I am going away March 22 with my soul sister for 2 nights for the first time ever. This should be on the news because I haven’t left my babies since they’ve been born/ not by choice per say, but I’ve literally been nursing for 4 years of my life.
Jules was born in June 2015 and I nursed her for 14 months then oops, got pregnant with Hudson. Went 9 months without nursing and when Hudson was born on April 2017, he literally flew out and swam right up to my boob to eat. He’s been on since then. It’s a love hate relationship.
None of my kids have ever bit me. I used to think I wouldn’t be able to last a year, especially with my first because the bleeding, raw nipples and dull pain doesn’t really motivate you. Also the fact that you can’t leave your baby for more than a few hours without pumping doesn’t motivate you either. Writing this actually makes me wonder how the hell I even got through that. When you just have a baby, don’t sleep and pump and nurse all day long while your hormones are whacked- it’s insane. But it’s this emotional bond you create and since we all know that sensitivity is my superpower, you can imagine how sad I get when it’s over. It was easy to wean my first because she started whole milk at 12 months and she wanted it less and less- then I got pregnant.
But for some reason, this time around my second is obsessed. I already know why and most of it is my doings. With 2 kids now, the other one wakes the other, etc. So of course I have nursed him every night to sleep. He’s never in our bed or in our room. He sleeps on his own crib in his room. He was in our room in a rock n play for 7-8 months and slept through the night from the womb. He started waking through the night around 1.5 years old and I was always so afraid of him waking Juliana that I would just nurse him back to sleep. It was never an issue because we all slept and he ate for maybe 5 minutes. Jules was way different and was a terrible sleeper from the womb.
Here we are at 21 months and my heart actually feels broken about stopping. I am going away in a month- for 2 nights! I haven’t pumped in a year since I’m an actual cow and I have bags on bags on bags of frozen milk in my deep freezer that we bought for just that.
We are done having kids so I know that once I stop nursing Hudson, it’s over forever. There’s something about the word forever that rips me into a million little pieces.
I rock that little boy in my arms every single night as he hums on my boob. He’s a wild one during the day, but I can tame him at night. It’s the only thing that calms him down. The whole world stops when I’m nursing and for those few minutes, all the chaos of the world is gone. It’s just me and him in a dark room on a chair with white noise and the sound of his little voice humming (because every time he eats something he loves he hums). He’s a small 21 month old so he fits in my arms perfectly. And knowing that I can tame his little body and feel it relax against mine fills my heart so much. These are those moments I wish I could freeze and go back to in those tough moments.
I remember feeling like I had separation anxiety from Juliana when she was little when I went to target. I had major anxiety about leaving her but really I just missed her so much. I wanted to run home, lock the door and lay in bed with her and nurse her forever. To me, nursing signifies the intense emotional bond- the fact that everything else around us stops. We both feel safe. Pumping? Not so much. And I did it with both kids everyday at work in the microwave for a year. Don’t ask.
I know deep in my heart when I leave for this yoga retreat with my friend, Hudson will forget all about the boob and I will most likely stop producing. I don’t pump anymore and he only really nurses at night or when he had the flu. It’s all for comfort now- for the both of us. I want and need to go away, but I don’t want to leave him and I don’t want this to stop. I know I can’t do this til he’s 5. I don’t even want to do it til he’s 3. My goal was always a year and then with Hudson I aimed for 2 years since we are done having kids. This retreat isn’t necessarily the reason we are stopping but he will be 2 in April and I am desperately hanging on so so so so tight to these moments.
How the hell do you stop nursing? I’ve had some family members and friends comment on the fact that I’m still nursing- “You need to stop soon. How come you still nurse him?” Blah blah blah. The truth? Because it works for us. And I’m selfishly holding onto every last moment of having a baby and these moments. My babies won’t need me forever- just wait for my blog on when Jules goes to school 😦
The thought of never nursing again. The thought of me not being able to calm him down. The thought of him not snuggling up on me anymore. The thought of him not needing me anymore. The thought of not being able to escape the chaos of everyday life and just breathe while you are perfectly in my arms. The thought of not being able to soothe him quickly when he wakes up at night or is sick. The thought of my body never producing milk again because this is the best I’ve ever felt mentally. The thought that he is not a baby baby which is really what this whole blog is about- kills me. I know most of these things can still exist but if anyone knows my kids- they are wired with this amazing and endless energy that is a cursing and a blessing all at the same time. They are so wired that I swear the only thing that calms them down is melatonin (Jules) and my milk (Hudson). My body was able to provide him what he needed for a year (anything after a year isn’t as nutritional as the first year). I am so proud of this. More than anything I’ve ever accomplished this was by far the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
So as I prepare to end this chapter because I know it’s right around the corner, I will savor every single time going forward. I am so proud of what my body has done. I am so blessed that I had no issues at all nursing both of them. We did it together. To me, the end signifies the fact that I don’t have babies anymore. No more onesies, no more pumps, no more spilled breast milk, no more quick soothing… I love this season and I hate this season. The emotions are intense as I prepare to end this journey.
The nursing journey has shaped me into the mama I am today. Patient. Kind. Forgiving. Unconditional loving. Strong. Emotional. Calm.
Dear Juliana and Hudson,
God knew I needed you in my life. Nursing has slowed me down and allowed me breathe. I was always stuck in crazy moments or suffered from debilitating anxiety. Those sleepless nights and bloody nipples led me to flawless and calm moments that God knew I needed. My heart instantly slows down in those moments.
Thank you for those moments. I don’t want this part to end. I love you a million skies.