I can’t believe I’m still nursing Karson and Lucy, I really didn’t think we’d make it past a year. I’d love to be done but I know how great my milk is for my babies, and what it provides in terms of nurturing and nutrients. I don’t have any excuses or reasons not to keep going, and so I’m trying my best to let them lead the way in the weaning process with a few nudges here and there to help them along.
Nursing beyond a year looks a lot different than the early days of nursing a newborn. Karson and Lucy are experts now. I don’t have the frustration of trying to get them to latch and we don’t need a dozen pillows to prop us all up. They simply crawl right up to me, take a tug at my shirt and give me a little grunt. One will start and the other will take notice and follow suit. Soon they’re both draped in my lap and getting down to business.
The nursing sessions are so much shorter than they used to be. Usually now just a minute or two, compared to the 15, 20 or 30 minutes it used to take in the early days. I miss the quiet, still time I had to catch up on reading. We’re always on the go now.
Some days it seems like they nurse just as often as in the beginning but other days it feels like they’re just not that interested and our nursing days are numbered.
I debate with myself regarding how much I should lead the rest of our nursing journey. Karson and Lucy have always nursed so often, I’m used to offering them milk all the time. Maybe it’s not necessary anymore. Do I keep offering it to them at all or only when they ask?
And then there’s the night feeding. In an effort to help us all get better sleep, I’m afraid but happy to say it’s time to start thinking about night weaning. But then I doubt myself. Without all the busy distractions met in the day, they do their best nursing and fueling up at night. I get nervous taking that away but I think we’re all ready for some uninterrupted sleep and I’m more than ready for a night away with my husband!
I feel good about what I’ve provided up to this point so I don’t feel bad about nudging the weaning process along. For all of our sakes, we’ll take it nice and slow. I’ll remind myself that even though they are finding more and more nourishment in food, nursing is still a positive way for them to find connection and nurturing. And even though I complain and deal with clogged ducts, soreness and limited clothing options, it’s still one of the best tools in my toolkit.
It’s an amazing thing to be able to feed and nourish your young. I’m happy to see all the positive messages regarding breastfeeding in the media. For various reasons not everyone is able to do it but if you can, it’s worth the effort and struggles. It’s such a short phase in the whole scheme of things and although I’ll be happy to see this breastfeeding journey come to an end, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.