A little over three weeks ago Mazen and I had our final nursing session. It was simultaneously a huge deal and a piece of cake.
About a month prior, I had dropped down from 4 feedings a day to 1 over the course of a few weeks. Our only nursing session was first thing in the morning and only one one side. I found this to be the best of both worlds: I could have date nights and total freedom during the day yet we got to have our first thing in the morning snuggle time and continue breastfeeding. The thought of jumping straight out of bed and rushing into breakfast seemed jarring, so I was happy to bring him back into bed with me and have more time to wake up. Mazen was always kind of indifferent about nursing. If I offered it to him he got excited, but he didn’t seem to notice when I dropped feedings.
One morning he slept until 7am. I got up at 6:30 and began making us both oatmeal for breakfast. By the time he woke up, I had his breakfast all laid out on his tray – milk cup included. My coffee cup had just been poured and I didn’t really feel like getting back in bed, so I decided it would be a good day to test the waters of weaning. As I suspected, he seemed excited for the food on his tray and didn’t bat an eye when I brought him straight from his crib to the kitchen.
The next day I tried it again. This time he did the sign for milk, which made me question everything, but when I said “No milk today – let’s have breakfast!” he seemed to be OK with that. Three more days of going straight to breakfast and I knew he was ready to wean.
But I wasn’t.
I wanted to have one more nursing session. To soak in the emotions. To spend extra time snuggling. To explain to him the milk was going bye bye. And to forever imprint the memory in my heart.
So on November 18, after 5 days of not nursing, when Mazen woke up I carried him into my bed. I thought about the first time he latched on in the hospital right after birth. The terrible pain I experienced the first month. The sweet 3am nights with just the two of us. The boppy, the millions of disposable nursing pads, the silly shirts with flaps I bought. And all the times we escaped visitors and crowds to have some quiet moments together. Going on 15 months, I thought about what a big boy he has become.
I snapped a photo of us from above. I shed a tear. And when he was finished I told him “All done milk. Bye-bye milk.”
It’s been over three weeks and there have been a few times he has done the sign for milk or pulled on my shirt and I’ve reminded him that the milk is gone. To say this process has been bittersweet is a huge understatement. Yet as hard as it was to say goodbye to nursing, I knew this was right for us. Now on the other side, I’ve been really happy with the decision and timing. And I’m so thankful we had such a positive experience.
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