Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The end of an era

Toots is twenty-one months old. I have long term nursed her until now, as I did my boys so long ago.

I really struggled about going to the retreat because I was torn about ending nursing. In all this time with Toots, I have only used the $250 Medela pump three times. Otherwise, it's all been naturale. Mother and child, the old way, the real way, as it should be, and as no other relationship on earth.

I knew the time was coming, but I didn't want to cut her off. I knew the time was coming, I was worn out, I have surgery scheduled in a couple of weeks, and I really didn't want to end nursing. Toots is clearly the last child I will do this with. A part of my life that is full of meaning and feminine divinity, and empowerment and ferality and sweetness and life is over. It's over for her and it's over for me.

While I effectively made a clear decision about it by going away for four nights, I was heartstrung about it. A lot in my life is so up in the air all the time, come what may, but loving and nursing my children has been one of those things I never doubted and was really good at.

I've mourned it twice already, with Mr Cynic, after which I was almost immediately pregnant again with Captain Comic...between the two of them I was pregnant and nursing for seven years straight. I was pretty darned sure after Captain Comic stopped, that he was my last and I mourned the finality of it then.

Then ten years later I had Toots. And now twenty-one months later, here I am grieving the passage of my life as a mother to babies for the second time. That closeness. That ineffable thing artists have been portraying in holy light for centuries. The most basic mammalian function, providing the ultimate nourishment to offspring.

She asked and whined a little about wanting to after I came back on Sunday. Asked a couple of times since, but with sweet talk of her being a big girl now, she was easily soothed and diverted.

She followed Grandma upstairs to bed tonight. I miss her. One week ago tonight was the last time we nursed.


  1. i love the word ineffable ....
    and i loved this post ....
    i'll be sad with you for a little bit ...
    milestones are just so bittersweet sometimes ....

  2. thanks, e. it is bittersweet. the crazy thing is she now seems to be sleeping through the night just fine without nursing. so there's the sweet. sweet, sweet sleep!

  3. i'll be sad with you too. beautiful post. and i love the names you've given your kiddos here.

  4. thanks for the support, kelly!

    it was about time they got names!

  5. I'm beginning to think about weaning John in the next few months, too. But just can't quite bring myself to do it yet. I know exactly how you feel and I'm sad for you too.

  6. thanks, brittany. i'll be there for you when you decide to do so, too. or john decides....

  7. Oh, Cath, I know this sadness so well.

  8. My 'baby' turned two yesterday and I am also thinking that the time is near to get her off the boob (please excuse Australian vernacular). I am also certain (and my man is definite) that this is our last child so that will be that. The end. Full stop. It is like breaking up with someone. I remember trying to get number one weaned and I cried and cried... and then put it off for another month. So well done you but also sympathy.

  9. thank you, christine. nice to hear from you, too!

    #1 was just over 2. #2 nursed like a newborn til 19 months when i cut him off for a medication, and so i would still have some calcium left in my bones. #3 is taking it well. it's tough on me sometimes, but mostly i'm grateful now.


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