I have something to confess. I am a lazy, lazy breastfeeding mama.
Case in point. My three and a half-year old daughter still nurses at night.
Which means 2-3 times a night she gets out of her bed, walks to our room, crawls in to bed with me and nurses for anywhere from 1 minute to 30 minutes depending on how sleepy I am. And since I am usually quite sleepy, it's closer to the half hour mark than not.
I know she doesn't "need" to nurse at this time, I know I "should" have night-weaned her months/years ago, but I didn't.
Oh, I have tried, more than a few times, really I have, but two happy sleeping people always seemed to be more important to me than one crying and then fitfully sleeping baby and one miserable mama.
I am also quite the lazy breastfeeder in other ways. If Princess L gets hurt, either physically or emotionally, the quickest way to soothe her is with a quick pit-stop at the boob. If she is bored, she will come over, tell me I smell like "boobie-breasts" and ask if she can nurse. 95.7% of the time I will oblige her in her requests to nurse where and when ever she wants.
Now, given that my daughter is three years old and we do communicate quite well, we do have some breastfeeding rules. We don't nurse at my in-laws place anymore (out of respect for my MIL, who has never said anything directly to me, but I just know that she is not comfortable with us still nursing). I also often place a time limit on nursing, especially when it is one of those "I'm bored" moments. And L knows that I don't want everyone to SEE my boobs and will now cover them with her hand or my shirt if we are nursing out in public. You know, 'cause she is a considerate little nursling like that.
The past few months have been quite the upheaval for our family with selling our old house, packing, moving and then unpacking and settling into the new house. I am pretty sure that nursing has provided Princess L with A) some much-needed Mama time and B) a sense of normalcy amongst all the chaos. It has also given me a moment to stop during our busy days, look at my beautiful girl and really appreciate her and all her little quirks as I stroke her super soft hair and just breathe her in.
Last weekend I thought we were near the end of our breastfeeding relationship. And we still very much might be. In the past week she has stopped asking to nurse before bedtime. This was exactly the way weaning happened with Little C. Just before his third birthday, he stopped all nursing except his morning nurse and cuddle, and then the day after his birthday we were done. (He still comes in for his morning snuggle though and it is one of the best moments of my day!)
Weaning Little C just didn't seem as bittersweet. I was tandem nursing at that time and L was just over 14 months old, so my mama milk was still in high demand. This time around it is different...
When my girl finally stops nursing, so too will I. There are no more Natural Urban Babies coming into this house, my body will no longer nourish a child and my >5 years of breastfeeding will come to an end. That is a long freakin' time to be making milk for my babies and yes, I am damn proud of it. I feel that it is one of the major accomplishments in my life!
So you know what, I am going to continue to lazily nurse my child, still not bother with any kind of 'night-weaning' and let her have her 'booby-breasts' when and where ever she wants if that is what makes her happy.
Because it IS coming to an end...
And I am not very good at good-byes.
Not to the breast milk, nor to my beautiful breastfeeding boobs either!