March 24, 2010

A moment, fleeting

extendedbreastfeedingc

It was after three in the afternoon and I realized this was the first time since waking up she was asking for "na-nap" (or more recently "na-nip" -- her words not mine.)


I started to notice that she isn't nursing as much at all. Definitely still enough at night and for comfort, and here and there, but less and less and less.

extended breastfeeding

We'll nurse a lot longer, extended, it's what we do, it's what I prefer and so far, her, too. But the end is near-er, still off in the horizon I imagine, but I see the shadow walking, and it's so incredibly bittersweet.



You Capture: A Moment.
(taken with my iPhone.)

56 comments:

  1. Ariel weaned herself at 1 year-I was very sad as she was my 2nd and I knew she was my last. I listened to everyone when Alexis was 14 months old and stopped nursing cold turkey. I was so sad and to this day (over 15 years later) I regret thinking that other people older than me knew what was best for my baby and for me.

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  2. Your post brought me to tears, wiping them away as I am typing this. I know just what you mean. My sweet Emery is 18 mos. and by her choice she stopped nursing, which was a very sad thing for me. I knew that was one step away from her moving away from the baby stage. Just breaks my heart! I wish they could stay this little forever.

    But in the words of the wise Dr. Seuss that I say to myself every single time I get a lump in my throat with knowing that my baby is growing up so fast...
    "Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened."

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  3. Tears, for me, too. Binary Boy is a few days shy of 17 months and still nurses twice a day, for his nap and before going to bed. Some nights, I can tell it's more out of habit, and even that makes me a little sad.

    He's my first, so I have no other experience to draw from. I just know that it still feels right, for both of us.

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  4. That's hard. Love these very sweet, personal photos.

    Thanks for sharing them. : )

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  5. Such a sweet moment. Bennett nursed until 19 months. I can't wait to nurse my next babe.

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  6. I took some photos like this of Ax recently. http://www.flickr.com/photos/claritychaos/ (just at the bottom of the page) I love how you describe it as seeing the shadow walking...beautiful. I am right there with you, and so glad that we nurse for so long. Love love love.

    xo elizabeth

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  7. I get sad thinking about when both of my daughters weaned. My 1st was at 10 months, and my at 29 months.
    I wonder how long this new baby will breastfeed.

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  8. What a beautiful bittersweet moment! I'm sure there will be more beautiful moments to look forward to along the way...maybe different as she ages, but beautiful just the same.

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  9. thank you for your sweet comment, steph. your photos & honesty are such encouragement.

    ivy is such a precious treasure - i so relish your pictures & stories of her. i can't wait to be blogging thusly about my own treasure someday.

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  10. I am so envious of the moms who nurse longer. Big Sister more or less weaned herself at just after one. But I let her. I let her because I honestly believed that Little Sister would nurse and so if Big Sister was leaning that way.... well, that would be easier. But I regret it. I think if I had encouraged her a little more we would have rounded the corner on those weeks and she would still nurse. I can see in her that it would be better if she did. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it?

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  11. Alyssa is 21 months, and I think she is weaning herself, and I am sad. She is my last, and I just don't this bond we have had for almost 2 years to go away.

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  12. Aww, this post reminds me that pretty soon Ellie's going to want to wean too. We're also doing extended nursing and as tiring as it is sometimes, I do enjoy holding her in my arms and watching her drift off to sleep while nursing.

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  13. *sigh* Right there with you. I'm on my third and last baby...and my first time going beyond 13 months with nursing. She's 14 months now...and some days she is eager to nurse, others she only nurses a few minutes and is all done. I'm not ready to lose my nursing baby!!

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  14. These are so lovely and sweet. Great captures.

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  15. Hear you Steph. It was so bittersweet when Laurel started opting for Cheerios instead of me. And the night that I decided we were done (it was all comfort, no nourishment at that point) I thought it would be a huge deal and she seemed totally unphased.

    It's a natural and eventual transition but yes, still tinged with sadness.

    xoxox

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  16. Oh sad. I don't how I'll handle it when Lily decided to stop nursing. I feel for you.

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  17. I always offered lots of milk for my 9-14 month olds. If they get past 14 months, I figure they're in it for the long haul.

