With very mixed feelings I must report that I am no longer a nursing mother. For the first time in nearly 15 months, Stella went to bed last night without nursing. I had been doing the very gradual step-down weaning, until we were down to one session before bed on the right side only. I had been trying to psych myself up to cut it off. It was hard and I would find myself becoming sort of emotional when I thought about it. On one hand, it would be nice to reclaim my boobs and no longer have to worry about what I ate and drank and when I did so. On the other hand, nursing was “our” thing. It was a guaranteed bit of peace and togetherness that we could both rely on.
I went into the weekend thinking that maybe Saturday night would be it. But then Sunday seemed better. Well, who would know or comment if I went through the week? The actual decision unfolded pretty organically. I nursed Sunday night. I looked down on her and thought clearly that this would be the last time or nearly so. Just as I began to feel sad, she looked up at me and bit me. I told her no. She smiled at me (around my boob) and bit me again. That was it. Last night, she was so tired that she fell asleep sitting up against me on the couch, thereby taking the decision out of my hands. Given how little we were nursing, I would guess the tap is now dry (or will soon be).
I still feel a bit of sadness about it, but I also feel really damn proud. I don’t know of many moms who work outside of the home that were able to pull off nursing as long as I did (especially those first 6 months, where breastmilk was the only food source – period). It was sometimes hard, sometimes embarrassing, sometimes wonderful. I wouldn’t change a thing about it.