On Saturday afternoon I laid down with Bad and nursed him to sleep. I didn't know it then, but it was the last time I'd ever nurse a baby. One o'clock in the afternoon of Saturday, December the twenty-seventh, 2008.
That evening Bad threw a temper tantrum. A down and out kicking and hitting and crying and screaming temper tantrum. He kicked out and hit my sprained thumb so hard that the pain took my breath away. After I'd calmed down, and calmed him down, I helped him into his pyjamas, brushed his teeth and lay down beside him in his bed. He immediately reached for my shirt.
"I'm sorry buddy, I can hold you, I can kiss you, I can sing to you or rub your back, but I can't nurse you right now." And I couldn't. I just couldn't bear the thought of lifting my shirt up and letting him latch on. Maybe he sympathised with the weary note in my voice, or he may have just been exhausted and cried out, but he let me just hold him and do 'criss-cross' on his back until he fell asleep.
I hadn't intended to never nurse him again, although I've been muttering about weaning for months. He napped in the car on Sunday, and at bedtime I rubbed his back again and told him that my milk was almost gone. If he'd cried I'd have given in, but he didn't. He curled his body into mine and was asleep in minutes.
Yesterday the first wave of sadness came. We spent the day with the dinosaurs at the ROM, so Bad napped in the car again. I thought, for a moment, about nursing him to sleep at night - a last nurse, a chance to say good-bye - but it would've been for me, and made things harder on him.
Ironically, after three days without nursing and barely a whimper, this morning his tears came. I took away a 'toy' that he wanted to play with, (a rail from the back of one of the kitchen chairs) and he wanted to be soothed with a breast. I took him up to nap, but I held my ground. There is still milk there, but it's receding. The fullness is gone. My baby cried and fought and clawed at my chest to get in, and I held him and whispered to him but pushed his hands away until I was crying too. He's sleeping now. He fell asleep in my arms. I shouldn't feel guilty, it's been two years, it's time. I think I made the right decision....didn't I?