Wasn’t it just the other day they laid you on my chest for the first time? You were so precious, all bundled up beneath those hospital blankets. Your hands found your way out from under them and into your mouth. You were hungry from the start, as you nuzzled your way down to my breast and latched on the first try. There was something special that started in the recovery room on that cold February morning between you and me.
Something we’re saying goodbye to today.
It’s been so hard these last few weeks. As I’ve watched your crawls turn into steps, and steps into strides, your need for more of me has increased, but my supply is quickly fading away. Not only can I not keep up with your jagged little waddle down the halls, but I can’t keep up with your appetite, either. So a few weeks ago, it started happening.
A bottle here.
A bottle there.
A little less of me.
A little more of something else.
And baby, you took those bottles like a champ. My mama heart was so proud at how easily you took that first one, but it also broke me a little knowing that it wasn’t coming from me. But not everything you need will always come from mama.
I think that’s how it’s going to be from now on, you and me. Needing me a little less and something else a little more. From infant to toddler, to kindergarten and beyond, you will always be growing, changing, learning, and thriving, something marvelous to behold. Always standing with your hand in mine, holding onto you loosely. Oh sweet baby, how I’m trying to learn how to hold onto you loosely.
And so I’ll savor these moments as we sit together in our favorite rocking chair at bedtime, little one. I’ll turn the lights down low and hold you close. You’ll nuzzle into me and I’ll stroke your tiny cheeks as you take the last of what I have to give. I’ll take in your little gulps and the way you kick your feet while you eat and etch into my heart forever the way you smile at me with that milky smirk when you’re finished.
And I’ll remember the beautiful time we took together to say goodbye.
Goodbye to breastfeeding, sweet baby. Thank you for giving me the joy of giving myself to you.