Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The last nurse...

When I became pregnant with the wee one I knew, that with the second child, there were things I wanted to do differently. 

I wanted to have a homebirth.  Even though that could not happen, I still had a great low-tech pregnancy.

I wanted to use cloth diapers longer than I did with my teen.  I used cloth for him but when I went back to work it was hard to keep up with the washing of the diapers.  Some of his caregivers did not want to use them. So I switched to disposables.  I used cloth the whole time the wee one needed them. I think potty learning was easier for the wee one because he could feel the wet.

I wanted to stay home with the wee one and I have been lucky enough to be able to do this. Simple living means I can give my energy to my family and home.

I wanted to wait to introduce solids until the wee one was ready.  With the teen there was pressure from his pediatrician to introduce solids before he was ready.  The wee one started solids once he stared stealing food off my plate.

I wanted big milestones to be child lead and not enforced. Potty learning happened when he was ready and not when the daycare center dictated.

I wanted to nurse as long as he needed to nurse. With the teen, there was pressure to give up nursing and supplement with formula. It was frowned on to nurse past one year.  With the wee one we have taken our time. Slowly letting each nursing session go when he sent signals of not being completely present.

Yesterday morning was the last nurse.  

The wee one will be three in a month.  The changes he has gone through just in the last month or so are startling.  He has crossed a bridge in language and comprehension.  He has made a leap in his imagination and now can be found having conversations with big brown bear. He no longer sits and listens to books being read to him but engages in the storytelling by asking relevant questions. He sings! He is asserting his independence with his new favorite phrase ," I can't". (oohh fun!)

When he needs to get centered, he comes to me to ask for a snuggle. 

We waited to let the last "boob" go until Dad could be home on school vacation to offer moral support. We came up with a plan. We were prepared in case he had a hard time.  The last "boob" was in the early morning.  He usually wakes at 5 am. At that time I invite him to cuddle and then usually at 6 when the alarm clock goes off that was his cue that it was time to nurse.  Then we would get out of bed. We told the wee one that the last "boob" would be in three days and counted each day down as it arrived.  Yesterday when the alarm went off Dad got up with the wee one and took him for a bike ride.  Mom got to sleep in:) When I woke he did not ask for "boob" but rather enjoyed a nice rock with mom.

I am a little sad.  I am not planning to have any more children. So I know that these sweet, sweet times with my little guy will go by quickly. I am reminded of how quickly a childhood passes each time I look into my teen's face. 

 Another case of bookended parenting....


kyndale said... last baby, who just turned three, weaned himself a few weeks ago. I was willing to let him nurse as long as he wanted to. I am a little freaked out that I have come to the end of my nursing career. I have nursed three kids a total of 9 years. Boy, did that go by quick! I am glad to have my body back but, I really loved nursing my kids.

Wendy said...

Like you, I am a "book-end" parent, in that I have a twenty-two year old, but I also have a six year old (and a granddaughter, who will be two this summer), and I did things very differently with babies three, four and five, than I did with babies one and two, and I made a lot of the same changes that you did re: diapering, feeding, and just general parenting styles - for a lot of the same reasons.

Giving up the "boob" for my last one was tough. It took her a long time to stop wanting it, and she'll still crawl under my shirt if she's hurt or scared.