Last Friday was a very sad day in my household--that was the last day that Aubrey and I nursed. With this recent lupus flare, I needed to finally wean Aubrey so I could start a new medication that isn't compatible with nursing. We were already down to just 2 nursing sessions a day, at nap and bedtime, so I weaned her to once a day for 3 days, then we stopped.
Our final nursing session was bittersweet. Although I'm not yet ready to completely rule out having another child, I also know that with my increasing age and health problems, it probably wouldn't be the best idea. I also know that the next few years, there will be quite a few moves and deployments, Brad and I both going to school, so another child just doesn't make sense. Knowing this made it even harder to say goodbye to nursing--it will probably be the last time I ever nurse a child.
Breastfeeding has created such a special bond with my children. I have two very active, rambunctious children, and once they became mobile, finding quiet time to hold them and cuddle became next to impossible. The great part about nursing--it forced us both to stop, to shut out the rest of the world and the to-do lists and toys vying for our attention, and just sit quietly together, gazing into each other's eyes. Aubrey and I always played a silly game when she nursed: I would look at her and just say "Don't you smile!" and she would grin. "No laughing!" I would tell her, and she'd giggle hysterically, that big belly laugh that she reserves for the special occasions of humor. It was such a fun, silly time, and I'll miss it now that it is gone.
Aubrey has coped surprisingly well with the weaning. There have been only a couple of times when she would tug on my shirt and fuss to nurse, but I have been able to easily distract her. Surprisingly, the times I expected to be the most difficult--nap time and bed time--have been the easiest. I just wrap her in a blanket and hold her to my chest in her rocking chair, and she sucks her thumb contentedly for a few minutes, and then settles right into bed to drift off to sleep.
I wish I could have nursed Aubrey for a few months longer--these little ones grow up so fast, I treasure every bit of "baby time" I can squeeze out of them. But now that we are weaned, I look forward to a few things--being able to finally go out and buy some new, pretty bras that will actually fit right and not have industrial-looking snaps and fasteners on them. Not having to worry about pumping, so I don' lose my milk, when Brad and I try to get a little break from the kids. I'll miss the special time we had nursing--but I look forward to getting hugs and kisses and cuddles that don't lead to being a food supply, and the new "grown-up" relationship I'll have with my baby girl.