I love babies. I love the way they smell, those tiny little toes, the felt like feel of their skin as they are pressed against you, and the fire that ignites within me when I hold a new baby. It was just two years ago that I brought my "baby" home from the hospital. If I close my eyes and can still feel the emotions I felt when I held him against me for the first time. His tiny, little body with his thumb already in his mouth. I felt as though I had waited for him forever and yet as I looked at him I also felt that I had known this child for years. I had been waiting for him. This child was my missing piece.
It is surreal to me that two years have gone by. Wesley is such a fun child. He is so sweet and shy yet fierce and fearless. It is a combination that will surely give me heart palpation's in years to come. He is my shadow, a mama's boy and several pieces of me. I love those tiny little arms that wrap around my neck as he leans in and says:"Hi Mama". Please, can I just stop time?!
I was always passionate about nursing. I was fortunate to nurse my first son, Chase, for eighteen months. Wesley, like his brother, was a champion breast feeder. Matter of fact, unlike his brother who would take a bottle and a pacifier, Wesley decided the only thing he wanted in his mouth was my boob. I had pumped and pumped my liquid gold in hopes to have daddy help me out with a bottle here or there or maybe even leave the kids with Nana and Papa...but Wesley decided this was not a good idea. I can count on one hand how many time he took a bottle. He tried a few times then decided that he wasn't into silicone and that he liked the real thing. (Let's see if this changes when he is an adult!)
I can't say that I really minded that he only wanted me. He was my baby and though I know it is important for a father to bottle feed for bonding, I have to admit every time I saw Jay give Chase a bottle when I was right there I was a little jealous because I felt it should be me nursing him. Wesley made sure that mama never felt this. I did encourage the bottle and even tried to push a pacifier to give my "nannies" (aka my tits) a break once in awhile. Wesley wanted none of it! I continued to pump in the hopes that maybe he would take a bottle eventually. This was more out of wanting to be able to leave him for a few hours without feeling I was going to starve my baby if I left him. After seven months of pumping I said screw it and broke up with my pump. Don't worry, all that breast milk was donated!!
I had decided early on that I would nurse Wesley until he was two unless he weened himself earlier. As two approached I was beginning to think that I would be sending him off to college and still be nursing this kid. By twenty months we had gotten down to nursing three times a day. Mainly revolving around sleeping or early mornings in bed. It was requested, demanded and screamed about.
I love nursing. Nursing was something I was passionate about from the moment I knew I was pregnant with Chase. I always knew I wanted to nurse my children. It was one of those things I envied about moms even before I became one. I loved holding my children next to me and seeing them look up at me as I nursed them. It has always been one of the most amazing feelings I have ever been blessed to feel. The thought of not being able to nurse any more babies made my heart heavy. That was until my breast became the victims of nipple abuse. Wesley was far from gentle and is he fell asleep lock jaw occurred. It was like prying a fish off a hook each time.
Nursing my almost two year old started to become more and more uncomfortable. It was not the same as this small baby I nursed for hours on end for months. As two was approaching last week I decided that it was time to stop nursing him.
I feared this would be an ugly end. I also felt heartbroken. There will be no more babies. My baby is now a toddler. We shared something so amazing I wasn't sure I was ready to let it go. I also knew it was time, for him, and for me. I began telling him it was all gone when he would ask to nurse. He initially cried at first yet that only lasted seconds before he stopped. It was clear to me he understood and that he may be ready for this after all. Deep breaths!
I needed to find another way to soothe him and help him to sleep so I am now rocking him. I still get to hold him next to me. I get to breathe him in, stroke his hair and hum lullabies in his ear. No, it is not the same yet still sacred time between us. It allows us both to adjust, grow and let go.
I am not good with this letting go stuff. I am not sure I ever will be. I know my boys will grow and change. I realize raising little people has it's stages, it's ups and downs as well as mountains to climb. I just wish I could slow it down, rewind some moments then fast forward when I gain the strength. Learning to let go is challenging me. Saying goodbye to nursing will be an adjustment for both of us. We are a great team though and we will have many more incredible mother and son moments. There will be more firsts, more laughter, and we will continue to teach and grow with one another.