As Avery inches towards her first birthday, we are coming closer and closer to the days when she will no longer breastfeed. Now, she is a voracious nurser but as a newborn, it did not come naturally to her. At one point in the the hospital a nurse commented on how much it looked like it hurt when she was latched on. I thought everything was fine until I ended up with scabs on my nipples. Enter the lactation consultant. What a relief it was to visit her post-delivery, have her council me on proper positioning and give me a nipple shield to help me continue to nurse as I healed. When we got a routine down that wasn't leaving me injured I was so much less stressed.
While Avery nurses, I wonder if it is at all similar to the sensation Violet Beauregarde had in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when she grabbed the newly invented chewing gum and began to chew. "Oh, it's tomato soup, I can feel it running down my throat!" Does Avery say the same thing as she nurses? "Mmm, great burger mom. And I dig the new Trader Joe's cilantro dressing you've been eating." Maybe the last time I nurse her I will prepare some sort of gourmet meal as a send off. (Like you can plan the exact last time.)
I will definitely miss nursing. It will signal the end of an era, the end of my baby being a baby and you can't go back to those days. They go by SO FAST! There's another side of me that will also be glad to be done. Nursing makes your child dependent upon you in ways that can feel limiting . Though I love the feeling that I am providing for my child without doing much at all, I can't be away from her for an extended period of time. (She never went for pumped milk or formula in the bottle.) For now, I will enjoy having her cozy on my lap, getting grins from her mid-suckle, and the time it affords just she and I.