Monday, March 25, 2013

Bye-bye Boobies; Hello 17 Months

Upon entering his 17 month on this earth, Ashton said good-bye to breast feeding. This has been a long time coming as I had been milking the weaning process since his first birthday back in October. He was only nursing twice a day at the end, once before his afternoon nap and again at bedtime. I thought it'd be a tougher transition because he was quite fond of my breasts. Oftentimes he'd pull at my shirt and say, "boo, boo." But, honestly, it went rather smoothly. It was probably harder for me than Ashton.
17 months.
You see, I was determined to make breast feeding work this time around. I struggled nursing a newborn Spencer. Since I hadn't educated myself beforehand nor did I have a support system to help me, I gave up very quickly. Spencer survived--and thrived--off formula. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with formula feeding. But, for me, I really wanted to nurse my babies.

Once I became pregnant with Ashton, I researched and read everything I could get my hands on to prepare myself this time around. I was also lucky enough to have a support system of close breastfeeding mom friends to lend their help, too. I scribbled something on a pink post-it note that became my mantra: I will succeed at breastfeeding. It's still sticking on my desk, a reminder of a goal I set for myself...and accomplished.

I really didn't have an end point in mind, but I knew we had to stop sooner or later. Since I was taking a trip back home by myself, I designated that weekend as our end. I knew it'd be easier to transition if I was gone. Dave took over and retaught Ashton how to fall asleep without the boob.

Here are the random thoughts I jotted down after each last nursing session:

Last nap -

teary, taking in the way he fit in my lap, his mouth, his little tongue, remembering how tiny he looked at the breast as a newborn. Thanking lord for giving me this time with my son, for the easy journey, incredible bond.

Last bedtime - 

he nursed to sleep which is quite amazing since its my favorite part of nursing, so precious. His mouth mindlessly suck suck sucking while the rest of his body heavy in my arms. Snoring. Little hand gripping his blankie. Body curled up on my lap. It made me think back to our first weeks of nursing in the middle of the night where I'd try everything to keep him awake long enough to fill his belly but the rhythmic comfort of the sucking lulled him to sleep and couldn't be prodded awake for anything.

I stayed in that rocking chair longer than I normally would, my baby fast asleep at the boob, peering down at not only the boy he's become but the boy he was. Our breast feeding journey may have come to an end, but its not the end of our ever-growing bond. A new chapter begins at the end of every old one.

First night I [was home and] didn't put him to bed - 

still wanted cuddle time. Read to him and rocked him standing up so he couldn't ask for boobies and break my heart when I refused him or caved in and nurse him. Sang to him and kissed him and handed him over to Dave. Could hear him crying for me. Confused lil guy.

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