Don’t Ever Want To Forget

For our WBW blog carnival on “Perspectives: Breastfeeding From Every Angle” we are pleased to host guest posts from various contributors. Today we are honored to share a beautiful poem from Alex and her memories looking back at her child-led weaning experience when her daughter was 3.5 years old.


Don’t Want to Forget

I don’t ever want to forget

That she called them Waa, and then MommaWaa, and then Yummies, and finally they were her Yums.

That she named them Jack and Jill, and she loved them.

That when I laid her down, the imprint of her ear would be pressed into my arm just below my elbow and I always wanted to be brave enough to get it tattooed there.

I don’t ever want to forget

Her sleep eating.

How angry I felt sometimes, and how I had to learn to listen to what both our bodies needed.

How I thought it would never end, and then it did.

******
A Child-led Weaning

It’s been happening slowly and organically, just the way I had always hoped. Less and less often with occasional bouts of tornado like nursing, reassuring herself, I think, that all was still good in her world.

The day before yesterday I thought it might be coming to an end, this amazing relationship, and I soaked up the warmth of her – the weight in my arms, her ear pressed into the bend of my elbow. The stillness that only belongs to that moment. Then today, when she nursed (due to the natural rules of demand based supply) there was nothing. And miracle beyond all miracles, she was ok!

I told her that her yummies say she is big enough now, she doesn’t need their milk anymore. And so she stood up to check how big she was and then asked if she could hug them outside their bra. Her smile was so happy and full that I had to take pictures. And so we were done.

We baked a cake last night, and Daddy grilled steaks. We put every candle we had on the cake, and we blew them out together, the three of us. It was a group effort all round, this breastfeeding thing.

I do feel as though I have lost one of my tools. What about her runny nose? What do I do next time she has the flu? Dehydration? I’ve never had to worry about that!

And I feel proud! Proud of her and me and us. I was scared from the get go that breastfeeding wouldn’t work for me. My body lets me down sometimes, and I feel like I don’t stick with things that are hard. But I did it, and it really is empowering. I feel as though I have birthed again. An end to one stage, one I cannot go back and revisit, but with it the sure knowledge that I have done a good thing and she is full.

Baby Belle Girl, I wish that all your transitions could be this good. That I could know that you have had your fill, are completely satisfied and are ready to go. I hope I can always let go and know that now I’ve done what I needed to do. Mama’s so proud of you.

Alex’s Daughter.
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Comments

  1. Oh this is just so beautiful. You were right, I have tears. And I so want that tattoo. So I don't forget every time I see it. So I remember when my teenaged children are yelling at me and not doing the things I want them to do, that they have the voice, belief, confidence, and independence, to do so because they had such a good start. And the knowledge that I will love them no matter what. Weather breastfed or bottle fed, you get that imprint on your arm. It is the way that children are held and loved that matters. Not the manner of how the nourishment gets to their bellies. IMO.

  2. You are my hero! I hope our finish is as beautiful. You made me cry AGAIN. Love you both.

  3. crying tears of joy and mourning the loss of this amazing time. i will have to reread this when our youngest moves on. i will hope to internalize your resolve. thank you.

  4. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama says:

    Just beautiful, I am crying too. I LOVE the thought of a little imprinted tattoo where your nursing child lay. Oh so sweet!!
    I would also love for you to contribute to the "Joys of Breastfeeding Toddlers" series on my site (although I'm considering changing the name to "Joys of Bf'ing Past Infancy," because it's never been limited to just toddlers!).

  5. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful! I nursed one of my daughters until she was just short of six. This brought back such sweet memories. Thanks!

  6. omg I can't stop crying!!! My only child (so far) just turned 2, and we're still nursing. I feel like you crawled into my brain, experienced what I will someday, and put it into words already for me. What a beautiful post…thank you for this! And *HUGS* to you…

  7. Acrophile says:

    Lovely!

  8. Charlotte says:

    Thank you for this. It is just what I needed. I have lost some of my joy in nursing my toddler (nursing while pregnant then through a difficult miscarriage experience). I needed to be reminded of all the little things that I love about nursing my son.

  9. Stephie C says:

    beautiful!!! Love this so much. I am only 5 months in and I am already mourning the day that our nursing days will be over…..you told this so perfectly.

  10. Anonymous says:

    AWESOME!

  11. Beautiful *tears*. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Michelle says:

    Beautiful and inspiring.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I currently nursing my almost 2 year old. This was so beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. I hope we can have that wonderful of a finish to our nursing relationship. Thanks for sharing, I loved it! πŸ™‚

  14. Anonymous says:

    Simply beautiful and perfectly put, I have tears of joy, and mourning for the triumphs and the letting go for when it is my turn with my daughter.
    Thank you so very much for sharing your words ring so true for me. Thank you. πŸ™‚

  15. So lovely. I teared up. I am nursing my 34 month old and my 10 month old and I just am so grateful for our relationship. What a lovely post!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Now I'm crying too.

  17. Thank you, this is beautiful. I am nursing my just-turned-two year old, sometimes thinking that I am ready for him to be "done," and this reminded me that I am truly blessed to still be nursing him. Sometimes I look at other children and other mothers and think how sad it is they didn't get to experience this beauty. Breastfeeding is a blessed gift for mom and babe. When the time comes, I hope our transition is as gentle and lovely as yours. Bless you and your sweet daughter! πŸ™‚

  18. Anonymous says:

    Just beautiful. I read through my tears.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you! I am crying too!! My baby girl is 3 1/2 and is nursing very little and I am 35 weeks pregnant. I know it's ending soon and I am happy and sad all at the same time!! I love her so much and want her to wean herself but don't know if I want to nurse 2! She says that she will be a big big girl when her brother is born and won't need to nurse anymore! Right now she said she is just a big girl and doesn't need to stop yet πŸ™‚