    My 21 month old usually nurses lots when we're together but didn't yesterday and my poor breasts were very confused and full.

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  18. Bittersweet!! Jessica just weaned at 23 months (she was down to just in the morning most days) she stopped asking in the morning for "milt"(milk) and asking for "mini meats" (mini wheats) instead. I let her lead as I am pregnant so it although bittersweet was going to happen soon.

    Thanks for the encouragement to be an extended breastfeeding mom...even if you did not know you were, you were! I never nursed my other 3 passed 6 months...the support wasn't there...got tired of being expected to hide in my room when others were over or in another room at someone else's house.

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  19. There's really nothing else like it in the world.

    I get REALLY sad some days that it didn't work out with my baby girl. :( Enjoy it while it lasts...

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  20. My little one is still holding on to the nighttime nursing even though there's no milk. I'm pregnant and have dried up. Somehow I see tandem nursing in my future, and that's not a bad thing.

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  21. we just started solids and i already feel like the end is near. he seems to have dropped 2 feedings and all ready my heart broke a little. but, we will go as long as we can. as long as he wants. great pics!

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  22. So sweet and sad! I guess you should start preparing yourself.
    I found pictures of my babies in the same sling, three years apart...and posted it yesterday on my blog, because I want them to be able to see the pictures one day. I'm already trying to prepare myself for the babywearing chapter to end one day. So happy, but so hard to watch them grow so big.

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  23. I've been having a terribly hard time this past week, as my 17mo old has, I'm pretty sure, weaned herself. I still offer her nursing time in the morning and before bed, but while she might suck for a second or two she's really more interested in getting up or looking around or whatever. She will ask for a cup or her pacifier (yes, still attached to that for nighttimes) over nursing. I thought we'd go at least until two!

    I was preparing myself for the struggle of tandem-nursing (due in August), but not for weaning and then re-entry into breastfeeding all over again later. It's making me incredibly sad, so I feel your poignancy for Ivy.

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  24. I love nursing for so many reasons, and I dread the day Zeke decides he doesn't need/want to anymore. He's only 8 months and we probably still have a lot of time, but with working full-time I only get to nurse him two or three times a day as it is.

    Yet another reason to love weekends.

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  25. This is lovely and bittersweet and I understand. It was so easy for me to stop nursing with Luke because I was pregnant, and it HURT, and we were both kind of ready. But I've noticed, already, that Tommy is so distracted. When we get home, I want to sit on the couch and nurse. He wants to get down and crawl after big brother and pull himself up on the couches... even at night, he's restless while I nurse him. I'm so afraid that he's going to be done before I'm ready.

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  26. Awwww. Why does time to have to fly by so fast? At this point, Kameryn nurses almost as frequently {some days} as she did soon after she was born. She just needs the snuggles and comfort regularly {if only for a minute or two at a time}. But I know that someday she will be too busy. And that makes me sad. Treasure each moment.

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  27. Love the pictures! Isn't it funny the different ways kids ask to nurse? My friend's son wants "Baboo". My daughter Elizabeth asks for "Ney-ney"

    I've been thinking a lot about extended nursing these days since it became clear that I'm going to need to be very motivated to continue while "being strongly encouraged to stop my excessive breastfeeding ways".

    Our shadow is still a way off but ever since Elizabeth turned one I have felt a definite shift in public attitudes from beaming approval to chilly discouragement.

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  28. They grow so fast! My daughter was ready to be weaned at nine months,and honestly, I was ready too. She went right to a sippy cup, no problem!

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  29. Beautiful photos and post. I wasn't able to nurse very long, but I mourned when she no longer would take it :(

    You asked about her dresses...I sewed them myself. Thank you for asking ;)

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  30. I should have said 33 years in my tweet! Jane nursed until the night before she turned 3... and still I feel her warmth and beauty and loveliness and softness and how much she loved me and how much I loved her loving me... Ahhhhhh.

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  31. Aw, such a sweet post. :)

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  32. enjoy the rest of your days, i think its wonderful!

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  33. It's amazing how quickly they grow and start making their own choices, becoming their own little people. Such bittersweet moments for mamas!

