Stori said this to my breasts as she was nursing for the last time and directly thereafter. It's kind of a big deal. You see... I'm a believer in child-led weaning. I'm also a breastfeeding advocate. I literally walk up to nursing-in-public Mommas and say "Right on, sister!", I cheer on new Moms with the desire to breastfeed, and I'm straight forward about the false claims by those in the medical community and in grocery supply who state that women can't breastfeed or that formula is an equal. That's not to say that I'm anti-formula, because I'm not. But, I definitely am pro-breastfeeding. The reasons why are endless and some can't even be explained.
But, *I* have chosen to stop breastfeeding. GASP!! If it were Stori's choice, she'd be hanging on all day like my little chimpanzee baby. The girl is a "nursing Nelly". But, I'm done. I've been mostly done for quite some time, but again... I'm sensitive to her needs and desires and my plan was to let her choose when to stop. So, I put some limits on it several months ago. I cut it down to 3 times per day. We were there for a couple of months then I decided a couple months back to cut it down to just in the morning after waking up. I've not been enjoying it anymore. After all, it IS a relationship and I'm kind of part of it. :-)
So, I found myself talking to Jon about my decision to just be done and he supported me. Then I realized, as I was talking... I'm done breastfeeding. Really done. Done. Not done breastfeeding Stori. I'm done breastfeeding. We're not having any more kids and while I'm happy to provide milk for ANYONE who wants it for their child, the likeliness of me happening upon this type of opportunity any time soon is pretty slim. Which means that my career is over.
I've nursed two kids. I've spent 3 years 4 month and 27 days nursing those two kids. Zane spent 1 year, 3 months, and 15 days at my breast and Stori spent 2 years, 1 month, and 12 days. Yeah, I know. How.many.days. It's a big deal, like I said, to be done. Countless midnight trips to the crib side, immeasurable hours of cuddling, numerous times of frustration. Breastfeeding is a way of life while it's happening.
There are a few things that only a woman can experience and I am so grateful and blessed to be a woman to experience these things. I menstruate. Lots of women complain about it, but I think it's pretty stinkin' neat. I can carry babies inside of my body. EXTRAORDINARY! I can breastfeed. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, I say! Not only did these two people begin in me, but they developed outside of me because of what was coming from inside of me. I really don't have the words that are adequate to explain even a glimpse of my passion for this stuff.
Even though this choice is self-made I'm experiencing loss with it. The fact that God made me a woman and provided me the opportunity to experience all of these gifts made only for women is something that overwhelms me sometimes. The completion of my time as a breastfeeding woman is over. Breasts are the truest life-giving gift of all time. I kinda' feel like mine are about to lose their meaning. Of course Jon'll disagree! ;-) And while we all know that Mom's breasts make the best pillows during tough times I guess I'm just dealing with the idea of no longer lactating. In some amount of time it won't matter what I do to them, I won't be pulling milk from them. I'm trying to deal with that.
The plus side is that this has ROCKED my world! It's rocked Stori's world and it rocked Zane's world years ago! It's even rocked Jon's world as he learned his own feelings about watching his child and his wife share milk. While there are lots of humps along the way and breastfeeding is not an all-out easy path, I've been blessed to have two relatively chaos-free experiences with full term breastfeeding.
I've come to the decision somewhat slowly and am certain that this is the end. I'm so happy about it and am feeling free and liberated. I'm excited for under wire bras and colorful bras. I'm excited for the future to get here and the 2 year-old groping to be a thing of the past. I'm excited to wake up and be able to comfort Stori in new, different ways. I'm just really, really excited!
Bye Nipple... Bye Breast... Bye Mama Milk.