The End of an Era

A little over 10 years ago, my life changed: I found out I was going to be a mommy.

Ever since that day, 121 months ago, I have shared my body with my children.

For 527 weeks, my body has been used to keep my children alive.

Every single day for the past 3600+ days, I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding. Or both.

That is, until yesterday.

For the first time in his 25 months of existence, Pipsqueak didn’t curl up in my lap to nurse. He didn’t press his little finger to his lips and say “milk!”

For the first day in more 10 years, my body was not used to grow or nourish one of my children.

After 152 weeks of pregnancy (not counting those two not-really-pregnant weeks at the beginning) and 92 months of breastfeeding, I can feel the pages of my story starting to turn.

And it’s bittersweet to say the least.

One of my biggest worries when welcoming baby #4 was how we were going to wean off breastfeeding. It wasn’t something I’d ever had to do before. All my other children self-weaned by the end of the first trimester of my next pregnancy when my milk dried up. But if there are no more babies, how will weaning work?

It’s been a slow process. I nursed on demand until this summer when in June I decided no more nursing away from home. It was a decision I made for my comfort (he’s a big boy!) and the fact that it was a boredom buster, not a hunger thing.

By the time we went to Colorado, he was only nursing first thing in the morning and before his nap and again before bedtime.

When we got home a few short weeks ago, he was down to just first thing in the morning after days of car naps and crazy hotel bedtimes.

But I didn’t expect that last feed to drop off so quickly. It was the last feed all of my children held onto. Sugarplum for at least 6 months of only morning nursing.

And while I’m okay with the idea of being done with nursing (I started wearing real bras again!) it also marks one of the last remaining signs of my last baby.

What it really means is I’m no longer going to have a baby. After 10 years of having a baby or expecting a baby, that era of my life is officially coming to a close.

It’s not done just yet, he curled himself into my lap once again this morning for a little milk, and I’m in no hurry to push him away. He is, after all, my last baby.

And while I love watching him grow and change and doing all the big kid things, a large piece of me will always long to have those baby days back.

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