A few weeks ago I nursed Cedric for the last time. There wasn't a last symbolic time in the big red chair where I've spent hours nursing my boys and I didn't get Chris to take a picture as I had envisioned. I actually don't specifically remember nursing for the last time because at the time I didn't know it was the last. So often with parenthood we don't realize something is the last time until it's already passed!
I made the decision to stop nursing on a Saturday; the boys were up before 5 am and I was tired. Cedric asked to nurse and I knew that he would want to nurse all day long, whenever anything upset him and since he woke before 5 am I knew that would be often. That made me feel exhausted and a little overwhelmed. And so I scooped him up and offered almond milk instead.
After I distracted him once I decided to keep it up and on Sunday I had already made it a day and kept making the decision to be done. I had been thinking about this for a while although I made the decision somewhat in the moment. Each day Cedric asked fewer times to nurse and distracting him became easier. Still today if I set him on my lap facing me he might get a smile, sign "milk" with both hands and says, "nuhse?" but I smile and tell him, "No, we don't do that any more." He smiles back, as if we shared a little joke, and we find a book to read or a toy to play with.
When I've been breastfeeding with both boys it's such a big part of my life, less so towards the end but still there. And then so quickly it's just done. Ending is a little bittersweet; I know Cedric would have continued to nurse if I let him and it was a sweet time with him in my lap - although now he spills out of my lap! But it also feels good to be done and to have my whole body be my own and I'm thankful that I was able to nurse both of my boys for as long as I did (Dashiell was nearly 15 months when we stopped).
One of my 2016 Year of Kelsey goals is to go on a solo trip as a way to celebrate the end of breastfeeding and nearly four years of being continually pregnant and/or breastfeeding (whoa!). Now that I'm done nursing I'm thinking of that trip and looking forward to planning it in the next six months!