Time to let go.

Probably many of you don't know this, but I am still nursing my sweet baby girl. Yes she is 13 months and I haven't minded one bit that she's held on to it for so long. I've loved it as much as she has. What an extraordinary bonding time that nothing else could ever come close to. But today, I am coming to the realization that it's time to let go and that time is happening.

With having my teeth done yesterday, I was not allowed to nurse. So I "pumped and dumped" as they call it. So for a day and a half now, Maia has not nursed. Neil took yesterday and today off, so it's the perfect opportunity for me to wean her. While she doesn't want to wean, I really think it's time. And I'm devastated. She doesn't like this one bit either. And I think she's catching on to what is happening. It breaks my heart. I am positive this is harder on me than it is on her though.

This transition is especially hard on me because I know that this is my last baby. My body won't allow for anymore chilren. (At least my doctor doesn't think it can.) I am so blessed, though, and shouldn't complain. Well, I'm not complaining really. Just venting my emotions. It is just really hard for me to come to this realization that we're done . . . that we have to move on . . . that I'll never have the experience again. It's like a huge turning point, not necessarily a good one in my mind, but to others I'm sure they think it's good.

I've became comfortable with the fact that we're done having children, but to let go of breastfeeding is a wake-up call saying "infancy is over, it's time to move on, you're never going back". I am excited for what lies ahead, but it's so bittersweet. Time will move on whether I want it to or not. And that is what is so hard about this and hard about all things we don't want to face in life. I've dealt a lot with "having to move on" lately.

My last nursing time was Wednesday night. And I actually remember it vividly. God must have been secretly saying "Valerie, look into your daughter's eyes, this is the last time you'll see her sweet face nursing". Because that's what I did. I remember saying "Maia Lizzy" and she looked up to me, smiled so big, kept nursing, but kept looking into my eyes. As I am typing this, I am sobbing. I guess I am so emotionally sensitive and attached to things that I hold close to my heart. But I can't help it. The experience has been just so amazing and I'm just so grateful for it. I never ever ever thought I would be one to nurse after having such a difficult time with Noah, but it was perfection with Maia from day one. And I am forever grateful. I will never forget my last nursing session with my sweet baby.

As I wipe away my tears, I think of the positive side to this. I get my freedom back (woo-hoo!), but part of me wonders if it's really worth it? I mean, this time in Maia's life is so short compared to the rest of both our lives. I question whether I should wean her and let her just self-wean, but the way things are now, I feel like she's want to do it till she was 3. I can't do that. While I need to do what's best for her, I have to do what's best for me, too. They suggest nursing one year and I surpassed that (!!). She got all the wonderful mama-milk nutrition that she could get. I never had to supplement. She's going straight to whole milk. I know I did a good job and I need to be satsified with that. But it's just really hard.

To end, I ask you to help me get through this. I want to have a "Goodbye" party. Maybe I'll burn my nursing bras? Whatever it is, I ask you to join me in saying "goodbye" and help me to be happy about saying "hello" to freedom; hello to my pre-pregnancy, pre-nursing body. It's bound to be better on the "other side". No leaking, no engorgement, no middle of the night feedings . . . Hello to date nights, weekends away . . . Oh that does sound nice . . . :)

I have to have faith that it's going to be ok. That we're doing the right thing. Please tell me that I am.


Alexis Jacobs said...

((hugs)) You are doing the right thing, Your head knows that, your heart just is in a different place. And now we have no excuse to plan that weekend away –– KID FREE. You may be saying goodbye to nursing, but you are saying hello to a whole new, and exciting world with your baby. Believe me, the fun is just beginning.


Anissa said...

It is so hard to let go of what we hold so dear, especially moms. Even though she doesn't need you in a nursing way she needs you in so many other ways. You two will find your next bond and it will disappear but then the next one will come along. They only get better and better.
Chin up, your a great mama!

Val said...

Aww . . . *tears* . . . thank you, both, so much. It really helps to have people who understand. Being a mommy is so hard, but it's also the best job in the world. Thanks again because I feel so much better now.

Michelle said...

So you're doing ok by now, yes?! You have done such a good job and should be so proud! You and Maia (and the N man too, of course! but we're talkin' Momma/baby girl here) have so many more great things to look forward to! It's so exciting to reach each milestone and big event, but bittersweet at the same time. You gotta love it and enjoy every moment (easier said than done, I know!). You have such a collection of great memories and all the good times to look forward to!