I have made no secret about the fact that I am in a state of simultaneous mourning / elation this year. 2014: the first time in 6 years that I will not be pregnant or nursing -- because we have decided to retire my uterus and declare that 3 kids in 5 years is probably enough kids.
Elation: No more babies!!! No more freakishly large body that does not fit into any maternity pants properly! No more pushing out the big fat babies we tend to create (although I love how fat and healthy they are, my lady parts sure don't). No more 9+ months without beer or wine!
Mourning: No more babies. No more positive pregnancy tests, no more ultrasound appointments, no more finding out the gender, no more baby name duels. No more amazing birthing experiences (and yes, I use the word amazing. I have truly loved the experience of giving birth -- grossness and all).
And now, as of today, before either of us were ready (who knows if I would have ever been ready), no more nursing. My youngest is almost 13 months. It was time to start weaning him. He is a big boy -- drinks milk from a cup, and only really nurses for comfort. But he does still nurse for comfort every night, and I was not ready to rip that away from him just yet. Unfortunately, however, I have been fighting a bout of pneumonia. (Who knew moms were allowed to get pneumonia? I sure didn't.) And the previous nursing-safe meds did not work. And I got sicker. So back to the doctor today, and she said what I was dreading: "You need to go on stronger medication. And you CANNOT nurse on this stuff." She could probably see the sadness in my face (or the Really? Not even a little? It is probably okay... look on my face) because on the bottle, written clearly are the words: "DO NOT BREASTFEED WHILE TAKING THIS MEDICATION."
I feel robbed of that special moment when you get to know it is the last time. Turns out the last time was at 5 am this morning and I did not know. With my eldest son, I had that special time. He was 14 months old, and although sad, I felt ready and I knew he was ready. I played with his hair and looked at him and talked to him and knew it was ok. My daughter did not grant me that opportunity. At 11 1/2 months, she bit me, bit me on the other side, and then later that night, bit me again. She finally looked up at me as if to say, "Mom! I don't want this anymore. Are you not getting it?" And while this was harsh, if you know her, you are probably saying, yep, that sounds about right. She runs her own show, always has. The boys took forever to come out and she came flying out as the doctor barely made it into the room. So as I look back, her end to nursing was very fitting. But with my little guy, this just doesn't seem fair. I can try to start again after 7 days when I should be done with the medication, but at this point, with him only really nursing for comfort and being over a year, I know that isn't going to happen.
So another chapter is closing. If you see me in public and my eyes are red and I look a little forlorn, feel free to hand me a beer or a glass of wine (if it is the morning, you can put in my travel coffee mug so we are not judged), and tell me to keep my chin up! Celebration! No more nursing bras, nursing pads, no more being unaware that you leaked through your shirt so you continue to have 20 minute conversations with people. No more dreaded breast pump!
Watch out summer! I might rock a tank top for the first time since 2007!