Definition of an era: A period of time characterized by particular circumstances, events, or personages.
The era of nursing Luke is over. Actually, it ended yesterday, just as I had planned for it to...on his ten-month birthday.
I have enough milk stored for a couple more weeks and then we'll switch over to formula.
Sounds so cut and dry, doesn't it? Sounds just like the old me...Planned it. Prepared for it. Executed it. Finished it.
It's NOT that cut and dry!
Yes, I've been planning it and have been talking with doctors, nurses lactation consultants and most helpful, other mommies.
Yes, Luke has (true to his easy manner!) made it so easy for me. (Maybe too easy, if I am honest!) He has switched over to bottles fairly well now (only The First Years BreastFlow, though I have tried all sorts of others!) and cracks me up at how he can totally hold it, yet won't. Mommy may have stopped supplying directly, but he still holds me accountable for making sure it gets to him easily and without much work on his part, ha ha!
Yes, it's for a bigger goal. A chance at a sibling with whom he can grow up.
Yes, even if we the testing comes back saying it's a no-go on another IVF, I'll still at least know we tried.
But it hurts. I sort of feel like my body is in mourning...kind of like the poor puppy who brings a ball to his master's feet, willing to run and play and jump like they always have, only to learn the master has a baby now and just doesn't have the same time for the puppy that it once did...and the puppy just sort of takes the ball, longingly, and waits for things to go back like they were before. (Not that this has happened in our house, right?) That's how my body is right now...wondering why we are not feeding that baby like we always have and whether or not it is even appreciated anymore. I'm not in physical pain (seriously, Luke has been somewhat weaning himself anyway, according to the lactation consultants, and that's helped tremendously,) but more emotional.
I have plenty of milk. I always have. He's a good nurser (after some major effort, of course). I honestly would go until he completely stopped or I dried up.
But if we are going to get this testing done, and further, should the testing prove positive and we attempt a cycle or two...we have to get going. And I have to stop making milk and the accompanying hormones so test results are not skewed.
I told my sister-in-law (Who, by the way, really is a good conversationalist. She listens, even when one rambles, and has good insight and good, honest support. I never remember to tell her this, but am doing so right now!) that I feel like I am always robbing Peter to pay Paul when it comes to sacrificing one child's needs for another's...sacrifice feelings I have for Matthew to be the mommy Luke needs. Sacrifice mood and energy level for Luke because I'm drained in giving to Matthew when I just have those horrible, terrible achy days.
Now I am sacrificing something so precious and intimate and sacred with Luke, for the mere possibility of another sibling.
It just isn't fair.
But I already know that, and she reminded me that's just how it goes when you have multiple children.
And it is. I guess it's the fact that this next sibling is truly just a dream right now and having to stop nursing Luke to get there is a very tangible thing I am giving up.
The knowledge, either way, will be worth it. I will not regret weaning Luke and having another child. I may wish wistfully that I'd not had to stop nursing Luke only to find out we weren't having another one, but I would always regret not knowing whether we could or not.
So, as stated. The end of an era. A wonderful and magical one, though very bumpy and not without it's share of frustrations. Sweet little Luke, I want you to know it has been my honor and my privilege to nurse you these 10 months, and I am so grateful for the amazing experience and memories. Thank you, thank you.
Today we took some pictures out at the beach. They mostly stink because it was so bright out they are all overexposed and frankly, I don't know how to compensate for that. I was in manual, and I was using all my tricks on my camera to balance exposure, but still...blech. I want to learn how to adjust white balance in Kelvin and I also need to learn more about metering with my camera. But I digress...the purpose of this paragraph was to preface the pictures. My niece is visiting and after I took a few of Luke, I set the camera and gave it to her. She captured some really sweet ones...because the most important part of the pictures are the expressions...they show how much I adore this little boy and how happy he is.
I am so blessed with him.