I nursed Alivia for 14 months. She turned one before I knew it...and I didn't really have weaning on my mind. She stopped nursing on her own...which was really nice for me, since I didn't have to do anything but stop offering it to her. She was easy...and I think that's how its meant to be. Nursing Alivia had its challenges (as most first breastfeeding experiences do). I'll admit that I didn't like doing it until I wasn't doing it anymore. Weaning Alivia was a bittersweet experience. Sweet because I was done nursing and officially got my body back...but bitter because now there was a missing connection. She suddenly had no physical need for me. Of course, she has lots of needs for me to fulfill...but she was detached from my body in every way. That was a bit saddening. I never realized how much I LOVED breastfeeding until I was done doing it.
When Judah was born, I was thrilled to start. I knew what I was doing. I didn't have the concerns or fears that I had during my first experience. He latched on immediately and never had a single problem. I was BLESSED. Its not always easy for women to breastfeed and I had the pleasure of hassle free nursing.
In about three weeks, Judah will be one year old. I can't believe it...and I'm THRILLED about it. I love babies, but I love toddlers more. And this time around, I've consciously started weaning Judah...which hasn't been hard since his love for all things milk and table foods is more than evident. As of now, I nurse only in the morning and at night. He drinks milk through the day. He's doing well...but he loves his mommy, and I'm beginning to feel like I may need to take my time with him. My Judah is incredibly sensitive...he has a big heart and lots of love. He's fragile, and I don't want to pull away before he's ready to let go. Thankfully, he's taking quite a bit of initiative with weaning. He's glad to take milk over mommy...but I want to be sure he knows what he's weaning himself from before it suddenly disappears.
These are the things I love about breastfeeding...and the reasons that I think many mommies don't see because its so easily hidden by the function of it all. Breastfeeding is a connection...a bond between mother and child. Its so much more than just feeding...so much more than just nourishment. And I haven't truly experience this until its time to let it go. Its beautiful and saddening. Beautiful to see how God has built a connection through function...saddening to let it go and find other ways to connect. Truly bittersweet.