One chapter ends and another begins. Isn't that the way life goes. My days of nursing my babies has come to a close. I am thankful the end of this chapter was uneventful and mutual on both parts. It's not the way all of my nursing chapters have concluded.
If I rewind back to the very beginning with my first born, my nursing journey has been filled with some sweet and some hard moments. No one told me when you start nursing you might want to cut off your chest when your baby latches on - why does no one tell you that? Seriously. He also did not catch on to nursing very fast so I had every lactation consultant this side of the Mississippi going to 2nd base in an effort to get the little guy to latch which he did. Talk about a welcome to motherhood.
I worked full time, pumped in every odd bathroom in the district I taught in, I sat on more toilets to pump than I care to remember. I washed more tubing, bottles and attachments, and all to end up with postpartum hyperthyroidism and my milk dried when I started medication in 24 hours flat at 9 months. After I got over being completely annoyed at the doctor and many, many tears, we switched to formula. Looking back I am thankful. I got to experience nursing and formula feeding. Us mommas like to camp out on sides but both are hospitable and lovely camps!
By the time Vera came along, I stayed home full time. Besides the initial ay caramba beginning and the occasional clogged duct (those also are ay caramba too), she nursed until 16 months. I know some of you are thinking 16 months, what? Before I was a mother I knew everything and I just knew I would nurse until 12 months. Well I have learned in parenting NEVER say NEVER. I end up swallowing pride stew because not one baby of mine stopped nursing at 12 months. Vera ended up being very sensitive to dairy so I continued to nurse her while excluding dairy).
It's okay. I am okay. My babies are all okay.
Then with my last baby, I was so thankful to be done with my tumultuous, difficult pregnancy I took the beginning of nursing in stride (in my memory at least ;). With 2 big kids, my time nursing proved fruitful one on one time for Lucy and I. Lucy followed in her sister's footsteps and we just concluded our nightly bedtime nursing session at 16 months. Not what I initially planned but just right in the end.
All us mommas can agree, closing chapters can be hard. The good news is generally we don't know the chapter is finished until we are on to the new one. The new chapters are filled with joy of their own. It might take some getting used to, a tiny bit of grieving for what is not, and a choice to be happy where we are now.
So although I am no longer feeding our sweet babies before bedtime, I am snuggling them up, reading stories, kissing their faces a million times and praying for them and with them.
I am learning to love this new chapter and I will always savor what has already been written. The hard parts of this chapter have faded and I am left with sweet memories, some funny ones, to appreciate long into the future.
Here's to motherhood's next chapter...I am ready to see how it unfolds.
Labels: babies, mom life, nursing