Last week I nursed Jude & Sloane for the final time.
I didn't cry, mostly because I didn't know it was going to be the last time. I'd been weaning for a few months so I asked Michael to take a few pictures that night. In their (almost) 15 months, I had no record of something that absolutely changed us all.
On the surface, my story isn't unique. I went through the same struggles as most new moms. I wanted to quit. I didn't. Sloane struggled and I'm sure she wanted to quit. She didn't. I nursed them at the same time until they turned three months and were too big for my nursing pillow. I felt like the majority of my day was spent breastfeeding and in the beginning that was probably pretty accurate. But I'll never forget getting rid of the pillow and nursing them one at a time. I finally understood what people meant when they said it was such a bonding experience. I remember holding each baby and not wanting to let them go.
When you watch your children grow--watch them flourish--and it's because your body was able to provide them that nourishment... it's incredible. I thanked God every day for letting me be a part of it all.
To those of you who are pregnant and wanting to breastfeed, it is one of the best decisions I've ever made. When I was pregnant, most women assumed I wouldn't even try. They casually brought up supplementing with formula, difficult nights with two hungry babies, and vitamins I could take to help my supply. It was hard not to get discouraged before I even began. But I was determined. Every time someone told me I couldn't, I told myself I would.
I can't tell you about supplementing or vitamins because neither were necessary. Instead, I'm going to tell you about the sweet, beautiful moments I had with my babies that no one else will ever experience. About the times they fell asleep while nursing and I just held their warm bodies close to mine. About counting Jude's rolls and knowing I was partially responsible. About watching my husband take a few pictures and then smile at me as I nursed my babies for the last time.
There have been so many firsts and lasts in their short 15 months. This was, without a doubt, the hardest last I've encountered thus far.
It was also the sweetest.