Being Done

Being Done

It’s been a week, and there has been a BIG change.  But, on the oth­er hand, it doesn’t feel like much has changed at all.  My pre­vi­ous blog was pri­mar­i­ly a breast­feed­ing blog.  For the past four and a half years, I have eat­en, breathed, and dreamed breast­feed­ing.  I know that sounds weird, but I think it’s true.  From work­ing through my own strug­gles to breast­feed my sons to mod­er­at­ing a breast­feed­ing sup­port board, I can’t even count the hours I have spent think­ing about, read­ing about, and breast­feed­ing my own kids.  And, now, I’m done.  They’re done.  For the first time, since Novem­ber 2005, I am not nurs­ing any­one.

One of the first things my friends have said when I told them is, “How do you feel about that?”  In my head and my heart, I am so hap­py for both boys.  Kael nursed until just a few days before he was 4 1/2.  Asa nursed until about 6 weeks before his 3rd birth­day.  Kael start­ed off as a 4 week pre-term baby who strug­gled to latch.  He was a sleepy baby.  He had jaun­dice.  Then, some­how as he grew, day by day, we both became more com­fort­able and more con­fi­dent in our rela­tion­ship.  We both began to depend on on breast­feed­ing as a major part of our lives.  When I got preg­nant with Asa, Kael was almost 12 months old.  He per­se­vered and nursed through my preg­nan­cy with Asa.  He nursed like an infant when Asa was born.  Asa was a high needs baby when he was born.  He had reflux and a dairy sen­si­tiv­i­ty.  He was also very anx­ious around peo­ple oth­er than my hus­band and myself.  He spent a lot of time being held and in the Ergo.  At the time, it was hard.  Very hard and very drain­ing.

Kael

Asa

Both boys weaned on their own, and they both chose the day to be done.  We had talked ahead of time about when they were ready to be done the cel­e­bra­tion we would have, and it would be a very impor­tant day.  Kael chose his day at the end of April.  Nev­er did I imag­ine that Asa would choose his only 4 weeks lat­er!  When Kael was born, I had a goal of breast­feed­ing him for six weeks.  As you can see, it went a lot fur­ther than that.  By the time Kael was 3 months old, I knew that I want­ed him to be able to nurse for as long as he want­ed.  I am so hap­py to say that he did.

So, on the one hand, while I am so hap­py to have breast­fed them until they were ready to be done, and I am proud of them for know­ing when they no longer want­ed to con­tin­ue hav­ing “Mom­my Milk,” I am also sad know­ing that this is a chap­ter that is fin­ished.  They will nev­er be my lit­tle babies again.  Also, for the first time in 4 1/2 years, I am not a breast­feed­ing mom.  There was a time when I was preg­nant with Asa that I thought Kael was wean­ing.  We’d had a busy day, and he didn’t nurse at all, not once, dur­ing the day.  I felt real­ly sad about it.  I felt like I had let him down by get­ting preg­nant with Asa and affect­ing my milk sup­ply.  It was also around that time that I first read the essay Wean­ing Ella from Brain, Child Mag­a­zine.  It is a touch­ing essay of a mother’s deci­sion to stop nurs­ing her daugh­ter.  When I read that essay, I felt noth­ing but sad­ness.  I felt sad for myself, for Kael, and for the moth­er and daugh­ter in the essay.

Even though I thought I was done nurs­ing Kael at that point, he appar­ent­ly didn’t real­ize that.  🙂  He picked up his nurs­ing again before Asa was born and nursed like crazy after his brother’s birth.  When I think back to that time, I know there is a great dif­fer­ence between how I was feel­ing then and how I feel now.  Even though I am sad for the rela­tion­ship to be over now, I don’t feel any sense of regret or guilt.  I feel like he was ready, and I was ready (sad, but ready).  I know that both of my boys are ready for their inde­pen­dence.  I know that they are ready to move away from me in their own ways.  I know this, but darn it, there’s just some­thing I’m not ready for in all that!

Kael

Asa

So, while there are times when I am sad, and I’m not even real­ly sure I can put my fin­ger on the rea­son for the sad­ness, I am also excit­ed.  I’m excit­ed that we have Baby #3 on the way in Octo­ber.  I’m excit­ed that Kael and Asa are grow­ing and chang­ing every day.  Even though one rela­tion­ship has come to an end, I know that I still have so much to learn about them and from them as they grow.

Asa and Kael at Lowe’s Kids Day

Kael and Asa at the Pump­kin Patch