Josephine and I came home I noticed the people we rent our side pasture to (the owners of Mia and her son Graham, the pretty horses) leading Graham down the street away from our house. Mia was crying out loudly, so upset that she was taking her baby horse away from her. I remember our renter telling us she’d be doing this soon. She told us she’d be putting Graham in another pasture so that she could wean him. He’s still breastfeeding and she needs to break the bond so that she’ll be able to leave the pasture without Mia freaking the eff out.
Got me thinking…
Josephine is still breastfeeding… at close to two (in just a couple of weeks!!!) she is still going strong. She started to self wean a while back, but that process is going ever so slowly. Some days she’s content to have milk when she wakes up, before nap and before bed. Other days she wants to breastfeed more than that. I don’t offer, I say no at other times when it is inconvenient, and I have such mixed feelings about how to proceed. Breastfeeding was so important for me, something I mentally prepared for and was committed to staying with, but I didn’t think about the end. About how I would feel or when would be the right time to stop. For me. For Josephine.
We are starting to get those looks, those comments, when people find out that she is still breastfeeding. It can get really uncomfortable. I fall secretly in love with each person who tells me, “good for you guys!” when they hear the news, if only because I don’t have to defend myself or stumble around about an explanation. I, myself, have mixed feelings about extended breastfeeding for myself, so it is really hard to muster up the courage to defend myself (because, seriously, I don’t walk up to other people and say, “Jesus! You’re already giving your kid soda?! At two?! Wow, I think it’s time you stop that.” I keep those thoughts to myself).
Part of me feels sad when I think of Josephine weaning. Just like Mia and Graham, I feel like it will break a bond. Although I am able to leave Josephine without freaking the eff out, I know I will miss that closeness that only we can share when I return. I love to hear her little sighs, and feel her little hand on my chest, rubbing my neck, pinching my face, feel her warm cuddly body across my lap. Not having that anymore brings me so much sadness. The same sadness I feel when I look at pictures of her birth, her first month, her first year. It’s all going by so fast. I am not getting any of this time back.
I also am so ready in other ways. To say goodbye to the pump that I must wake up to every weekday morning. The leasing of my body to Josephine, who has owned some part of my anatomy for over two and a half years. The burn when it’s 6 pm on one of those days when Josephine hasn’t nursed since 8 am. The nasty comments I have received. The confusion when she hurts herself and asks for milk to calm down. Do I just do it, or am I done with comfort nursing? It’s all so confusing when the key to weaning is consistency, but I’m still waffling over the decision.
I want to wean, but get a sick feeling in my stomach when I think about the end of my breastfeeding relationship with my child. I suppose that means that I’m not quite ready yet, but I know that the end is coming soon. I feel it approaching quickly. In the end I’ll have the memories, the feelings of closeness, and I know in reality, I’ll still have that bond that won’t be broken. Wish me luck…