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  34. So glad to hear of another extended nurser... I nurse my two 1/2 year old, and that's about 4 times longer than anyone I know! It's been great for us... good bonding, and she NEVER gets sick, which I attribute to it. Good for you for being so open with it and making it more acceptable for the rest of us :)

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  35. Natural weaning is such sweet sorrow.

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  36. She's growing up so fast, Stephanie. It's a very bittersweet experience.

    Nell

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  37. I wanted to nurse Troy for two years and he was over it around one.

    I never posted about it because it was too sad for me.

    (He actually waved bye-bye the last time. And never looked back.)

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  38. I totally understand--my now 16 month old weaned himself a couple of months ago and I was a sad momma. He's still super cuddly but I miss nursing him. I'm due with my 3rd in July and I was looking forward to the challenge of tandem nursing--but I guess it's not happening...not this time around, anyway! ;)

    -Abby

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  39. bittersweet indeed. with my 1st, nursing ended sooner than i thought it would, but she didn't seem to miss it as much as i did. i am hoping baby #2 will continue a while longer (he's 10 mos. right now). i enjoy those quiet times together.

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  40. So bittersweet. My little guy of 2 1/2 is STILL nursing and I can't seem to completely let it go. And neither can he. So we will take it as it comes....

    I never thought I would nurse this long because well, wow. At times I just want to be free of it....but he's my last baby. And even though he's not a baby - he's still my baby.

    Sweet photos Steph...

    Lee

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  41. Such sweet pictures.

    My boy (also 18m) still nurses alot
    ,any chance he gets and it makes me
    so happy. My second daughter weaned at 20 months and i have been terrified he would do the same. I really feel aged 2 is the minimum age for stopping feeding (but hopefully we will go much longer)

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  42. OH I felt the quiver in my own heart when I read this post. I remember knowing the time was drawing nearer and nearer for my son to wean. He was in control and I just clung to our time together until finally, he chose to stop at 16mos. Bitersweet is the perfect word for it. *Sigh*

    but these new experiences together are wonderful too :)

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  43. i nursed both of my girls up to their 2nd birthday.
    stella was ready.
    cora was not.
    and i feel SO guilty that i made the decision because i didn't want it to be different for her. without realizing that it IS different because she is different.
    i've decided that dates mean nothing. and i'm just going to follow my finn's lead.

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  44. Awww. My son started self weaning at 10 months and was done by 11. It just about broke my heart. We struggled so much the first 3 weeks, I was determined to make it to at least a year. I hope this next baby will be a little more long term.

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  45. Usually baby Jude only nurses twice a day - the rest is food & formula now. But this afternoon he crawled up and tugged at my shirt with his mouth open and I was just so touched. *so special*

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  46. This is my third babe to nurse and he turned 1 last week. I had thought we would begin the wean - slow and steady - but he has been wanting less of food and more of mama's milk instead. Strange.

    I am not complaining. I love our tiny carved out moments that stop, timeless, in the middle of our chaotic day.

    This is what love is like. Peace in the storm. Giving of self to satisfy another heart - another belly - another life.

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  47. What beautiful perspectives. Each pictures is beautiful. And such a sweet, loving post!

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  48. Our end is in sight too. Robby has actually been nursing longer than I'd expected he would. Sam had stopped asking by this point when he was this age, but Robby is rather obsessed:)

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  49. Our end is nearing as well and it's definitely a bittersweet moment for me, thinking about not nursing a baby ever again.

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  50. I just linked to you from My Life As ...Mom.
    I like your posts. I dont have kids yet - but I like your stories. Thanks.

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  51. Oh - and I am also VERY interested in all you have to say about the baby wearing. I am so excited about that being in my future!

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  52. This brought tears to my eyes. Shane turned two in February, and was nursing just a few times a day (before nap & bed, and first thing in the morning). I thought we were nearing the end, and I can't even begin to express how bittersweet that felt. Now he's in the midst of cutting his two-year-molars, and has increased his nursing because of that...so I think we still have a ways to go before he's ready to wean. I'm going by his cues...and while there are days where I wished he was done already, I know I'll miss these moments so much when he is done.

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