Dear Little Elephant,
Before having you, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I knew all the health reasons behind it. I knew about all the studies of the positive effects. I knew that I wanted to have that close relationship and bonding time.
I also knew that a lot of people struggled with it. One common complaint I have heard from other breastfeeding friends is that they weren’t warned beforehand that it would hurt at first, that their nipples would become raw and even bleed. They complain that people didn’t warn them and they felt under-prepared.
People had warned me— my sister had. I know that it can be hard. I was proactive and met with a lactation consultant in the hospital who was wonderful. I am not saying it was all rosy, but I was lucky. I had a little girl with a solid latch, a solid milk supply, a good work environment, and enough support to muster through.
I had always supported women who continued breastfeeding until their kids were toddlers. It takes a huge amount of dedication. It takes having a supportive family and work environment. It takes a strong milk supply and good nutrition and discipline. I never imagined I would be one of those women!
Yesterday, my milk supply dried up. To the day, you were 3 years, 3 months old. I nursed you for 1,186 days! On the last day, you poked my chest, saying “Mama, there is no milk here”. We decided to cuddle and rock instead. Over the last few months, we have been talking about how you are a big girl now and that soon you would leave Mommy milk behind. I think you were prepared; I am just not sure I was.
I love you today more than any other. And even more tomorrow and the following. Mommy milk or no, you will always be my little girl.