And just like that, we’re done. I knew this day would come, but after 14 months of breastfeeding, Amaya literally decided to stop within 2 days. I had been so caught up with anxiety about forcing this decision upon her with my upcoming trip that I didn’t consider the possibility she would wean on her own. It felt abrupt and at the same time like she knew I was ready, and she was ready too. I feel a mix of emotions: proud, sad, reminiscent, grateful, and quite frankly still shocked. My body is in limbo trying to understand how to respond (the body is so amazing), and my mind and heart and are in limbo trying to accept and embrace this newfound freedom.
I looked back to my post from week 1 with Amaya and the following excerpt brings me back to vividly:
“It was a horrible feeling, my boobs were hard as rocks, hot, and painful. I called Maggie crying and looking for tips on how to manually pump, but it didn’t work…Sunday and Monday night baby kept me up the entire night cluster feeding. I fed on demand pretty much every 30 min from 12-6am. I would nod off while feeding her. I tried to put her down 4-6 times only to excitedly crawl into bed and hear her cry before I could lie down. These nights were super challenging and made me feel so exhausted beyond belief.”
My last memory of breastfeeding Amaya was from two mornings prior before she fully weaned. It was 7:15am, and we were the only ones up. I nestled her in my arms and felt complete peace as we shared such a significant yet simple moment, completely connected and intertwined in each other’s presence. I will never forget how mindful and complete I felt during hundreds of hours sitting in that plush green rocker over this past year.
Andy congratulated me on surpassing my goal to nurse for a year, and I forget that I used to congratulate myself every month that I was 1 month closer to the 1 year mark. Then as I approached 10 months, I began willing her to continue nursing because I wasn’t ready to stop. In fact, I couldn’t imagine her ever wanting to give it up. And then she did.
Today, Amaya asked for wah-wah and cradled her sippy cup while we sat in that same green rocker and read a book. She yawned and rubbed her eyes and tucked her tiny frame into me. We savored this sweet, peaceful time before beginning the hustle and bustle of our morning routine. It’s probably the most mindful part of my entire day, and I treasure it. This will be our norm now until we develop a new one. I remind myself that everything is temporary, and all I can do is enjoy the ride. I’m grateful my body created and sustained the growth of my beautiful, happy, fiery daughter with relative ease. The memory of our breastfeeding journey is forever sealed in my heart!