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I knew this day was coming.
Knew it from the beginning.
Everybody weans at some point.
The long days and nights of nursing were so long and often blurred into one another.
This day always seemed so far away, I even joked that I’d get the dorm room next to you some day.
And yet, here we are.
If I’m being honest, I’ve been ready for this day for a while now. And in some ways have been hoping for this day to come so I could have more time, have my body back to myself, and maybe wear a regular bra again!
But that doesn’t make it easier knowing that we were nursing for the last time.
You night weaned yourself just a few weeks ago. And while it was an amazing and exciting time to get more sleep and rest for all of us, I also knew that the real ending would be close behind.
Our nights were your main nursing sessions. Our special times to be together just the two of us in the still and quiet.
But you don’t need me in that way anymore – and that’s ok. It means you’re growing up and while it’s bittersweet, I’m also learning that this is what motherhood is.
As I look back on our nursing journey together I can’t help but smile (and shed a few tears too) seeing how far we’ve come.
It wasn’t always easy but you and I made it through together.
Through tongue and lip ties; through cracked nipples; through supplementing; even through toddler struggles. You can read more of our journey and breastfeeding tips in my 6 Breastfeeding Help Tips for Success post.
And I’m so so grateful to my body for providing the nourishment and comfort that you needed for almost 2 and a half years.
Nothing has been so anchoring and calming for you as breastfeeding.
I’m also thankful for the amazing bond it’s given us.
All those times of quiet and peace when it was just the two of us.
Remembering how small you were in my arms back in the beginning – and how much my milk gave you comfort, strength, and nourishment.
Now when I look at you, so tall and strong and happy, I know that my body did that and I almost can’t believe the wonders of my own body.
And I know that we have lots of new ways of connecting and I’m excited to see all the new ways we’ll find for our time together.
For so long I had no idea what our days would look like without breastfeeding. I wondered how you would ever wean.
But I’ve started seeing glimpses of what it will look like and, even though it’s different, it’s still beautiful.
It’s morning hugs and lots of snuggles. It’s cuddling in bed and reading story after story together. It’s having a dance party in the middle of the kitchen floor multiple times per day.
And I can’t help but smile at all the fun we’ll continue to have and all the snuggles, hugs, and kisses to come.
PIN FOR LATER!
I know that our relationship will continue to change and grow as you do; this is just the first big realization of that fact.
And I’m happy about that, really, I am.
But, for today, Mommy’s going to be a little sad. Because today I nursed you for the last time.
And the end of this chapter is a hard one to close.
Nursing has been a central part of our relationship, something just for us since they first put you in my arms.
And there’s an ache to knowing that it’s something we’ll never have again.
Never again will we sit in our special chair where you’ll lay in my arms as I rock and nurse you.
I won’t feel the weight of you sigh as you release and let go all tension and upsets of toddlerhood and slip into a peaceful sleep brought on by suckling.
I’m giving up one of my main ways of comforting and loving you that is so easy and natural for both of us.
So I made sure that today, we sat in our chair so you could tell me “I want one more NiNi please mama” and that “these Soshie’s NiNi’s” (it was the first time you’ve ever claimed them as yours).
I made sure to carefully memorize the feel of you in my arms, the touch of your hair, the way you looked at me with so much love and gratitude as my body nourished you for the last time.
I took our final pictures of our last time as you played with my hair and ran your little fingers through it.
And then I remembered all the times before, how you would caress my face, and play with my hair.
How you would fall asleep cuddling my breast.
How sometimes I would just sit there long after you had fallen asleep to watch your gentle breathing and relax in the warmth of you.
Even though we’re both mostly ready for this day, it’s not going to be easy.
I know that you’re still going to ask for “one more NiNi”.
But I think the hardest part will be when you stop asking.
And I’m sure that will come much sooner than I think.
I know you probably won’t remember any of this – so I’ll have to remember for both of us.
And, maybe someday, you’ll have a nursling of your own and I’ll watch the you that used to be me, and smile.