Last week Livia started preschool, a 2-year-old program three days per week at a nearby church. We chose to have her stay for lunch and nap to give me more time to get some work done. (I have picked up a very part time writing job at a local magazine, but we decided to do the 9-2 hours from Minneapolis thinking we could always change to 9-12 later.) So far she is LOVING school, and staying for lunch (from her "womey-womey," aka Wonder Woman, lunch box!) and a rest/nap has been a treat for her.
We were down to one nursing per day, just before her nap. And on Monday 9/10 I nursed her for the last time before that nap. I didn't KNOW it would be the last, but I suspected it, and the tears began flowing. After school on Tuesday (when she didn't actually sleep at school), I asked if she wanted "gak" when we were home. She said yes, but then we got distracted by a Daniel Tiger episode (then carpool to get Jane -- half my day is spent in the car it seems!), and she just didn't nurse.
She didn't ask Wednesday or Thursday either and I didn't offer, and my emotional stability bottomed out. I cried throughout the day, at night and have been short-tempered (even more short-tempered than normal). I got into it with a teacher at the preschool carpool (to be fair she stuck her finger in my face to point to where she wanted me to go next time, but I did NOT react well or really safely given that I was driving a huge vehicle!), and I haven't been my best dealing with all the range of emotions and first-grader upsets that came my way.
Liv DID ask for gak on Friday when we were together again for nap time, but I told her the gak is all gone. (It really is, sad as I feel about it.) She said OK, and we rocked and sang. She eventually went to sleep in her crib (and she slept Wednesday and Thursday at school -- I think the trick is to let her take her shoes off!).
So we made it to 29 months of nursing, and when combined with the 26 months I nursed Jane I was a breastfeeding mom for four and a half years. (My blog post about nursing Jane ending is Num Nums are Not Forever -- funny that the girls had different names for nursing).
Nursing mama was a role I have played for more than half of my motherhood so far. I know it is a brief season in the scheme of it all. But it was so treasured, and I'm definitely grieving the end of it. I'm proud of myself for nourishing my girls in this way. They're both healthy and growing, and I have plenty of mothering left to do. But I still feel hollowed out from the transition.