Farewell to nursing

I am in the process of weaning my 13-month-old daughter, which means I’m having one “sunrise, sunset” moment of nostalgia after another.

Although I feel it’s time and she is ready to ease off breastfeeding, I always feel like the end of breastfeeding is the end of a special relationship and time with my babies.

Sippy cups will soon replace me and Anne will never again need me in quite the same way. I won’t be the one who can give her exactly what she needs at the exact moment she needs it.

I will miss holding Anne’s little body in my arms as her eyelids get heavy and she falls asleep with milk dripping down her chin. I love the way she wraps her arms around me and her fingers tickle my back as she drinks. I love the way she pauses mid-suck sometimes just to smile up at me, as if saying, “Hey mom, we’re a good team, you and me.”

And most of all, I love the quiet moments together — Mom and babe in the most natural and beautiful of all moments as she takes what she needs from my body.

And the funny thing is, I always thought this would be my gift to my baby — that breastfeeding would be my great maternal blessing passed from mother to child.

But as I start the process of weaning her from breastfeeding, I realize once again that I am the one who receives the gift in these quiet nursing moments. I get the gift of looking down on that little head as my daughter nurses, knowing that we need each other in ways I could never have imagined.

What are your fond nursing memories? Do you miss it when it’s time to wean?

Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.

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