I like having birthed both of my nuggets in the same month because it’s easier for me to remember when Little Nugget reached a milestone and compare it to where Z Nugget is at. (I am conscious of the fact that they’re different people, and yes, I do my best to treat them accordingly.) For example, I have approached the time with Z Nugg where Little Nugget stopped nursing. Little Nugget weaned himself off at seven months old. Days shy of eight. I remember feeling devastated when he was done. I remember continuing to pump because I felt that pumping was going to somehow make me feel better about the first “break up” (as I called it) with my first (and only at the time) baby. That milestone was the bitter in the bittersweet journey.
My breastfeeding journey with Z Nugg is so different than the one I had with Little Nugget, but with my previous experience, I can’t help but feel a little nervous for the near future. Will Z decide to quit soon, too? How much longer will she decided to nurse for? Will she be the type of baby that needs to be weaned or will she wean herself? So many questions come to mind because I’m about to go into unknown territory. It’s nerve-racking and exciting at the same time.
Feeling all these emotions reminds me of the importance of honoring my children’s individuality. I’ve really had to be conscious of not comparing Z to Little Nugget since she was born. My argument, though, for comparing them was that Little Nugget was my baseline. He was my first and only. He taught me to be a mother. He taught me about milestones and babies, now toddlers, soon some other age group. Yes, I said this was my argument for comparing my children, which to me seems reasonable. However, I know it doesn’t make it alright to compare for the simple fact that it is not honoring the individual life that my Z Nugg is. Unique. Beautiful. Joyous. Life.
Nursing Z forces me—in a graceful manner—to BE in the present. Although I have breastfed Z Nugg while changing her diaper, yes I’m bragging, breastfeeding isn’t meant to allow you to do a whole lot of anything. It’s not impossible, but definitely more difficult. It’s a time where I like to absorb her little features and sounds. Her squishy toes, thighs, arms, and cheeks. Her awkward hairlines. Her breathing. Her gulping.
Whether our nursing relationship lasts longer than the one I had with Little Nugget or not, I am grateful for what it has taught me. For what they have both taught me. I’m working to build strength for the time when my second “break-up” of this kind happens without trying to put too much energy and thought into it.
I truly live in the moment when I nurse her. I am present when I have her in my arms. I am because she is.
Cheers to honoring each one of our children! And cheers to seven months to my Z Nugg!