It's been over 6 months since I last breastfed my youngest. I was ready to stop. I'd convinced myself that he wasn't that bothered either way. But tonight, I find myself missing it.
I miss the closeness. The enforced downtime. The cuddles that only we shared. I miss looking down at his sweet head, hearing him guzzling greedily and then the lovely, drunk effect my milk would have on him, as his beautiful long eyelashes fluttered, struggling to stay apart. Nothing beats a baby drunk on milk.
I miss the stolen kisses, stroking his cheek as he fed while he gazed up at me with big, blue adoring eyes. Those eyes could see right into my soul. They could read every expression on my face and behind my eyes.
Breastfeeding was nutrition, it was a panacea for all ills. It did more than simply transfer calories. It was comfort, it was joy, it was reassurance. It dried away tears and magically healed bumped heads. It was the last thing he did before he fell asleep and the first thing he did when he woke up.
I miss the weight of his sleeping body in my arms, the knowledge that my body had filled his tummy to satisfaction. I miss the look that would pass between us when he knew, just knew, I was about to give in to his demands for more milk. The cheeky smile he would give, while still latched on after the first let down had satisfied his hunger.
But near the end, it was also my prison. It kept me up all night and condemned me to ugly bras during the day. It meant I didn't feel free to enjoy a night away (chance would be a fine thing!) or too much wine. I felt trapped.
But now I miss it.
The feeling will pass. My youngest is no longer a baby. No longer dependent on me alone. He's fiercely independent but at the same time, still ferociously attached to me emotionally.
But I don't miss the biting. Or the recurrent thrush that plagued both my stints at breastfeeding. Or the finishing feeding, desperate to see what older brother is up to on the other side of the room and trying to take my nipple with him. I don't miss the hands unceremoniously thrust down my top. I don't miss ugly nursing bras. But at the same time, in a weird way, I almost do (except from the thrush, I'll never miss that *shudder*).
He still loves his milk. But now, it comes from any old cow. Not just this old cow*.
*I don't really think I'm a old cow. This just alway used to make me smile.