Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Moment That Made It Worth Everything.

Toddler nursing is upon us, and it's been difficult. There are gymnurstics, public demands for nursing. There are periods of nursing frequently like a newborn, when my (perhaps unrealistic) expectations were that he would feed only every 3-4 hours by now. There is my perception that the world around me is judging me for nursing into toddlerhood. And, most recently, there are teeth. 

Yes, I swore that I would never nurse past teeth, especially if he bit me. Luckily we made it this far without a bite, at least one that injured me. Alas, last week, it happened. I think it was more a poor latch that an actual bite, but it was caused by teething. And it hurt. I am not exaggerating at all when I say that the pain of nursing through that injury was worse than labour. 

As a result of expectations vs. reality, I found myself considering whether it was time to impose a nursing schedule, or whether I wanted to wean him before he self-weans. At almost 15 months, there would be no shame in ending our nursing relationship. And to be honest, I haven't given much thought to mom-led weaning versus child-led weaning. I've totally avoiding thinking about the end of our nursing relationship. I just know that despite my frustration, it's not the right time. It makes my heart sad, and it would make Baby Bird's heart sad, too. Know how I know that?

Yesterday, my poor teething Bird woke up desperately sad from his nap. After much crying, I got him calmed down and we cuddled for 45 minutes. He was still pretty sad when he started to nurse. After getting his fill, he looked up, smiled and said, "Hap!" - his word for happy. My heart melted. 

This. This is exactly why I continue to nurse. When he is sad, it makes him happy. When he is sick, he still gets nutrition despite not eating. When he is overwhelmed, I am his safe haven.  Yes, it can be 'inconvenient' to always think about the right tops to wear, or how long we would have to be apart if I go out, and so on. But to stop for those reasons? That would be like breaking up with the love of my life because I don't like his jeans or his work schedule.