Happy Breastfeeding Memoir Wednesday!
For more information about how to submit your breastfeeding memoir, please see the paragraph at the bottom of this article.....
When you know you are reaching the end of your nursing relationship with your child, you start to wonder - will this be her last time? Will I ever nurse another baby again? I remember very clearly the last time my daughter asked for "milk" - signing for it while also saying the words. She was just shy of 20 months. We were traveling, she was teething, and sleep had been a struggle the entire trip.
For the last couple of months, I had adopted a "don't offer, don't refuse" policy. We were down to nursing only at night before bedtime and sometimes she often skipped that - too interested in reading more stories and singing another song. At the time, I thought I was ready. Ready to not feel the guilt or stress when I was not home at bedtime, ready to have my body back to myself, ready to not see that look of disapproval from others when they discovered that I was nursing a toddler.
During the past 20 months, nursing had been a relatively easy journey for us. My daughter latched right away, gained weight, took a bottle of expressed breast milk from anyone, and quickly became a very efficient little nurser. We survived oversupply issues, reflux, blocked ducts, mastitis, etc. My goal had been to make to a year and we far surpassed it.
As I watched her nurse that morning and saw her slowly falling back asleep again, I sensed that this might be it for us. And possibly for me as well - we were pretty comfortable with our little family of three. A mixture of sadness and relief came over me. Very bittersweet.
Looking back on it, I wish I had continued nursing for a little longer. Kept offering because I know she wouldn't have refused. Ignored the opinions of others who disapproved. Stayed at home in the evenings to be able to nurse her before bedtime. Enjoyed more of that special relationship meant only for a mother and a child.
You are given such little time with your baby. The stages that you think will never end are soon over too quickly and you look back wondering why you were so anxious to move on to something new. "This too shall pass" is what another mom said to me once when we were sharing our struggles of motherhood. Such true words that I try to always remember.
We would love to hear your breastfeeding memoirs. This is a place to share your triumphs and struggles, your successes and heartbreaks. We need to share our stories. Will you share yours with us?
* Stories can be submitted for publication to this blog by emailing them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep them to 200 words or less. Before publication, stories will be edited only for minor spelling/grammatical errors. If the stories will be published in any other medium or venue, other than this blog, your permission will be obtained. Feel free to widely share this post and encourage others to also submit their stories. Deadline for memoir submissions is November 1.