Closing this Chapter

What a gorgeous day! Beautiful, cool weather that actually fees like Fall…a visit (and peach pie) from my parents…a super fun flow class this morning in which I took everyone through some of my favorite music and asanas (needless to say, they weren’t all so happy that Broken Toe is one of my faves!)…and a semi-sort-of-we’re-just-gonna-call-it-easier week ahead on the calendar. After the last few weeks, all I can say to that is, whew!

Today also feels, if not a wee bit sad, then at least a little bit nostalgic because I think Lincoln is done nursing. Actually, since he hasn’t nursed a full session since before yesterday, I should just say, “Lincoln is done nursing,” but then that makes it feel more real and right now, that all feels so bittersweet.

I mean, Baby Dude is 14 1/2 months now and that’s an even split between how long I nursed his brother and his sister, so I know he’ll be just fine, but with all of our crazy run around otherwise known as Life, I know I am super going to miss nursing because those are our sit down/be close/snuggle times during the day. And LT is such a good snuggler – I’m sad to be missing out, already, on those moments with him. But maybe today is just hard because it is new. And maybe it is hard today because  I’m trying to keep my distance a little bit so he doesn’t smell milk on me so we actually can make this happen. ‘Cuz that’s just it. There is a totally a flip side to this that has me a little excited.

I mean, Baby Dude is 14 1/2 months now! He’s growing and getting around and I’m ready for both of us to have a little more independence in our day-to-day. In a couple weeks I head back to Omaha, just for a long weekend, for training, and I’ll be real honest – I don’t want to pump day in and day out again like I did all of July. Granted, it’s a long weekend and not a month, but still. If I know he’s OK with a sippy and table food and all that, then I’m good with it, too. Plus we’re ready to see if the world is ready for one more Little Welschie and after my experience with LT’s pregnancy, I know I do not want to be pregnant and nursing again. That was so physically draining on my body, so if we get a little separation between those two activities this time, I think it will be for the better. Plus, this was totally LT’s idea so why force it if he’s ready?

It started last week when he skipped his mid-day nursing session one afternoon, just at random. Then there was Root Canal Tuesday when Gma gave him a bottle before his nap but I didn’t pump to replace that feeding. And then there was Friday when he didn’t nurse much at any of his feedings, and then yesterday when he just flat out wriggled off my lap every time I tried to nurse him – even straight away in the morning! So today we are just going with it. More snacks and cups of milk/water and me just not getting too close. In fact, I haven’t even attempted any feedings and since he’s not chasing after me asking for it, I think he’s OK. I, on the other hand, am literally hurting (woke up not feeling too bad, but now that we’re halfway through the day and he hasn’t touched me, I’m feeling the milk) and aching a bit in my heart, too, because it feels like a big part of our relationship to put down. But of course everything is fine and I’m just having an emotional response to closing this chapter. I know that. The nice thing is, I have pictures this time to remind me of what it was like to cuddle and feed my sweet babe these last 14 1/2 months. Snapshots that B took and professional pics both exist to document that bond and I am so grateful I had a change of heart/reasoning this time.

Now. Who has advice on how to ease my physical discomfort these next few days? I don’t want to pump because I don’t want to keep stimulating my milk, so….any thoughts on what helps?!

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Update: Thank goodness for wise mama friends on Facebook! Their ideas and encouragement have me using cabbage leaves and looking forward to my first NyQuil in six years later tonight. The cabbage feels amazing, by the way, especially when it is first on, straight from the fridge. Very soothing. But it smells bizarre and I keep catching whiffs of it that make me go, “Huh? Oh, yeah” and I can only imagine how I would smell to others right now (Ben’s busy grading and hasn’t seemed to notice my odd odor).  I also caved and pumped for five minutes to relieve some pressure because, as it was wisely pointed out to me, I do not want to get mastitis, especially since this is a rather abrupt cut-off of my supply. Here’s hoping these techniques keep me comfortable and healthy over the next few days!

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