad right? It’s HARD! Certainly not easy…but it was the right thing for me and my family. I have a sense of pride and accomplishment for doing it. Now it’s almost done, and to know I will probably never do it again is hard. I may need to be medicated…..wine please?
So here we are…going on 1 year and one week and I don’t have a date set in my head to stop. I have her appointment with the pediatrician soon and I will talk to her. I know it’s time….I do. But I’m not ready to pick a date yet. I’m not ready for it to be over….so we just go on doing what we are doing.