I think I just nursed my little one for the final time.
He's my third baby, our last.
Lately, it would appear that we are both ready for our nursing relationship to draw to a close, but that doesn't make it any easier on this mama.
Tonight, we did our usual story time, nursing, singing, rocking routine, and I lingered there with him knowing this was likely the final time we would be experiencing this, just the two of us. This weekend he's going on an adventure with his daddy and brothers, and when he comes back, I don't know if he will ask again. There were two nights this week (including his second birthday) that he just sat contentedly in my lap while we sang our songs and rocked.
The mother-nursling relationship is so unique in that it provides a beautiful, nourishing place that only mom and baby get to experience together. That awesome "love hormone" oxytocin is released when baby feeds, and it has amazing benefits to both mom and baby. No one else in the family can share this as it's perfectly created for just them. It's such a special, intimate time as mother and baby bond from the very beginning. As baby grows, mom's body continues to provide absolutely everything - from beginning to end - that baby needs. It's such a miracle.
This time around, I knew that babies do eventually wean, and so I was in no hurry to rush it. I had no problem nursing him for two years. I used to think it was strange to nurse that long, as many physicians are eager to start babies on cow's milk once they turn a year. But I read an article several months ago that reminded me that we are the only species that is encouraged to drink another animal's milk at the age of one. It didn't make sense to me, and so I did what felt right for me and for him. I kept going, knowing that what my body was producing for him was perfect.
What a gift.
I know breastfeeding is a very personal decision and that not everyone chooses to do it. This is definitely not an advertisement for or against it.
I just wanted to share what it has meant to me.
Tonight, I was in no hurry to rush him, and it was like he knew...because he wasn't in any hurry to finish either.
And in the dim light, in the quiet, with tears streaming down my face, I saw his little hands trying to form the number "two" since he is, after all, two.
I held my fingers up to show him how to do it again, and then I helped him form his little fingers into a two. He giggled and smiled and suddenly popped off my breast and excitedly exclaimed "TWO!"
Yep, baby boy. You're two. Lots of new adventures await us.
And I'm so glad I get to share them with you.
Thanks for reading.
Happi loves serving families in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago as a labor doula and childbirth educator. When she's not at a birth, she loves spending time her husband and three boys.