Here I sit with cabbage pressed against my chest and a bandage wrapped tightly around my upper torso with tears welling up in my eyes. For those mamas, out there who breastfed their babies, they can relate. I nursed Halen until she was 18 months old, she weaned herself, so I never had to go through any rough transition with weaning. I was planning to nurse Henley for as long as she wanted to. But with my new diagnosis, obviously I have to stop. Firstly, I am incredibly thankful that Henley is 12 months old, I feel like there have been a few silver linings in this whole process, her age being one of them.
But my body is not ready to stop nursing, Henley is not ready to stop nursing. She wakes up in the middle of the night and cries and cries. I cuddle her close and that makes her even more upset, because all my sweet babe wants to do is nurse and snuggle close. But I can't give that to her anymore. I rock her, sing to her, shush her, finally making a bottle of the diminishing supply I have stored up in the freezer (nursing mamas NEVER take your stored supply for granted, pump and save as much as you can... I wish I had.) All of this makes this process even more difficult and heartbreaking. I love nursing. So I am completely outside of my comfort zone. Thank goodness babies are resilient. I know this may be hard at first, but Henley will be just fine. I know this is harder on me than it is on her. I hope that I soaked up enough moments with her nursing. To me breastfeeding is one of the most incredible, intimate, precious moments a mama can share with their child. And I am so so so grateful I was able to experience this for so long for each of my girls.
Photo taken four days before diagnosis.