06 June 2012

an ending

This week marked an ending for me.  I nursed my last baby for the last time.

She is 17 months old and though not everyone subscribes to extended nursing (I can respect that), she has weaned the youngest of all of them.  I've seen it coming for a while now, particularly when I enforced night weaning a few months ago.  She immediately went to mornings and bedtime, then just mornings because daddy sings at bedtime and that is clearly more enjoyable.  Those mornings were very early mornings, I might add.  Usually between six and seven.  Sadly, it was too early for me to be awake enough to enjoy the moments with her, half dozing in discomfort, occasionally peeling back a gritty eye to peer at her beauty.  Then I noticed when her daddy was home on the weekend mornings and got her out of the crib she typically didn't think to whimper for mommy, so she started skipping some mornings with me (quickly becoming annoyed by the three swallows available on the lesser side....we've been right-weaned for weeks now I suppose).

And suddenly that momentary whimper would be so fleeting she forgot what it was for.  As the sun filtered through the sides of my windows Sunday morning I nursed her for the last time. Her face was curious at the familiarity of the experience, disappointed in the sparseness of what was available, content to be with mommy in other ways.  I knew it was over.

She has not asked since and I decided that if she should indicate an interest tomorrow I will distract her.  She won't really notice and she will be happier with her full sippy of coconut milk and extra hugs and tickles.

I feel ready and bittersweet.  I have spent 83 months of my life nursing babies.  I have been pregnant for a day shy of 159 weeks of my life (no one really counts months of pregnancy, let's be honest).  I am ready to have my body back, to wear dresses and even night gowns (if I like them still...) instead of nursing-ready shirts.  I will mourn the voluptuous cleavage of this era that is ending, and work to embrace the wrinkled, saggy A's that are my fate for a lifetime.

And so I bid goodbye to a time that I will never return to again, and embrace the coming of growth and independence that lies ahead.