Welcome Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! This month's theme was extended nursing and we've got a variety of posts on nursing toddlers. Be sure to check out the links to all of our participants at the end of this post.
I have been actively trying to wean my son since he was 18 months old, as gently as possible. There were nursing sessions that were replaced with a cup of milk or juice. There were long trips away for work where my breasts tingled when no one was there to drink the milk. There were days we were so busy, going going, learning, playing, where nursing never even came up. There were many times I had to jump up out of my comfortable spot on the couch, our usual nursing place, and redirect our energy. My hope was to be done by age two. I was happy to give him my body for this period of time, but knew I wanted to take it back for myself soon.
I read about wonderful weaning parties, where children got to celebrate their last nursing session with a cake and presents. I thought we would do that, too. I imagined us having a conversation about how he was growing up and was a big boy and how on his second birthday we would nurse for the last time. I pictured fat, hot tears rolling down my face as I snuggled all 3 feet of him in my lap, kissed him on his forehead and breastfed him one last time. I would try hard to remember every detail, every sound, every smell, so that I would always have that memory of the last time.
But two came and went and there were falls and bruises and cranky nap times and too-early morning wakings and we nursed. There was boredom and sickies and we nursed then, too. We nursed and we nursed, once a day, once a week, until we didn't and the "last time" never was. I don't recall when it happened or where we were, but I know it was around his third birthday. No tears, no party, no cake, no presents. Just one day we nursed and one day we no longer did.
I sometimes regret that I don't have a memory of the last time, but I do have have three years' worth of wonderful memories and I'm glad that when the time came we were both ready to be done.
Please be sure to check out all of the other submissions in this month's Carnival!
Mama Alvina of Ahava & Amara Life Foundation: Breastfeeding Journey Continues
Diana Cassar-Uhl, IBCLC: Old enough to ask for it
Karianna @ Caffeinated Catholic Mama: A Song for Mama’s Milk
Judy @ Mommy News Blog: My Favorite Moments
Tamara Reese @ Kveller: Extended Breastfeeding
Jenny @ Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: The Highs and Lows of Nursing a Toddler
Christina @ MFOM: Natural-Term Breastfeeding
Rebekah @ Momma’s Angel: My Sleep Breakthrough
Suzi @ Attachedattheboob: Why I love nursing a toddler
Claire @ The Adventures of Lactating Girl: My Hopes for Tandem Nursing
Elisa @ blissfulE: counter cultural: extended breastfeeding
Momma Jorje: Extended Breastfeeding, So Far!
Stephanie Precourt from Adventures in Babywearing: “Continued Breastfeeding”: straight from the mouths of babes
The Accidental Natural Mama: Nurse on, Mama
Sarah @ Reproductive Rites: Gratitude for extended breastfeeding
Nikki @ On Becoming Mommy: The Little Things
Dr. Sarah @ Good Enough Mum: Breastfeeding for longer than a year: myths, facts and what the research really shows
Amy @ WIC City: (Extended) Breastfeeding as Mothering
The Artsy Mama: Why Nurse a Toddler?
Christina @ The Milk Mama: The best thing about breastfeeding
TopHot @ the bee in your bonnet: From the Mouths of Babes
Beth @ Bethstedman.com: Extended Breastfeeding: To Wean Or Not To Wean
Callista @ Callista’s Ramblings: Pressure To Stop Breastfeeding
Amanda @ Postilius: Nursing My Toddler Keeps My Baby Close
Sheryl @ Little Snowflakes: Tandem Nursing- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Zoie @ Touchstone Z: Breastfeeding Flavors
Lauren @ Hobo Mama: Same old, same old: Extended breastfeeding
Tanya @ Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Six misconceptions about extended breastfeeding
Jona (Breastfeedingtwins.org): Breastfeeding older twins
Motherlove Herbal Company: Five reasons to love nursing a toddler