nursing

Now that I have two littles...

We have been through so many changes lately and are still in transitions at the moment. So, it wasn't a surprise when little one #1 asked me to nurse all of a sudden the other day. She had asked for it a few times during the day and I refused each time. I didn't give it any thought, I just automatically said "no" every time. Immediately upon each request, people's warnings began ringing in my ears:

"She won't ever let it go again."

"She'll think she can control you."

"You can't give kids everything they ask for."

"She's too old to nurse."

At night, she asked for it again but with a gentleness that I hadn't seen from her in a while since she entered her boisterous toddlerhood. She also seemed like she really needed it so, apprehensively, I cuddled in the covers with her and nursed her for the first time in 5 months.

I cried like a baby.

I missed our alone moments so much. I missed feeling I could do things with her without having my eye on my other baby. I missed doing things with her without the feeling that we have to hurry because little one #2 may have to nurse/sleep/check-in with momma. Our 3 person family grew to 4 and with that came changes to my relationship with her. And although I know things will slow down with little one #2 and they will entertain each other and both become more independent as time goes by, our dynamic changed permanently. I really missed it while we were nursing. She looked up at me with adorably tired doe eyes and began to squeeze my elbow skin like she always used to when she was a baby. I was in heaven having her so close because her current stage in life doesn't see many moments of stillness with momma.

I felt really happy to have felt how much she needed closeness with me because not only did I have such a yummy moment with her but I felt like I was still in tune with her and could still recognize her needs. Since she became a toddler I have felt somewhat of a disconnection and haven't known how to "get it back."  But I see I am still listening, I am still aware and I am still ready to give her what she needs to grow confidently and securely.

 

Still nursing.

Before I was a mom and even while raising my first alone (no siblings), I would say "when kids are old enough to ask to nurse they are too old to nurse!" because I thought that was weird. I thought it was weird because I was simply regurgitating things others would say and I was merely mimicking others feelings and awkwardness about something I knew nothing about. I had had no prior experiences and yet still spoke with utmost authority and certainty.

Well, guess what. My toddler is old enough to ask for it. And we're still nursing. And it's the opposite of weird. It still feels nice, nurturing for both of us, connecting and completely natural. I stopped for a bit so that I would not be overwhelmed by tandem nursing with a newborn (bc they're always on the boobies). But now, we went back to occasional nursing. And I love it.

If anyone wants to tell me she's too old, then don't you nurse my child. And 3 years old is "too old" for very few things... nursing NOT being one of them. She pinches the skin under my elbow while she drinks milk and looks me deeply in the eyes with a love so big it's beyond words. It's so soothing to us both (except when she feels it's too soon to stop and gives me the look that she's ready to go into an epic battle for the boob!) and after all the challenges we had when she was a tiny baby, every time my babies get momma's milk- every time- I am deeply grateful for being able to provide that kind of pure sustenance and for the sustenance that is provided to me from my blessed food and from the love of my husband to be able to pass it on to them.

Nursing is a blessing.