I'm in the twilight of my breastfeeding relationship with R. We're currently at 18 months, but I know he won't want it forever. I know I won't want it forever. He's slowed down just a little bit. Some days he doesn't nurse to nap. The end is getting close and I have mixed feelings about it.
On one hand, I'll be glad to be done with breastfeeding. A lazy toddler latch and a mouthful of teeth can make sleepy feeds uncomfortable. I'll be glad not to worry about how accessible my breasts will be with the top I'm wearing. My body will be my own once again, without hands being stuck down my shirt. No more stretched out shirts!
On the other hand, I will miss so many things about breastfeeding. The quiet moments, the heavy eyes, the hands and feet in my face, the giggles as I bite those hands and feet. The tantrum taming power, the confidence boosting power, and the snuggling power. The antibodies being passed to him, the reduction in various cancers, the reduction in risk of diabetes for him. I'll miss the bonding and knowing that I am his safe place and source of comfort.
Breastfeeding him for this long has been a wonderful reward for my difficult pregnancy. Breastfeeding him helped me make it through postpartum depression and anxiety. He was the ray of sunshine during the long period of darkness that followed his birth. Breastfeeding him has been more than just nurturing him - it has nurtured me as well. Breastfeeding this sweet boy has meant more than I can express.
Since he's the last baby I will breastfeed, I am treasuring the special moments. Sometimes it's tough - the lazy toddler latch drives me crazy! The end of breastfeeding is a sad time for me since it's a closure in the pregnancy and childbearing years of my life. But we are not there yet. Until we decide we are done, I will enjoy the twilight.