#18: Chest Pains

It hurts to think of not breastfeeding anymore, but it’s time.

Ah, nursing. Or should I begin: Oh, my boobs. What they’ve been through. Or rather, are going through. I have a thriving, well-fed 15-month-old boy who just thinks mommy’s chest looks better and better by the day. It’s become a comfort thing by now—clearly, since he eats well and drinks plenty of whole milk and water throughout the day. I never thought I’d still be nursing at 15 months, but here we are.

I never thought I’d be the one to say I’m done with it first either, but here we are. I love looking down at my tiny one while he’s cozying up to my body. I do. But I don’t like the way he tugs at my shirt and paws my chest when I’m holding him. And I don’t like how he wakes up before 6 a.m. looking for that comfort. I do believe I’m ready to have my boobs back to myself.

My body helps define who I am professionally, so I give it a lot of attention. I’m proud of the way I’ve been unselfish enough to let my babies take my shape away from me to get what they need while they need it. I didn’t worry that I might gain a bit of weight while pregnant, because that is what is required to have a beautiful child, and what a great challenge to find my way back to the new shape of me, post-baby. Similarly, I haven’t worried that breastfeeding might make my belly pooch out a bit (or is it keeping it slimmer than it will be when not nursing? Ugh.). It’s what my little one needs, so that’s top priority.

So now it’s getting to be time to have my body back, all for me. I have loved sharing it, but I think I’d like to reacquaint myself with what I look like and feel like when it’s all mine. It’s bittersweet, this decision. It feels selfish, and that’s uncomfortable. But here we are.