The grief of being done with nursing

(Timmy circa 2 weeks old in a food coma)

"When the child is to be weaned, the mother, too, is not without sorrow, because she and the child are more and more to be separated, because the child who first lay under her heart and later rested upon her breast will never again be so close. So they grieve together the brief sorrow. How fortunate the one who kept the child so close and did not need to grieve any more!" --Soren Aabye Kierkegaard

I read this quote tonight, and my heart stopped for a moment. Last week, I nursed Timmy for the last time. It wasn't planned or desired, but it just happened so naturally that I couldn't stop it. I went to nurse one night, and he just turned his gaze to me and nuzzled into the cavity between my shoulder and head. He wouldn't even consider nursing, and his look told me it was time, so I let my tears flow quietly in his dim bedroom light, and I snuggled that baby so close so as to say nursing might be over, but we will always be this close.

We've repeated the same routine at every nap time and bedtime since.

That night I walked out of his room with a heavy heart. That's it I thought. That is my last connection to babyhood, and now it was gone. And I wasn't the least bit prepared for it. I walked into my bathroom (my quiet place), and I sat on the edge of my tub, and I let my heart be still.

My body will no longer nurture babies on the inside or out. It will, however, nurture their lives with a love for reading, being creative, being active, serving, listening, and loving. I'll have to learn to be okay with that. I think I am, though the sting is still so fresh.

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