I didn’t want to have to make this choice. Losing September Baby and my doctor’s advice in the aftermath (to cease baby making efforts until Lexi is weaned so that we can go straight for clomid and hopefully avoid another loss) led to a fork in the road, though. I could either continue nursing Lexi as long as she wanted and let her be the one to choose when she was finished (which is what I always planned/hoped to do, as it seemed the most natural choice) and keep Baby Two efforts tabled until whenever that was finished, or make the choice for her and choose when we could un-table baby two efforts. Nursing would not cease to benefit Lexi, and I hate the idea of choosing my goals and dreams over one of the last sweet ribbons of her babyhood, but we had to look at it from a different angle. Yes, nursing is very very special, and the milk continues to bolster Lexi physically in untold ways, but by choosing to wean so we can have baby two sooner than we would by waiting will not just benefit me, or even Scott and me. Something I always longed for was a sister or brother close to my age (ok, really I wanted a twin, but any sibling would do.) and while that wasn’t ever a possibility for me, it is for Lexi. I’ve seen the way my siblings benefited from being close in age, and the way Scott and his siblings did. In the scheme of things, a few more months wouldn’t make a difference, but I’d like Lexi to have as many siblings as possible, and I’m not 21, so every month counts for me. I don’t like having to choose, but there isn’t any way around it.
I always knew that making the choice was something I might have to do, and I’ve had a plan in case it was. How coincidental that today is the day I chose to move forward with that plan. It’s exactly one month since we said goodbye to sweet September, and today Lexi is nineteen months old. This morning I implemented phase 1 of what I hope will be a two phase plan to wean Lexi from her final nursing session when she wakes each morning. My plan for this week is to cuddle like normal and offer cuddle drink (vanilla almond milk warmed) and if she asks to nurse during that time she may. I both hoped she wouldn’t ask, and feared it. We sat down on the couch and I cradled her so we could “talk” and she could slide her hand into my shirt and touch skin like she often does when we cuddle. I offered her a different sippy cup with her “cuddle drink” in it and when she was ready, she took the cup and sipped while we snuggled and nuzzled and talked. Eventually I asked if she was ready for breakfast, and she nodded and climbed off my lap. She never asked to nurse. It was a bittersweet moment of mama pride, victory, and a little sadness for the loss of this very important aspect of our relationship for her whole little life fading away. I will let myself mourn this, allow myself a bit of sadness, but I’ll also celebrate the doors that are opening to siblings, to being a big girl, to a couple months of my body being my own for the first time in 29 months, to hope.