I sit in the glider, breastfeeding 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 continue breastfeeding 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 breastfeeding, 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.