Two weeks

In two weeks my baby will be three-years old.

Three years.

I don’t understand how he went from this:

to this:

…in a matter of months. A year, tops. Right? RIGHT?

It hurts my heart.

Like a lot.

He is my joy and my world.

My baby.

Except, he’s not, really. A baby that is.

He’s almost potty trained. We drove from Kansas City to Oklahoma City with no accidents and, bless his heart, he even braved public restrooms (note to self: acquire one more potty seat to leave in the van).

I WEAR UNNERWERE! He says proudly.

He hasn’t nursed since Thursday evening. It’s the longest he’s ever gone without nursing. For almost three years we’ve had that bond, that closeness, that snuggle time. He’s been down to nursing once a day for a long time now. But, still, it was a straggly little remnant of babydom that I could hold. “Mama, I nursh,” he’d tell me, rubbing his sleepy eyes with tiny fists. He wouldn’t nurse for long, but as he lay across my torso, snuggled in my arms, I could feel his body unwind.

For the first time since he was a year old my breasts feel full and swollen. I’d love to offer, “Hey buddy! Want to nurse?” but I don’t and I won’t. The decision to breastfeed as long as we did was his and his alone. “I believe in baby-led weaning,” I’d tell those that asked. And I do. So if he’s done, we’re done. It’s two parts daggers to the heart for every one part of celebrating. I’ve imagined this and thought it would be a relief. For the first time in four years, my body will be mine and mine alone.

Instead I just want to bawl.

We’re spending the weekend meeting new babies. My husband’s family has been inundated with new members in the last 6 weeks and they’re so tiny and sweet and snuggly…and demanding and loud and exhausting. I’ve changed their diapers, burped them, kissed their sweet soft heads…and I feel nothing. No pull in my heart (or uterus) that maybe- just maybe- I need one of those. They’re glorious, tiny little creatures but my arms don’t feel empty. The babies fuss, I hand them back to their mammas and walk away.

The realization has hit: I’m done. There will be no more babies. No more nursing. Our family is whole. Our baby is growing up. And, as content as I am with all of that (and I am), it sort of shatters and bewilders me.

Pity party for one (complete with an excellent crying fest) in the shower later tonight.

 

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