(Sappy Post Alert! I usually try to keep things light-hearted and fun, but not this evening. Sorry)
This evening, I nursed my baby boy for the final time.
I’ve thought about it long and hard, and it is time. I love nursing, and he loves nursing, but it is time. For the past few months, we’ve been weaning slowly: three times a day….morning and bedtime….then just bedtime. He no longer needs it for nourishment, or even comfort. We could keep going, because it’s nice, but my intuition tells me that now is the time.
Nevertheless, I am saddened. In my arms, quietly nursing, he’s still my brand-new little baby boy – the one we waited so long for, the one we thought would never come. Jim was content to move forward as a family of three, but I knew. I knew he was there, waiting. I dreamt of him in my sleep and missed him in my waking hours. I loved my little family, but I knew. When he finally joined us on that peacefully snowy December night, with the most beautiful birth I could have hoped for, we nursed for the first time and he was already familiar to me.
He will not remember nursing. He will not remember the countless hours we’ve spent together in the dark and quiet, bonding in one of the most natural ways possible. He will not know how much I treasured the closeness, the stillness.
But I will.
I will remember the peacefulness on his face, and the way he relaxed and fell asleep in my arms. I will remember his smell and his little hands resting on my side. I will remember the way he began to wrap around my body as he grew bigger and hungrier. I will remember carefully releasing his tiny mouth, lifting him gently and carrying him to bed.
Every day, I watch him blossom and grow. He loves me with all of his little heart. I am eternally grateful for the gift it is to be his mother and to have nursed him for the past year-and-a-half. As he grows to be a man, in my heart he will still be that little boy in my arms.