I haven't blogged for exactly 6 months. That's because I'm an old mom (I turned 40) and I'm tired and I spend all my time chasing a 15 month old, trying to figure out how to shower before 4PM, retrieving raisins from under the refrigerator, and tryiing to open the cupboards that now have baby latches on them. (Now that I'm finally blogging, my husband just leaned over in bed and told me that holding a computer on your lap exposes you to beta waves that are as powerful as the beams of the sun -- something not recommended right before bed. Great. He says he learned this in the NY Times but I think he really got it from the John Tesh radio show.)
My reason for blogging tonight is to record the end of an era -- and one that actually doesn't seem to be a bit funny. My baby stopped nursing yesterday and I didn't know it would be the last time ever. (OK - now I really need to think of a joke or a witty anecdote because I'm starting to cry -- here's one: today at the grocery store, I was standing in line pondering the fate of Demi and Ashton and also simultaneously wondering if Kim Kardashian could be, in fact, a completely fictional person, when I noticed a woman pushing a cart that was holding a week's worth of groceries plus a two-year old. - Side note -- don't you love it how once people have kids they "automatically" know how old every other kid on the planet is? We can eyeball someone else's offspring and guess their age to the week -- "Your baby is so cute. 16 months, 2 weeks and 5 days? No? 17 months, you say? I guess he's just a little small for his age.--So this woman looks at my aisle and walks to the next one. Upon seeing how long the line is, she utters, "Damn," loud enough to be heard by more than just me. Next, her two year old belts out, "Damn." It really was priceless.)
OK - so Emma Clare and I had been collaborating on the weaning process for some time now as she'd gotten more active, slept less, and was taking in more regular foods. We'd dropped down to just the morning breastfeeding, but until a couple of weeks ago, she had shown no signs of wanting to let go of it. Since she is undoubtedly the last baby I will ever nurse, I was happy to let her take her time. Despite the struggles we had during her first 6 weeks, resulting in my being semi-permanently attached to a breast pump, we'd grown to love the ritual and she would be so peaceful laying in my arms -- the one time of day she was happy just to be held. Then, about two weeks ago, I sensed the end was near. She was only content to nurse for a couple of minutes and then wanted to be up seeing what was going on in the world. No time for anything but a quick snack. Then, this week, she was down to just one side. And then it was yesterday and I had no idea that she had already booked a new appointment during our "regular" time slot. This morning when I held her, she looked at me, looked at the breast, looked back at me, and started to struggle. And cry. And motion to get down. And just like that, we were done. Done with a bonding ritual we'd shared every day for the past 15 months, 2 weeks and 4 days. A door has closed behind us and we can't walk through it again. I thought I would be teary this morning and it actually took a few hours for me to be so. This morning it was the tyranny of the urgent and there was no time to reflect. But melancholy reflection and nighttime were made for each other and so now the tears are falling and just when I should feel glad to be free, I'm not.