It has been two days since my Truman boy wanted milkies. To some, this would seem no big deal. To others it may seem long overdue. To Moms who are big into breastfeeding like I am, well, you’re probably the only people who will understand how bittersweet this is for me. My breastfeeding relationship with Truman has been rewarding, challenging, sometimes painful, and a huge magical band aid with the ability to heal sickness, sadness, injury, exhaustion, and hurt feelings. I can’t imagine our first 20 months together without it. From that first night in the hospital when we both cried in the dark, unsure if we were doing this thing the right way, to the morning cuddles just days ago when he furrowed his brow, pointed at my breast and threw his binky across the room. He scooted his little warm body closer to mine and nursed while I dozed. It lasted for about five minutes, when he decided that holding still was just too hard with all of the things in the world just waiting out there to be explored. And I wondered then if it would be the last time. And it was. And that is great.
My goal in the beginning was to nurse Truman until he decided that he was done. I hoped to make it to the two year mark, (Which is a big accomplishment and recommended by the World Health Organization) but with all of the personality changes that have been unfolding recently, I doubted that we would. Truman is an “overnight” child. His changes are immediate and permanent, and on his own time. The change from sleeping in our bed to his own space was made by him. One day he sobbed and howled being put in his porta-crib, (even though it was in our room) the very next day he wanted nothing to do with snuggling between us. He began sleeping in his porta crib every night. The same thing happened moving to the crib in his own bedroom. And crawling. And walking. Zero interest, to a complete pro over night. It never mattered when I was ready. So, it shouldn’t surprise me that he didn’t wait for me to be ready to end our breastfeeding relationship. It doesn’t really matter anyway, it has always been about him. A large part of me is ready. Being pregnant makes nursing a toddler tough. I felt sick, hot, tired and touched out for the first few months. Now, my belly is hard to maneuver around and a writhing boy with kicking feet and grabby hands (not to mention the toys that always seem to accompany him) is hard to contain, and can be painful. I love the idea of having a little break before starting all over again with a new baby. But I will still miss this part of “us.” I pray my cuddles and kisses can heal boo-boos as easily as milkies could. I hope that lullabies and rocking chairs can soothe him back to sleep in the middle of the night. I have to be diligent about his immune system being boosted by healthy foods now that it won’t get that extra help from the “liquid gold.” The hardest part is knowing that he probably won’t remember how special this time was for us, and I will remember it for the rest of my life. One more step out of Baby and in to Big Boy.