Monday, 27 April 2015

To My First Nursling

Little One, 

Today I realised that I don't remember the last time you nursed. I didn't savour it. Didn't take the time to reminisce our journey together. Did I rush you to finish? Did I stroke your hair?

Why didn't I notice you had stopped? After three and a half years, it was so everyday, so normal, I didn't even think. 

New mum breastfeeding baby
I was so excited to feed you
While I was having a hard time, nursing your teething sister, there you were, slowly growing up, without telling me.

We learnt breastfeeding together. We both fought for you to have my milk. I battled with ignorant doctors; you refused to give up nursing when there was so little milk there. We spent hours latching and relatching. You had your tongue tie snipped and fed for seven hours solid. You chose feeding from me over the easy meal from a bottle, weaning from those at eleven months. It wasn't an easy start, not by
a long shot, but it was a good start. You gained so much from my breasts - comfort, health, security - even though the milk was scarce.

Tandem feeding
You shared your milk happily
When I was pregnant with your sister, I had to stop you from feeding at night. You were so brave - accepting cuddles and songs instead, seemingly understanding that I was in pain. Then, when she was born, I watched you share your milk happily. You let her feed first, always patient. You used to grab my breast and try to help her latch, like an overly familiar lactation consultant! Sometimes you fed at the same time, holding hands. I was glad that you could still nurse, because it helped you to accept your new role as big sister. You didn't feel rejected.

Toddler breastfeeding and reading
Over the last year your feeds became few and far between, but it took you getting tonsillitis for me to realise that you'd gone without the protection my milk had been providing. I'm sorry I didn't notice sooner.  I just expected to hear you ask again.

You never know when it will be the last time you do something. Not until it's too late. 

All this turmoil in my heart, and you don't seem to be bothered by this change. Perhaps you haven't noticed either. Life is too full of laughter and play for you to spend time nursing. This is gentle weaning. Natural. Child led. How it ought to be. 

You were my first nursling. I won't forget that. There will always be space in my arms for you. My chest will always be there for you to rest your head upon. I will be safety, security, serenity for you. 

I never thought I would feel so sad. Thank you for weaning gently.

Love Mummy x 
Mum and Daughter
My special girl

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