He’s 13 months old. He nurses less and less. He would drink more if I let him, but today he just nursed before bed. I stopped pumping right after his first birthday. He kept breastfeeding each day before naps and bed, but we’re doing it less. His big sister stopped at 13 months. I remember being a little sad, but I was okay. Time marched on. I would have another baby. No biggie. It was actually nice to have my body be my own again.
This time I’m sad.
This might be my last baby. All the infant milestones have been a little more bittersweet with the second baby, but this one hurts.
What if this is the last time I ever nurse one of my babies? This might be it. It may be over. I may never be pregnant again. I may never snuggle my sleepy newborn or snuggle my round little infant as they suckle.
If I stop nursing him, will he still want to snuggle with me? Maybe. Maybe not. Everyday I steal kisses and snuggles in “catch and release” style as he wobbles toward toddlerhood.
Part of me is ready to be done breastfeeding. He has a mouth full of teeth and vigorous kicking legs. But, the other part of me looks into his eyes that are turning a darker shade of blue into the green of my own and I want to hold him tighter. I cradle a baby that is (kind of) calm when he nurses. He smiles with coos and grunts that make us both giggle. Those times are ours alone, and they are numbered.
I don’t know when the last time I nurse him will be. I don’t remember the exact last time with my daughter. I just know it’s coming soon.
Instead of mourning the time gone, I’m trying to be thankful for being able to successfully breastfeed two healthy babies. I know not all mothers get that. I’m thankful that breastfeeding was a mostly positive experience for me.
This just marks the end of infancy. I am excited for what is to come. I am. I’m just bracing my heart for more milestones that may be a little bittersweet.
Alright. I’m bucking up. I’m looking into their little faces and being excited and thankful. I can do this. It’s almost time for the last time, and that’s okay. Writing this makes me feel better. Time marches on. Ah, motherhood! It is bittersweet.