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Dear Tucker, my self-weaning toddler

The Village Love Doula

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dear Tucker, my self-weaning toddler Dear Tucker, My Oldest baby.  My independent, sweet, self-weaning toddler.  It had been two days since you have asked to nurse, and now here you are in my arms, asking to nurse again after a melt down about having to take a bath.  I love soothing your frustrations.  Sitting in my lap, I can feel your arms stretch around me and your face against my chest, with your feet dangling down by my legs.  You are getting so big now, but you still know just how to cuddle me to melt my heart.  I know these moments are numbered now.  You've learned how to self sooth, you've learned how to put yourself down for naps, and even dad can be all the comfort you need at times. Breast feeding you for these last 2 years, 10 months, and 14 days is the most challenging, self less, and beautiful thing I've ever done.  But I know I don't have much longer, so this is my letting go letter to you. This has been the hardest goodbye I've ever faced in my life.  Some days I feel so touched out and done, but then moments like this, with you in my lap, I am reeled right back and and can't imagine this ever ending.  You see, I'm not just saying good bye to those big blue eyes staring up at me.  I'm not just saying goodbye to those night time snuggles where I can hear you snore off and smell your hair.  I'm not just saying good bye to those tears that have fallen down the side of my breast after you've just fallen down and skinned your knee.  I'm saying good bye to the baby who made me a mommy.  Before you I was just Amber, but the moment you were born I earned the best title in the world...A mom!  Now the name Amber just sounds so empty.  I'd rather hear a little voice call me Mommy any day.  You were the one who gave that to me, and now I have to let go of the last of your baby stage.  My heart aches for that loss.  But I'm gaining so much by saying hello to the next chapter in our relationship.  The baby stage went too fast, but I know in my heart I soaked up every moment.  So many times I was so exhausted nursing you every hour of the night, but I never slept unless I couldn't take another second.  Often I'd stay awake and watch you sleep...I never wanted to miss a thing.  I loved watching you dream and wondering if you were dreaming of me, or dreaming of still being inside of me.  I missed being pregnant with you and I know nursing you kept that connection alive for both of us.  I know you sleeping next to me allowed for you to hear my heart and feel my warmth.  I know you gained as much from that as I did. Someday you'll be grown, and you will be by your wife's side, just like your daddy was next to me, staring at our beautiful creation with complete awe.  She'll be nursing your baby.  She will struggle,a nd be frustrated, and like your dad you'll know how special and important to her it is to succeed at this breastfeeding journey.  You'll give her encouraging words, and you'll read how-to books, and seek help from nurses for her.  When you see your wife's dedication and love on her face for your baby, I hope right then in those moments you get a glimpse of my love and dedication I have for you.  I will forever treasure our nursing relationship, our bond we created, and the blood sweat and tears [literally!] that we shed together. You are forever my baby.  Thank you for accompanying me on this beautiful journey. Love, Your mom Update 11/17/2015  about 6 months later: Me: "you haven't nursed in a while, Tuck" T: "Nope, I don't drink mom milk any more" Me: "You're all done? Forever?" T: "yup" Me: "How about one last time?" T: "Ok, but this is the last-iest last time ever" he pops off "Thanks mom!" My heart is shattered...but I did it. I self weaned a toddler. I breastfed Tucker for 3 years 5 months and 3 days. 8 months of which he has shared with Forest. We battled ties, mastitis, pregnancy, blood, sweat, tears, and so much joy. This has been my favorite part of motherhood. It was not easy, but it was sooooo worth it! But I saw it in his face, this was it. He went over 2 weeks without it, and this was our final goodbye. The most goodbye-iest goodbye ever. The was the last time my body would ever nourish his. I made him...I made him, and then my body grew him, and created an entire other organ to keep him alive, and then when he came out, my body made milk to continue to keep him alive. I GREW A HUMAN AND KEPT HIM ALIVE. The moments I'll forever treasure: First latch, hand stands, picking my nose while he nursed, tandem nursing and holding hands with Forest, making me nurse his dinosaurs, all the times his tears would fall down my chest and somehow my milk made it all better, all the late nights just him and I, the old man in walmart, calling them his bestfriends, telling me they taste like chocolate, helping me pump for Elliott, I'm crying. I can't believe this is over. It feels like a lifetime ago that I didn't make's just a part of my life now and I can't remember not ever doing it. So here it is, I'm no longer a tandem nurser. Tucker is no longer a baby, he's no longer a toddler. He grew up into a healthy, loving, crazy, hyper, and smart little boy...and I'd like to think our nursing relationship had a lot to do with that. <3 Goodbye baby Tucker.

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