My journey is coming to an end, but when I think back to the beginning, I wasn’t even sure I would make it this far. My baby boy is turning two. It seems unreal that for the past 710 days, I have nourished him from my own body. I think back to the first couple of days. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to make it through the next week, let alone year, or years. I felt overwhelmed with nurses asking me when was the last time he fed, for how long, how is his latch, how is he sucking. I didn’t think it should be this complicated. I used a nipple shield because it felt like he was biting me. I propped pillows under my arm to get the right hold, but somehow we made it home, relaxed, and made breastfeeding work.
I won’t ever forget that first time we went to the supermarket and he was hungry in the middle of the cereal aisle. I left my cart full of groceries in the middle of the store and rushed with my crying baby to a bench at the front and nursed right there. We would be okay. We could do this together.
At 6 weeks old, I returned to work. The odds were against me, but I diligently sat in my tiny pumping room twice a day, thinking about my baby, and every day when I got home, he never forgot how to nurse. When we made it to that first birthday, I felt like a rockstar.
By one, I started wondering if I would ever sleep through the night. I told my friends that my goal was for my little one to sleep through he night by five years old. He woke up every couple of hours through the night, but then one day I woke up and it was morning. How did this happen?
He has led the way through our breastfeeding journey. He told me when he didn’t want me to nurse him to sleep anymore. “Read me a book, Mama.” How could I say no to that?
As I am typing this, my baby boy is three days shy of turning two. He is currently nursing during his only nursing session of the day, first thing in the morning. It’s our ritual, our morning snuggle. I love it, but I know that sometime soon, it too will only be a memory. I will leave you with my favorite poem, but grab the tissues before you read.
Wean Me Gently by Cathy Cardall
I know I look so big to you, Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have. But no matter how big we get, We still have needs that are important to us. I know that our relationship is growing and changing, But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness, Especially at the end of the day When we snuggle up in bed. Please don’t get too busy for us to nurse. I know you think I can be patient, Or find something to take the place of a nursing; A book, a glass of something, But nothing can take your place when I need you. Sometimes just cuddling with you, Having you near me is enough. I guess I am growing and becoming independent, But please be there. This bond we have is so strong and so important to me, Please don’t break it abruptly. Wean me gently, Because I am your mother, And my heart is tender.
This beautiful post was written by Alyssa, one of our Playgroup Leaders.