Monday, January 3, 2011

The First Last

The other evening I took Kerrington in my arms, settled into the rocker in her nursery, and nursed her for the final time.  The weight of the moment was palpable.  She's our last baby, and every last for her is a last for me.  That's hard.

I nursed her for nearly eight months.  The decision to wean, although emotional, had been made pragmatically.  Logically, I direly needed to use a topical medicine that I couldn't use while nursing.  Logically, weaning during the semester break would be opportune.  Logically, starting classes in the spring would be easier without pumping and rushing home to nurse before her next feeding.  Logically, I was beginning to lose too much weight.  

Sometimes I hate logic.

Because as I nursed that precious baby for the final time, I wanted to keep her little forever.  I wanted to bottler her up, soak her in, breathe her smell, stroke her silky hair, stare at her perfect profile, and rub her little pajama-clad back forever.  I didn't want to rush anything, and weaning was admitting that my baby was growing and that in one small way, she didn't need me anymore.

She fell asleep in my arms.  Her hand, dimpled and supple, curled around the hem of my shirt.


Her breathing was soft and steady.  I sat, rocking and marveling, and in that moment she embodied all three of my children.  She was a tangible representation of motherhood and its changing nature.  Some days, I daydream about an organized house, a basement purged of baby paraphernalia, and a daily schedule opened by having the children in school -- and other days, I simply don't want them to grow.  I don't ever want to let them go.

I didn't want to let go that night.

I held her and soaked in the moment, rocking, thinking, praying, and resting.  Finally I rose, walked to the crib, and lowered her for the perfect transfer.  She let out one soft cry, rolled onto her belly, tucked her knees under her slightly, and drifted into an even deeper sleep.

I left the bedroom, took one step, and cried at the completion of one of our very first lasts.  We'll have many more ahead of us.


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9 comments:

  1. Oh my-thank you for putting into words what I (and many others I'm sure) have felt. Beautiful post.

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  2. wow. What a wonderful, heartfelt post. I welled up a bit. I didn't cry 'cause I'm cool like that, but my heart understands.
    I've been through this with my first baby and I cried then. My last baby will stop nursing in a few months and I'm dreading it.

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  3. Your post brought tears to my eyes and a big lump in my throat. As I still nurse my now 12 month old daughter, I dread that "last" nursing with her. She isn't the one that will have to wean, it's mommy that will. Beautifully written!

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  4. Aww, it's hard to see them grow. On the bright side, every stage has it's own "lasts" for you to cherish.

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  5. Absolutely touching. You've captured that moment so perfectly. Our third, and last, will be two on February 13th. I'm always amazed at how time slips by.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  6. So touching! You have a very beautiful family. And hey, you never know... God may surprise and bless you with a fourth child! So maybe it wasn't your last nursing after all. Hehe :)
    Love the blog title btw -- I remember my first load of laundry that yielded a wad of pink dryer lint! :)

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  7. Im at the end of my sixth and last pregnancy and am reminded that as with nursing some days you can't wait until its over, but you've written all the motivation i need to enjoy and savor this last!

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  8. Your post wrote so eloquently what it feels like to stop nursing your child. My fourth baby's time is almost up but I still can't seem to let her go yet.

    I remember when I weaned my oldest. I didn't really believe something so small could continue to grow without help from my body. Two more times, I weaned my babies - each time with a mixed sense of happiness at getting my body back and sadness that that special connection between us was over.

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  9. oh my! I read this in a very crowded computer lab and started crying.

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