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Sunday, November 22, 2015

WE MADE IT TO OUR GOAL OF BREASTFEEDING FOR 1 YEAR

Dear Caroline,

Yesterday was the first day in your life that I have not breastfed you. You are 1 week away from being 1 year old. 1 week away from being a toddler instead of an infant! Time is flying by and it is bittersweet. With each new milestone I am so excited to see what life brings to us in your new phase, but I am also saddened to let go of some things. This is one of those moments.

I knew it was coming. I knew that I was planning on breastfeeding you for 1 year. We timed it perfectly and you were weaned down to just 2 nursing sessions per day. You always nursed well, but I also knew that you wouldn't ask to be nursed if I didn't offer it one day. It was just one of those things that you enjoyed, but I knew you'd move past quickly as well.

My plan was to take the morning feeding away and let you adjust for a week or so. Then I would lessen the amount you were taking at the evening feeding, and after about a week of that, remove the final feeding. Unfortunately, these steps had to be accelerated. I needed to be on medication this week that I can't take while nursing. So, it was time. On Tuesday I removed the AM feeding. You didn't even notice as you gulped down your warmed whole milk. On Wednesday, I tried removing the evening feeding as well. I made the mistake of offering you cow's milk in the glider that I nurse you in. You were upset and didn't understand. I nursed you. Yesterday I didn't sit in the glider, and I had Daddy give you the warmed milk. While you didn't take to the milk, you also didn't ask to be nursed. You were ok. You are such a big girl.

We are now two days in, and you are handling this like a champ! You don't always drink your milk (you are still getting used to it), and I am still trying to figure out the best temperature for it and best time to give it to you, but you also aren't asking to be nursed. You are amazing.

I don't feel like I got a chance to mentally prepare for this, since we had to accelerate the timing. I think I had a sweet goodbye planned in my head or something. I'm not sure why, but I am so emotional about this change. I miss getting extra snuggles during feeding time. I miss your hand on my face, and even your tiny little fingers up my nose. We were both ready to be done nursing, but I wasn't ready to let go of you. I wasn't ready to let go of my extra time with you, or those sweet moments that only you and I share. I just wasn't quite ready.

I've shed the tears for both of us. I am not surprised at how well you are handling the change, though. You are so tough, and so strong, and have always been independent. I know we'll have new moments, and more cuddles and kisses for a lifetime. I will always remember how it felt to hold you and nurse you, though. I will always remember how, no matter what was wrong, it always comforted you, which comforted me. I'll remember it always and forever. I love you so much.

Love,
Mama
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