Thursday, September 11, 2008

20 Months - Every End Is a New Beginning

Dear Tree Faerie,

Tonight was the last night I plan to nurse you.  For the past 20 months, I have given you something that no one else ever has or will give you.  The bond we share is strong, and part of that strength I believe comes from our breastfeeding adventures.  Yes, I call them adventures, because the experience has been full of ups and downs.  When you were born, I knew I was supposed to try to get you to latch on within a few hours of birth.  I read everything I could get my hands on, took a breastfeeding class, and talked to a lactation consultant and several breastfeeding mothers.  However the first time I put you to my breast, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.  Together we were clumsy over the next few days while we figured it out.  Once we got the hang of it, though, it seemed easy.

And it was easy, at least until you started teething.  You changed the way you held your head and mouth at first, causing my nipples to become sore and irritated from rubbing against your swollen gums.  When the first tooth started breaking through finally, we went through about a week of you trying to bite me, me screaming and sitting you down in the floor, and you screaming.  After you figured out that biting me caused me to put you down, things went back to being easy again.

I have enjoyed our special time together, despite the pains, screams, and demands.  My heart is breaking just a little because my little girl is growing up.  I am excited to watch you grow and learn, but at the same time I'm reminded every day that my baby is now a toddler, my toddler will soon be a child, and my child will soon be a teenager.  Sometimes it seems like your high school graduation is looming much too close. 

No matter what, I want you to know that we are weaning for me and not because you did anything to cause it.  While I did plan to wean you by your second birthday, my body is clearly requesting I stop sooner.  My choices are to wean you now and allow my menstrual cycle to go back to coming every four weeks instead of every two, or we can continue nursing and I can continue the hormonal roller-coaster ride. 

The next few days, maybe even the next couple of weeks, are not going to be easy, but we are a very strong family and will survive this.  Thankfully you have a wonderful father who is willing to help in any way he can.  He will be putting you to bed and getting you up for the next few days so that you and I can break our habits.  I've even given him free reign on how he puts you to bed, as long as he puts you to bed, so there is no telling what interesting experiences you may have over the next few nights.  I know you love him very much, and it is obvious why.  He loves you with all his heart and makes it his goal to make you laugh every day.  I know you both will figure out how things work best for you.

Thank you for helping to make this experience so beautiful.  I love you more than you will ever know, but I promise to try to show you every day.  I am so proud of you!  You are growing up so fast that while it is exciting, sometimes I wish I could hit the pause button or at least the slow-motion button to savor these fleeting moments of time.  Alas, I cannot, so I try to record these memories in my head or in a letter to you, hoping to savor the memory forever.



Crysta aka maggs_07 said...

That was so beautiful!It brought tears to my eyes!! Be thankful you made the choice instead of kiddo making it like I did to my momma by making her flash the people at McDonald's cause I wanted dinner and she was too busy eating to meet my demands!!!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

I love your monthy letters to your sweet baby girl!

KATE said...

How sweet!

Not Afraid to Use It said...

What a beautiful, touching letter. I know she will look back at this, read your words and know how hard your fought for her. Breast-feeding is not as easy as one might think. She will appreciate your struggles. I still miss nursing my little guy. Hugs to you both.

bettyl said...

That's a wonderful thing you are doing, getting this all down for you little one.

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