The Last Time: Our Year of Breastfeeding

I sit in the glider, nursing my baby as I have thousands of times before. She has a fever, most likely from the 1 year vaccines she’d gotten 2 weeks prior. Our Pediatrician warned me about the side effects, and it seems they’ve arrived like clockwork.

She’s been struggling to fall asleep for her afternoon nap for the past 10 minutes, whining and whimpering, tossing and turning. I can tell she’s not feeling well, so I’ve decided to pull out the big guns.

My plan has always been to breastfeed Harper for 1 year. Now at 13 months, we’re almost completely weaned, with the exception of one nursing session before bedtime, which we will be done with in the next couple of days. The weaning process has been a long one, decided mostly by me. We started by dropping the sessions before naps. First the morning, followed a week later by the afternoon. It’s been a fairly seamless process.

As I head up the stairs toward the nursery, I can’t remember the last time I nursed my baby during the day. Realistically, it’s probably only been about a month, but I simply cannot recall that last time.

I pick Harper up out of her crib, and she gratefully clings to me like a little koala. My heart melts. She’s sweaty and sleepy. We snuggle into the glider, assuming the positions we’ve both grown to know so well.

Instinctively, my mind begins running nonstop. My to do list swirls furiously. I have to take pictures for the blog. My lunch is sitting downstairs on the kitchen counter, waiting and getting cold. It’s a rainy, dreary day and there are some gems on my DVR and a book I’ve been wanting to read. The house is a mess, the kitchen floor a minefield of Cheerios, books and toys.

How long should I nurse her? Is she almost done? Damn, why didn’t I grab my phone off the counter? That way I could at least respond to some texts, get some mindless Facebook time in.

Frustrated and anxious, I look down at my baby to see if she’s wrapping up. Her sleepy eyes gaze up at me.

She is perfectly content. There is no where in the world she would rather be. She’s fully present, loving every second of being snuggled up to me, feeling my mama warmth.

Since the day I began nursing, I’ve been counting down the days until it could be over. It was a rough road in the beginning, and although I’ve grown to enjoy our time together, the countdown was always there, slowly ticking away.

And now, this. I’m struck knowing that this is almost certainly the last time I will nurse Harper during the day. The thing that we’ve both fought so hard for is coming to an end. I want to freeze this moment so I can have it forever. I want to remember this feeling. And I almost lost it to technology and trivial, inconsequential details of the day. I almost let it pass me by.

I am overcome with gratitude and love. Tears fall.

Thank you, baby girl. Thank you for showing me just how special this is, and for making me slow down and take it all in.

Thank you for our year.

 

3

8 Comments

  • Susan

    So glad you felt that moment fully. A treasure. 💗

  • Brittany Giles

    I wanted to breastfeed so bad! I lasted 6 months but my milk supply just could not keep up with working as a teacher full time. I think it is beautiful what you are doing.

  • Kim

    Oh this tugged at my heart. I did it for a little over a year, and how bittersweet it was to stop. In fact, I still rock her at almost 3 – holding her just like I did when she would nurse. They don’t stay little long. It’s tough, but I am so glad I did it just like this. Hugs!

  • Jess @ Room Service Required

    What a lovely post. I never really enjoyed and felt nursing as a special bonding time with my two, both were all business! But despite being relieved to be done with it, I’m still very nostalgic about that time. I get the tears.

  • Jasmine Hewitt

    I’ve been wanting to breastfeed for at least a year, then do baby led weening. He’s already been more interested in food than milk. I think it’ awesome you cherished these moments.

  • Allison - Celebrating Sweets

    Thank you for this reminder. Although my breastfeeding days are over, I still need to put down my phone and be more present and engaged with my little ones.

  • Miriah

    This brought tears to my eyes. Very sweet. I wished been able to nurse my son longer but I enjoyed my two months. 🙂

  • Tamara Goyette

    My nursing relationship with both my daughters has been filled with struggles. I cherish every moment.

LEAVE A COMMENT