Guest Blogger: Margret McIntyre from Intown Doula

Today, May 4th, 2016, marks my two-year “nursiversary.” I wrote about my first nursiversary here, and in that blog post discussed the cold, hard numbers of my journey. And after we made it to a year, people kept asking: how long will you nurse your son? And my answer is and has always been the same: as long as he will have me. 

But now that we’ve fast-forwarded another year, and I see the differences in nursing a toddler versus breastfeeding a baby, I’m noticing that things aren’t always as easy as that. Children are people, and people have opinions and agendas and arrangements all their own, and sometimes those can take us by surprise. In fact, SOMEtimes, those things can be downright irritating! 

For instance, I no longer choose to nurse in public very much. Not because I feel concerned about modesty or the feelings of others were they to “have to” witness me nursing, but more because my bodily autonomy is very important to me, and my son is still working on his nursing manners. I do not relish having a tiny human pull up my shirt when I am not in a space to comfortably—emotionally, physically, mentally—give him milk. I do not enjoy demands (“Milk right now!”) and I do not enjoy being told to “Hush, Mama,” when I am on the phone when he wants to nurse. 

With all that said, I wonder every single day now when Hamish will choose to wean himself. I have turned a corner in that I am in a stage many mothers call “Don’t offer, don’t refuse,” but the fact of the matter is that if I am home with Hamish for any length of time, he will nurse about six or seven times in a day. And still, I fret about his choice to wean—when it will happen, if I will be ready, if I will know his last nursing session is the last one, if I can even make it ’til then. I’ve accepted this wishy-washy aspect of all things motherhood. 

I have loved this experience, and I feel certain that I would not take back a single day or ounce of effort spent feeding my son. He is my only biological child, by choice, and so he will remain, and so he is the only child I’ll ever breastfeed. The time we have spent together, nestled close, entirely connected…is what I dreamed parenthood was all about. But I can feel that the tide is turning, and that our special time together will come to a close sooner than later. As I wait for that day, bittersweet as anything I’ve ever known, I’ll say again what I said this time last year: I will nurse my son as long as he will have me.
 

 Photo by moodboard/moodboard / Getty Images

Photo by moodboard/moodboard / Getty Images