Friday, August 7, 2009

This Is It

From day one, Will has been about one thing: FOOD.

It used to be that he was all about The Boob. I remember at three months, when he was still eating every 2 - 3 hours, thinking, "This kid will never give up The Boob." However, he found out that there was Big Boy food, and his love affair with The Boob was history.

It happened slowly.

At first, he made it through the night without a feed.

Then he dropped an afternoon feed.

Then a morning feed.

Then the last feed of the night.

Then another afternoon feed.

Soon, we were down to just one feed. It was the morning nurse that he still had to have. He was happy to see M when he came to get him out of his crib in the morning, but he was looking over his shoulder for me. Well, The Boob, anyway. I could give him a quick good morning hug, but it was really The Boob that he wanted.

Two weeks ago, as I was happily nursing Will, M asked, "So, when are you going to be done with This?"

This.

This is such a small word that encompasses everything that nursing has come to mean to me. Now, please do not get me wrong. I totally get why nursing just doesn't work for some people, whether physically, emotionally, logically, or otherwise. I make no judgments on whether or not someone breastfeeds. I, myself, went into it not knowing how it would all go and vowing to make it until six weeks and then stop if it wasn't working out. We did the occasional supplemental bottle, especially in the early weeks when we were dealing with his jaundice, so I am all for formula.

But, as I have discussed ad nauseum here, nothing else about procreation, pregnancy, or childbirth came "naturally" to me. Nursing was the first time that I got to experience this whole baby business without drugs or needles or a doctor standing by. It was a quiet time of bonding with my son. Even on a day when I felt like an absolute failure as a new mom, The Boob always helped, both him and me. Nursing was as much for me as it was for Will.

I have been sad each time that he has dropped a feeding, and through the occasional nursing strikes. I have always came to the same conclusion: Let him be the guide. He'll tell us when he's done.

So, that's what I said to M two weeks ago. He was a little discomfited by that, as our agreement had always been that we would be done at a year. I discussed it with my mom friends and they were supportive, but also said that I needed to figure out when I was done, in case he never was.

I worried, stewed, and fretted, knowing that I would probably not be done for a very long time. I will admit to a brief vision in my head of nursing him right before kindergarten- okay, maybe not, but I didn't know when that magical time would come for me when I was ready to let go.

Turns out, that I didn't need to worry about it. As usual, Will is leading the way, showing me what he needs. The past few days, he has shown little to no interest in his morning nurse. It's been the same pattern every time he's dropped a feed, so I know what's coming.

This is it.

8 comments:

Jen said...

Oh, I'm sorry. I'm planning on leaving it up to her too, so I imagine I'll feel exactly the same way.

Mrs. Piggy said...

that totally makes me want to cry :(
no more boob :(

Joy said...

Awww, so bittersweet!!! This was a tender post. Thank you for sharing your heart!!!

The bit about this being the only thing to come naturally to you was a tear-jerker. *HUGS*

Roadblocks and Roller Coasters said...

I know this is a time of mixed emotions for you. It's great that he is leading the way, but I can only imagine how hard it must bevif you're not totally ready. Thinking of you, sweetie! ((hugs))

Fertilized said...

Oh Katie - I am very sorry. Bittersweet morsels of babies growing up and advancing and trying new things. Such a tender post. I am very sorry

Ms. J said...

Never having had opportunity to breastfeed my comments aren't totally on par BUT ... It was tough on me when Lil Pumpkin traded cuddling with me as she gobbled her bottle for ANOTHER WOMAN -- namely, Dor.a The Expl.orer. Yes, she decided she would rather camp out on her D.ora couch and watch D.ora on tv.

We still have our evening cuddle though, as we read bedtime stories.

Funny how some things we would like them to fast forward on though, eh?! Like POTTY-TRAINING (anyone who will miss diaper changes needs a psych evaluation, LOL).

uncomplicateme said...

I'm so excited for you that you made it - through all the trials with his jaundice and everything! I know how bittersweet it must be though. Next time around, I hope I can follow your lead and actually get a nursing pattern down and stick with it. B actually nursed for 3 months and then over the last 2 I've been pumping exclusively... but slowly slowly my supply dwindling and I was down to getting enough milk for barely 1 bottle per day. So I made the executive decision to stop pumping on Thursday. And now my woobs are drying up and it's sad and weird. I'm happy? that I'll have my body back to myself but feel a huge amount of guilt that we didn't get nursing down a bit sooner and hopefully would have ensured a bit longer success. Anyway. I'll be thinking about you, but I'm truly proud that you made it!

In Search of Morning Sickness said...

You know, this one touched on a real near-to-my-heart issues as well. I have just ADORED nursing. It has been such a beautiful, wonderful bonding time with my daughter. I love every minute of it. I have been excited to introduce solids, but at the same time a bit sad knowing eventually she'll be relying on those and nursing will diminish. I know it's right, it's just not easy! So I totally undertand your feelings. Nursing is a BEAUTIFUL bonding time and it is such a comfort to our babies. You are so wise though to just know Will will let you know when he's done.