Closing the Door on our Breastfeeding Journey

My Dearest Glory,

Yesterday I nursed you for the last time. As I type these words tears are welling in my eyes. I’m so sad to end this journey that we’ve been on together. Daddy and I agree that you’re ready. It’s time, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I know you’re ready to stop nursing because you eat so much food and you love drinking cows milk from your sippy cups. You sleep so well through the night, and now you need to learn to go to bed without a little drink of Mama’s milk. This is a necessary step in your development, and Daddy and I really hope to get pregnant again and give you a sibling, so we pray this will help with that too. Just because I can’t give you milk anymore doesn’t mean I love you any less, or that I won’t miss how you move your hand back and forth on my chest, fingering my necklace and touching my neck or cheek. I’m going to miss our nursing cuddles so very much. But I will be with you just as much as before, and I’ll have just as many cuddles, kisses, hugs, and snuggles, they’ll just look a bit different. I know you and Daddy will have more opportunity to form a closer bond too, because he will be putting you to bed for a while as you adjust to this new routine. You two already have such as sweet relationship, so I know this extra evening time will be sweet.

I don’t want to let go of this part of our relationship. For so long it has been such a comfort and bonding time for both of us, but my job as your Mama is to care for you and help you grow and develop, so that you won’t need me as much and you can be more independent. My heart aches at this, but I know it’s ultimately for your good and loving you means letting go. I wish I could hold you close and keep you safe and keep you as my tiny babe forever, but that’s not the way God designed it.

I wept last night after I finished nursing you and I laid you down to sleep. Daddy gave me a hug and reminded me that I’ll always be your Mama. He’s right, and I’m so thankful for that. I’ll always be your Mama, and I’ll love you to the moon and back. Always.

As I think back on how far we’ve come from the first time you nursed, I am overcome with joy and thankfulness to God for these past 16 months of nursing you. He has given so much grace as we both learned how to do this crazy breastfeeding thing. Yes, it is beautiful and natural, but it hasn’t been easy by any means. I think of how hard it was to get you to latch at first. You were so tiny and I had so much milk in those first days. You needed to learn how to suck, and your jaw often got tired or you would fall asleep. Then once you caught on a bit, your would get so mad because you’d want to suck and get milk and suck your fists at the same time. It was quite a sight as Daddy and I would try and position you to latch well while holding your arms gently down. 🙂 A lot of times my let-down would gush so fast that you’d choke and sputter, which made you so mad and made me feel so bad! Eventually you learned how to suck really fast and that helped.

As I think back on the pain of engorgement, raw nipples, and your struggle to latch correctly, I shudder. There were times in those early days when I didn’t think I could go on, and I hated to see you get so frustrated at me. But I would go back and experience all that pain over and again for you. It was one of my greatest joys to love you and serve you in this way. Ever since I was little, I hoped and planned on breastfeeding my babies. I had seen my Mom (Oma) do it, and I had heard her speak of all the benefits and I knew I would try whatever it took to breastfeed. I’m so thankful for God’s grace to allow me to get to experience that desire. A lot of mamas and babies can’t bond in this way, and I would have been heartbroken if I couldn’t either.

Thank you for how you’ve always loved me unconditionally, and trusted me to care for you even when I didn’t trust myself. Learning to be your Mama has been one of the hardest and happiest things in my life, and I praise God for you. We’re closing the door on our breastfeeding journey, but there are many more doors we get to walk through together, and I look forward to each and every one of them.

Love you my Glory girl,

❤ Mama

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