I don’t often feel those heart tugging “where did my baby go?” moments. I’d like to think that’s because I do a good job of enjoying her in the moment, free from wishing I could go back and do anything differently. Or maybe I just like each stage better than the last. I know, sort of parent blasphemy to say I think I like toddlers better than newborns, right?
Either way, I’ve been having more than a few “wow, you are growing up fast!” epiphanies lately. Leia will be two and a half at the end of this month. She is officially weaned and potty trained (potty training is part two on the topic of milestones). I’m starting to talk about things like preschool and her first overnight without me. When I think about it all together it seems like she’s driving off for college and I want to slam the brakes.
Let’s talk about the boobs. They are amazing. I love them for sustaining life and providing comfort for my child. I nursed on demand, nursed her to sleep, nursed her when she was sick or hurt or scared. I didn’t have to buy formula or wash bottles. Breastfeeding empowered me as a new mom, gave me confidence in my post-baby body. Seriously, I’m going to tattoo gold stars on them, they’ve earned it! When Leia was born my goal was to nurse for three months – it’s not all rainbows and puppies at first! Then at three months we had a good routine so I just kept going. At one year I gave myself a big high five, assumed Leia would start drinking cows milk and be done with the boobs. Ha! The girl still hates milk unless it’s in cereal. So after a year we kept nursing. I stopped offering but never refused. Around 18 months I started offering food or water instead of nursing, or trying other methods of soothing if she was hurt or upset. I never imagined us nursing into toddlerhood, but it worked for us. At two she was only nursing before bed and naps. She was also starting to fall asleep on her own. I’d leave the room after she nursed but while she was awake. So all those naysayers who told me my kid would never sleep on her own if I didn’t stop nursing her to sleep….you can suck it. Pun! One night about a month ago (or maybe two?) Leia didn’t ask to nurse before we sang our usual bedtime songs. I took it as a sign she was ready to start the weaning process. The next day she asked…and I told her the boobies were all gone, all dried up. She freaked out. She screamed. She cried. I hugged her and kissed her and told her I loved her. When she calmed down a little I patted her back and we sang songs like normal. The next night was the same, except she was a lot less upset. The third day she only seemed a little frustrated. For a few following weeks she would say “mommy, boobies are gone, all dry” when I’d lay down with her in bed. Then she just stopped talking about them all together. It was so bittersweet to realize after more than two years, we were all done nursing.
So now that my boobs are my own again…I want new ones. I want firm, perky, slightly bigger ones. Pre-baby I never would have considered implants (liposuction on my thighs? That’s another story). My boobs were just fine, small but cute. Now? They just look tired and worn out, terribly deflated. I know it’s all in my head. I should embrace the pride I have in creating and sustaining life and shout “this body is perfect!” It is. My body is amazing, I don’t disregard that. It’s hard to find the right words…maybe I feel like I’ve earned the right to alter my body? I struggle how to tell Leia that I surgically altered my body in the same breath as I tell her “your body is perfect and beautiful exactly as is.” Thankfully I have friends (hi Jamie!) who know what I’m talking about and can give me advice if and when I decide to invest in new boobs.
Til then I’ll be shopping around for comfy new bras that give the girls the lift and support they deserve!