Remembering the Last Time
By Robin Rennells
Raleigh NC USA
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 22 No. 1, January-February 2005, pp. 8
I have vivid memories of the first time I nursed each of my two daughters. However, I don't remember the last time I nursed my oldest one. I know that she was about two and a half because I wrote that much in her baby book, but the details of our last experience as a nursing pair escape my memory. I wish I could remember where we were, exactly when it was, how I felt.
And now with my second daughter, I seem determined to remember "the last time." This is a trickier task than one might imagine because we just keep on nursing. She will soon be three and has been gradually weaning for a long time.
Several times there have been events and situations in our lives when I thought she might wean. The first big one was when she was a little over two years old. After much deliberation, I decided to fly to see my brother and his wife after the birth of their first daughter. I wanted to help my sister-in-law and support them as new parents. My youngest daughter, Faith, was only nursing once or twice a day and she was used to having daddy put her to bed sometimes. My parents agreed to come stay in my home and care for the girls while I went on the trip.
I pumped twice a day while I was gone, getting only small amounts of milk each time. I had decided that if she weaned while I was gone, it was okay, but I wanted it to be her decision. Before I left, I tried to be completely present during our nursing sessions. Instead of letting my mind wander to my to-do list or watching television, I concentrated only on my daughter and this experience we had shared so many times. I did not know if this would be it and I wanted it imprinted in my memory.
Within hours of my return from the trip, she looked up at me with an impish grin and said, "Mama, can we nurse?" Wow! I was gone for four days and she latched on as though we had just nursed that morning.
About six weeks later, my daughters went to stay with my parents about two hours from our home for four days. Again, I thought that this could be it. This time I didn't pump. This apparently had no impact on my daughter, because again, soon after reuniting, she settled down to nurse.
So, we are nursing still and I still wonder when will be the last time and if I'll even realize when it is. I imagine I won't. So, until that day comes, I am enjoying this time and this closeness we have, because I know it will end sooner or later. I may not remember the specifics of the last time we nurse, but I will have years (and years) of happy nursing memories.