I’m torn between two loves.
I can feel them both pulling me. And I want to give in to both. And so I lean towards one. And then, I pull back. Leaning. Resisting.
When baby boy first arrived, I fell in love. With him. With nursing him. With that bond.
So very different from the first time around. When everything was so new and awkward. And hard.
The first time around, I counted the days and I focused on the end. One year, that’s it. I locked my eyes on her first birthday and I moved towards that date. I started to research weaning around 8 months. And by the time her first birthday arrived, we were down to one feeding a day. The bedtime one. And I was cool with that. I was content to keep that one around for a while. I’d reclaimed most of my life and my time (and my wardrobe and my diet and, and, and) and so I was happy to keep this one moment.
But she wasn’t. She weaned and it was over. And I cried. I missed it.
So this time, when it was still hard but at least familiar and I already had my comfortable positions and my processes and routines, I fell in love. I wanted to make up for lost time. I couldn’t go back and nurse her, ever again. But, I had him.
And I have loved it. I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve lived in those moments and recognized them for what they are – special. Unrepeatable. Not transferable. Time bound. They are the moments that I’ll look back on one day when I’m feeling lost or lonely or like I’m doing everything wrong or as though we haven’t really connected for some time.
But now it’s been almost a year. And I’m getting tired. And I’m feeling ready. And in the spaces in between nursing, I want to be done. I want to wear turtlenecks without having to, at some point during the day, bear my midsection. I want to wear necklaces without the risk that they might be tugged and pulled and either break or choke me. I want to drink all the pumpkin spiced lattes my stomach can handle. And I want to rid my world of my pump. That wretched machine with its horrible parts. I want it gone.
But when I’m done, it’s over. No going back.
And I’m not ready for that. I’m. I’m not ready to loose him. And I know I won’t loose him. He is mine and always will be. I didn’t loose her. But it feels that way. It’s a step. The first of many changes in our relationship. The first and tiniest of many separations to come.
And I know I don’t have to. We can keep on keeping on. Nursing until we both are completely ready to stop. But, of course, it’s not just the nursing. It’s that he’s growing. It’s that time has passed and I can’t decide if I’ve fully enjoyed it enough. Fully lived it enough. Made up for the wishing away I did the first time around. It isn’t that I can’t keep nursing. It’s that I can’t go back.
And I’m overly emotional about it, I know. Can I blame this one, this final thing, on hormones? Or is this just it? This is how I’ll move through the end of the baby phase of my life. With high emotion and longing and this undeniable feeling of being so helplessly torn.