I’m Still Nursing My 14-Month-Old and Here’s Why

I never technically planned on breastfeeding–not at least for any lengthy period of time.

It’s not that I had anything against the idea; I just never gave it all that much thought before actually giving birth. My plan was to not have a plan. (I’m really good at that kind of planning.) At the most, I would try breastfeeding, see how it went, and not beat myself up about it if it didn’t work, or if I didn’t like it.

After all, formula these days is great. And why not use it? We’re the generation of women whose moms were products of the feminist era–the can-do, from-power-suit-to-PJ-set group of women who could bring home the bacon andfry it up in a pan. When I ask my mom why she didn’t breastfeed longer than the very brief period that she did, she–and plenty of other women of that age I’ve informally polled–said it was just so easy to formula feed, she didn’t think twice about it.

So I figured when it came time for me to decide how to feed my baby, I’d be similarly nonchalant and just, well, do what she did.

Then, I had our son. And I gave breastfeeding the old college try. And after a period of adjustmentdiscomfortand sometimes pain–I got it down. So I did it. And kept on doing it. For a hell of a lot longer than I thought I ever would. When all was said and done, I ended up nursing my son for 16 months, my daughter for 13, and with our third I am currently going on 14 months.

And now something really strange is happening. Even though I’m trying to slow down with the nursing… I just… can’t.

How can it be that I’m mourning the end of something that’s still happening?

Every time I try to feed her a bottle and she resists, I lose the will to try weaning again. It’s the exhaustion. It’s the fact that I can calm her with my touch within seconds (and not with anything else). It’s that–shock of shocks–it’s finally become easy for me to nurse, after all these months. And it’s also the fact that I am already weirdly nostalgic for a period in my time as a motherhood that hasn’t even passed yet.

How can it be that I’m mourning the end of something that’s still happening? I know our time nursing will be over relatively soon, and to be honest, I’m also all sorts of terrified of getting weaning-related depression.

I know that I’m staring down the very real end of our days as parents of a baby, and weaning is an all-too-real reminder of that end. These baby days are exquisite in both their difficulty and their joy. They are full, and harried, and delicious with love and snuggles. They have flung my soul into a whole new dimension of love. And they are flying by way, way too fast.

I know that I’m staring down the very real end of our days as parents of a baby, and weaning is an all-too-real reminder of that end. These baby days are exquisite in both their difficulty and their joy. They are full, and harried, and delicious with love and snuggles. They have flung my soul into a whole new dimension of love. And they are flying by way, way too fast.

So we’ll nurse again tonight. And maybe the night after that. And then I’ll give weaning a go again soon. But tonight, I think we’ll have our time together again. Just a little while longer, before she’s no longer my baby.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *