Breast feeding is an honor. It's a blessing. It's a burden.
It's a personal choice made by every new mother, whether or not to try. I don't judge either way. No one should.
With both babies, I made the choice to nurse. It came so naturally from the brimming, despite the common struggles of beginning pain and the body becoming accustomed. There were struggles along the way. Each baby had similarities, but both different.
With Spencer, the agonizing decision to cease the nursing journey came a few days before he was four months old. It had become more a burden and difficulty with his very slow speed and trying to fit work and nursing together. Pumping didn't work as well as I had hoped, and we stopped suddenly, after much thought, however, one emotional Sunday morning. And it was because of me, mostly.
With Collin, we have made it nearly seven months. With Spencer, I had hoped to make it six at least, so stopping was very heart wrenching for that reason. I had the goal of "longer this time," for Collin.
I achieved that goal. And, we made it to six months.
But, over the last few weeks, I have seen our journey coming to an end. I've been trying to prepare myself for it. I've been encouraging myself. Trying to remind myself that we met my goals and exceeded my expectations. Reminding myself that it is okay to do formula alone. I know all of these things in my mind, but my heart still aches.
The other morning, as most, Collin woke in the early hours, before SJ. I have become accustomed to pulling him in our bed beside me and nursing him back to sleep.
But that particular morning, he nursed until nearly sleeping.
Then, he got mad.
And he rejected me.
I couldn't fill his tummy, and it upset both of us.
I have tried a few times since then to nurse him "just one last time," and each time, leaving him hungry and resigning to a bottle after.
Despite the extra time we've been given, I just haven't been ready to let go.
But, my body seems to have nothing left.
I feel selfish wanting to continue. I don't always enjoy nursing, but yet, I enjoy the special bond. The fact that I, up until recently, have been able to provide him with something that only I can give him. It's unique. Yes, anyone can give him a bottle, but only I can give him that nursing bond and experience.
And now, I can't. I feel like there's nothing now that makes me so unique. That I could easily be replaced. That I am not completely necessary.
And I know it's not entirely true, in my mind, but my heart doesn't quite agree.
I have been trying to be in positive spirits about it. He is healthy. He's got some adorable baby chub. He's so wonderful, just like his brother.
But, last night, in my futile attempt to pump and prolong our journey, he sat on his daddy's lap, watching me, and I burst into tears. I cried myself to sleep.
My heart isn't ready, but my body is. I feel like this time I didn't make the decision to stop, and neither did Collin. It feels like a cruel act of my body against us both.
I know it's okay. But, it aches.