Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The house is quiet, the sky just beginning to lighten to pearl. I wake to the sound of stirring, sleepy baby murmurs over the monitor. I tiptoe in and pick his sleepy heavy body up. I smell his neck, nestle him into me. He is heavy, damp with sweet sleepy sweat, and warm.

His eyes open slightly, and he smiles around his binky. My heart melts on a wave of love so intense it takes my breath.

I lay down with him, running my fingertips over his soft face, gently taking out his binky. I watch as his hands move up, reaching for me, his lips open in search of my breast.

He latches on for the last time, and I cry quietly, great wracking sobs that hurt my chest. I whisper, over and over, how much I love him. I tell him what a great privilege it has been to nourish him, and how grateful I am that he allowed me to feed him from my body. I rub his head, his earlobes. My tears fall onto his face and hands.

I tell him how much I have loved nursing him. I feel the last milk I will ever give him leave my breast. He becomes sleepy again, his hand lying limp on my chest, his eyes closed in peace. I whisper of how sorry I am that I cannot give him more time to breastfeed, how I have to choose myself now, but how much I am going to miss it, and how heartbreaking it is for me to have to stop.

I know it's right. He has been self weaning for quite a while now. He has been supplementing more and more. He is busy, too busy to nurse. He loves his cups and his bottles. He likes to sit up and see the world as he has his milk.

But still, he would lie down with me a few times a day. He would nurse, and let me enjoy the stillness of his little body. It was beautiful and sacred. I never took it for granted, ever.

But in order to nurse him, I have had to be on medication so sedating that it has been hard to function. I've been on meds for my blood pressure that simply don't work well for me.

But I was determined to nurse. And I did. For him and for myself.

My heart literally hurts with the choice I have had to made. My body yearns to go in to him, pick him up, and nourish him. But I can't. New medication means a happier, more energetic me...but the cost is breastfeeding.

I know, I know. I gave him nearly 11 months. It was time. He was ready. But I wasn't, despite the obvious need of my body to switch meds. I wasn't ready to have to give up something so precious to me.

But I did. I made the choice. This morning at 6:12 AM, I nursed my precious boy for the very last time. I enjoyed every moment. I treasured the scent of his skin, the push and pull of his latch. I ingrained in my mind the feeling of milk leaving me and going to him. I kissed him a million times, and thanked God for the miracle of breastfeeding.

And when I laid him back down, I watched him for a few minutes. I looked at his full cheeks, his chubby legs. I cried as I ran a hand over his full tummy. I asked his forgiveness for the choice I made.

And then I poured a glass of water, and took the medication that will hopefully change my life.

At 6:12 this morning, I chose myself. But I will never forget the blessing of breastfeeding.