Thursday, May 7, 2009

big girls drink from cups.

so ... it's over.
cora is finished nursing ...

her cut off age was two years old ... which i know seems oddly late to many of you ... go ahead ... judge. but ...

oh ... never mind ... no buts. i don't have to explain myself, do i?

but i probably will ... to some extent.

i was blessed with two girly-girls that never wanted to wean. they never decided that stopping nursing was a choice of theirs. and both times ... i've had to enforce the decision to stop nursing at the age of two. for that last year ... they both only nursed at bedtime. or when they were sick. and there have been moments in their last year of nursing where i was so glad that i stuck with it. both had a rough patch of illness ... where their only means of nourishment came from mama.

and i don't know if it's this whole guilty feeling working mama thing ... but i felt ... proud that i was able to give them that ... when i often feel like there is so much that i can't and don't give them.

in the end ... stella was a breeze. she was just done. no questions asked. she was ok with it.

cora is ... well ... cora is herself. she's not yet totally thrilled with this new method of rocking to sleep.

two nights ago ... she pleaded with tears in her eyes. i told her that she's a big girl now ... and big girls drink from cups ... she said, "oh." and closed her eyes.

i watched a tear slowly etch it's way down her cheek.

my heart. broke.

i realized that i miss it too. maybe even more than she does.
nursing her into a sleepful oblivion felt maternal and warm.
this feels so ... detached.

maybe it's the wildly out of control hormones ... with that time-of-the-month impending (hi dad!) and the hormonally out-of-whack end of nursing.

or maybe ... i think i miss it, too ... because i have no firm idea if that is going to be how i'm going to end my baby-time. my husband is pretty solid in his idea that we aren't having any more children. but cora doesn't feel like my last baby. i absolutely don't feel done.

and it's oh-so-much harder when you have a little in your lap and the lights are low ... and she asks in a pipsqueak of a voice. with a tug on my shirt ... and a please at the end.

the end of this nursing era ... is breaking my heart.
please excuse me while i go and cry in the corner for awhile. and now that i hit publish ... and took a look at the blog ... and her face popped up just below this post ... i just have to say ohgod i love that girl ... we'll be ok baby ... we will.


blissfully caffeinated said...

You don't have to explain your breast feeding choices to anyone, sister. I will say though, I nursed my girls for 17 months and 15 months, respectively, and I was SO GLAD when it was over. Except for the weight gain. But mostly I was glad to have my body back to myself again.

Sprite's Keeper said...

13 months myself, stopping only when Sprite developed a temporary milk allergy and doctor said I was making it worse. I miss it sometimes, although I highly doubt she even remembers since roughly 4 months after stopping the nursing, she walked in one day and saw me without a bra on and just stared like she had never seen them before when a breath of time before, she would get so excited for a glimpse of nipple.
No judgement here, just nostalgia.
I wrote this over a year ago, and your post reminded me of how much I had felt at the time.\

Susie said...

ugh. just working on my own post on this topic.... it's hard to nurse, hard to stop! treasure those tears - being a big girl is hard!

3 Peas in a Pod said...

It is sad to stop nursing. Cora saying oh after you told her big girls drink from cups and then the tear running down her cheek broke my heart too. :(

Much love from NJ,

amanda said...

oh friend my heart breaks for you. i had no clue it would be so hard to stop. hard on beans. and yes harder on me.

you should be proud mama - lots and lots of amazing magical nursing moments.

lock em up and hold on tight :)

Pamela said...

here i go... you might want to slap me, but here i go anyway...

why? if you both are so sad, why quit?

and yes, i know facebook just told me i was a militant crunchy granola mama, even though i'm really not... but seriously. if it's sucky (ha!) why quit?

Pamela said...

and i do realize that blisscaff is right when she says you don't have to explain you bf choices to anyone... i don't really require an answer, i was just posing the question.

slap me anyway, if you want.

Jen said...

Oh how sad! My kiddos (all 4 of them) didn't seem to care when I stopped, and #3 actually gave it up on her own around 10 mos (I was 6 months pregnant, could that have had anything to do with it?) Nursing IS that last attachment they have to you that only you can provide - and it's poignant when it's over. The tear would have probably broken me!

Keely said...

Aw! So heartbreaking for both of you. Also, totally not judging, I'm actually jealous. X weaned himself at 7 months and I really, really wanted to nurse him for much longer.

Anyway, the World Health Organization now recommends breastfeeding for AT LEAST two years. So yeah, I don't see why you should stop if it's still manageable and you both still get something out of it.


Casey said...

Aww, your post broke my heart! She'll still be your baby no matter where she gets her nourishment but I understand the sadness. :(