I have officially finished nursing Olivia. And although I've been wanting this day to come for 8 months now, I have to admit that I'm a little bit saddened by it. Now you're probably recalling this post, where I'm just dying for some bras that don't have fold-down cups, and I'm still looking forward to going out and finding me some of those. (I've got $50 of Kohl's Cash burning a hole in my wallet) But before I begin calling out "Free at last, free at last! Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last!" through the streets of our apartment complex, I just need a short moment to pay tribute to the fact that I nursed one of my twin babies for 12 months while managing to raise three young children.
The reasons I'm sad about the end of Olivia's breastfeeding days are mostly obvious ones:
Comforting a baby is good for the soul. At least it is for mine. Selfishly, I liked that I was the only one who could comfort her. At times I'd complain, but deep down I crave that feeling of being needed. Don't we all?
Nursing is a bonding experience. I feel a very close bond with all of my children, but there is something unique, special, and sacred about the bond between a mom and a nursing baby. As she got older, that bond got stronger, and I can see why some moms can't let go of this connection, continuing nursing well beyond the first year.
The end of an era. My husband and I may be done having children. There are many reasons why, and we feel very complete with the three that we have. We haven't ruled out the possibility of another child completely, but we're both fairly sure this is it. So the thought that when I nursed Olivia for the last time on Tuesday night may be the last time I ever breastfeed a sleepy baby makes me super sad. Sure, there are days when I'm wishing my children were able to put on their own shoes, walk into a store, take themselves to the bathroom, do just about anything for themselves... But most of the time I'm relishing in their babyhood. Completing the nursing-baby phase of my life is just another indication that they are getting older, and accepting that fact is often hard on any mom. Especially this one.
Whew, I feel much better. I'm glad I got that all off my chest. (get it? off my chest... haha!) Now I can rejoice in the fact that I can go out for an extended period of time, wear normal undergarments, and not have to lift my shirt in public places. (unless, of course, I want to.)