A salute to my boobs for 19 months of hard work of nursing my first son PJ.
Weaning a toddler seems like an accomplishment, but its bitter-sweet. No more little sticky hands digging hand down my shirt, attempts at using the free boob as a rattle, or creatively contorting his body to get to the milk at times that were awkward and inconvenient. Those things I won’t miss at all. But the thought of letting it go makes me want to cry.
It has days since I nursed my son. If I knew that the last time would in fact be the last, I would have gazed in his eyes a little longer, curled him up to me a little tighter, and wiggled his toes just a little longer, all so that those sweet moments would be etched into my memory for as long as they would stay.
I remember my first time nursing PJ, I had NO idea of what I was doing. The one thing that I did know was that this was our only option. (I desperately wanted to breastfeed and quite honestly, we couldn’t afford formula.) And because this was my only option, this meant that whatever obstacles we encountered our only choice was to overcome. I remember when my milk first came in like Miley Cyrus on wrecking ball over Niagra Falls, my chest was feeling all weird from the letdown, it was a new feeling, mostly uncomfortable, but I knew this was my one option so I endured. When my nipples were in pain and cracked and bleeding, I slapped that nipple cream on and kept going, because I knew this was what I had to do… and PJ and I learned to breastfeed together.
Like so many moms, I pumped milk everyday dag’on day when I returned to work because this just what had to be done. I longed to hold my baby while filling and storing milk bags, and counting ounces to make sure my baby was fed in my painful absence. When I came home from work and hadn’t seen him in more than eight hours, we nursed, we reconnected, we looked into each other’s eyes, he curled his toes, I wiggled with them. It was what we both needed.
My milk, by God’s wonderful design, was a cuddle, a timer, PJ’s morning coffee, food, medicine, a leisurely milkshake, a lullaby, a reassurance. At times, because of my own insecurities it was the only thing that I felt distinguished me as his mother.
As I felt the milk flowing, and as I heard his rhythmic little swallows, I knew that a miracle was happening, not only could I not explain how he grew in my womb, but as an infant he continued to grow as my body fully plenished his in miraculous way. I was for certain that this was God’s perfect plan. My baby was fluffy from white sweet milk from me. I didn’t even know they had so much potential. As a rookie I got us tangled in nursing covers, and there was a time that my husband looked at me like I was crazy because I unknowingly let a nipple slip out during my first attempt to breastfeed in public…. I kept going… and so did the church service.
Now that the time of nursing my first son has come to an end, I may be feeling a bit down, but my boobs won’t be sad at all. In fact they are having a party. No more being bit, pulled, leaking, being too full, too empty, lop sided.
I’ll miss my son swiping his little hand across my chest, but I know that weaning him is an honor. He is growing into a young man that I will one day dance with at his wedding…and this puts me one milestone closer. It’s really that deep for me. While my boobs are thanking PJ and the Lord, I will be missing the chance to sneak in a cuddle with my sweet toddler of growing independence.
I salute you moms who breastfeed, you do what it takes for as long as you can. I salute you too boobs… you went from plump melons, to village woman picking melons in a matter of months. You put me in the push up bra market – and that’s okay. It’s okay because this experience was unlike any other, I became more of a woman, more of a mother, more confident in my ability to nurture. And if I had the choice of victoria secret worthy boobs over village woman, take me to the village – because that droopiness is a sign of a mother’s sacrifice, its a beautiful badge motherhood. I just didn’t think I would have the Droopy Sacrificial Mom badge at 25 – but I’ll take it. My first born child is weaned, and one tiny step closer to being the man God has called him to be. Though it’s hard to let go, it’s a wonderful thing.
1 Samuel 1:21
21 The next year Elkanah and his family went on their annual trip to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and to keep his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, “Wait until the boy is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the Lord permanently.[”
23 “Whatever you think is best,” Elkanah agreed. “Stay here for now, and may the Lord help you keep your promise.” So she stayed home and nursed the boy until he was weaned.
24 When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine. 25 After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. 26 “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. 27 I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. 28 Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.