I sit here sipping my morning cup of tea (decaf while I’m pregnant), basking in the warm glow. The sun pokes above the tree-line and dances its way through my half-opened curtains through which I saw a gorgeous sunrise. The living room lamps are still on and we are in the in-between of darkness and light. The day has arrived, I’ve been up several hours (though not quite as long as my love, who got up first with the little one and let me sleep a bit extra).
The little one and the big one are downstairs in the playroom. The sounds of giggling and happy playing are intermingled with the brief bouts of shouting and whine-crying. They learn and grow together as siblings and playmates, and at the end of the day he leans over to her highchair (which he insists on sitting beside at supper) and asks tenderly “Are we friends, Ally? Are we friends?”
She is 19 months old (and I am nearing 24 weeks pregnant), and she is still nursing. Mostly it’s just once a day, first thing in the morning. It has been a very important thing to her, and she has shown no signs of wanting to stop yet. We sit and cuddle, she and I, first thing in the morning. She nurses, while curled around my growing belly. She sometimes will stop and look at me with a goofy smile on her face, giving a sweet sigh of contentment, and continue on, gazing into my eyes with a piercing and tender love. Our special time brings comfort and peace to our relationship and starts us off with a good dose of oxytocin – lovey-dovey hormones.
I wonder sometimes – when will it happen? It will end, inevitably, and one day she will no longer be interested in being comforted and connecting in this way. She will outgrow the desire and need for it, and she will take a significant step toward independence from me.
I sit here sipping my tea, listening to my babes playing downstairs, and wonder. Is today the day? Is this it? The beginning of the end of a beautiful and tender nursing relationship? She didn’t ask to nurse this morning when I walked out of my room (normally she’s quite insistent about wanting it). She didn’t ask to nurse moments ago when she came upstairs pouting and crying because her big brother had taken a toy away.
At the beginning of this pregnancy she was still nursing three times a day, which was fairly physically taxing on my first-trimester body. Then as we worked on gently encouraging her to nurse a bit less (using distraction, etc), she willingly moved into this groove of once of day, first thing in the morning. It’s a natural part of our day with which we are both content.
There so many emotions running through my mind. Sadness mixed with anticipation, and regret (that I weaned my youngest so early at 12 months and never had this kind of beautiful experience with him). Most of all though I feel at peace. Whether she continues to nurse throughout my pregnancy and beyond, vaulting me into the unknown territory that is tandem nursing, or if today really is the beginning of the end – I am at peace.
Today I’ve guest posted over at my lovely friend’s space, on “10 Ways to Make Art at Home”. Please pop over and leave a comment!