Family Magazine

The Goodbye

By Rachel Rachelhagg @thehaggerty5

The thought of not saying goodbye to this season of bonding  with you and nourishing your body made me physically ill.

I knew it was time to have my body back, at least that part. I knew you needed more structure to mature and grow. It was time for that part of our relationship to transform into different ways to show affection, different ways to love. I knew in my heart weeks ago I would have to do this, and that it would be gut wrenching for us both.

I decided to nurse you for the last time for your afternoon nap. Your older siblings were in school, so it was just us in the house. the way I wanted it, no interuptions. Just a chance to say goodbye to nursing you, forever. My body never to do this again.

It was as if you knew, you nursed and touched my tears with your chubby fingers. I saw you as a newborn born into my arms on my bedroom floor. Nursing for the first time with wide eyes, as if you had been anticipation this bond. My body birthed you then nourished you  for 20 months.

I held you tighter and longer than before. Kissing your sweet face and rocking you as long as I wanted. Time stood still as I took in your scent, so hard I felt as if I could absorb your soul into mine. I tried to wipe my cheeks before they landed on your blonde head. I wasn’t fast enough in my grief of goodbye to stop them from making a pool on your fresh head.

Instead of laying you down, I held you for the full two hour nap. I had so many things to do, but none of them were as important as that moment. My body connecting to yours, back to the root of our beginning. The dance of connection only we knew. I knew you wouldn’t remember this, nor would you remember the days to come of me weaning you. But your Momma,  it’s ingrained into my very soul.

When you awoke I knew it was beginning. Teaching you to embrace me in new ways, a new journey together it would be.

The first night was the worst. With holding my milk from you was the same in your mind to betrayal. You refused to let me touch you, rock you or kiss you. You screamed, and as you screamed a new part of my heart broke in two. I retreated to the bedroom floor with you, trying to catch you in your fit. Trying to hug you, sing to you.

Finally I just sat there sobbing as you did the same. The goodbye had begun and your little spirit wasn’t ready.

Your sobs went on into the night, until you finally let me hold you. It was as if we were reunited after a long trip. My arms aching to hold you, but you weren’t in my reach. You fell asleep on my forbidden chest as I longed to nurse you just once more.

Your surrender to what I wished was long. It was messy, but I was doing this for us both.

When you were born I wished for my midwife to let your cord pulse until all of the blood was in your body. I pushed with you so long that when you were finally born your cord was gray. All of what I had wanted in your body was already done.

Although I have been in severe pain, I feel as though all my milk that you needed is now in your body to sustain you, just as your cord blood was.

My body has stopped pulsing , and it’s ready to hug you in a new way.

I’ve always felt like you were my wise boy. One step ahead of the game, but you take your time. You took your time nursing, even until the last day. You know at a young age what it means to wait. To cherish your time with me, with your family.

Today has been one week since you have nursed and I am learning so much more about you that I never knew before, clouded by our nursing sessions. They were special, as is each season with you.

As your Mother I’ve given up my body for you. Just as Jesus has done for you, but even greater. Even more powerful. The love we share is nothing compared to God’s love for you my sweet boy.

I feel as I take a part of my body away from you, you will now fall in love with the body Christ laid down for you. 

Though I withheld a part of me from you, Jesus will never hide himself from you. Remember that.

May my relationship with you always reflect God’s love. Through the joy and the pressing times, may you always see Him in my love for you. He is the only thing that matters, the only thing that is true.

Our new adventure awaits my bud.

The goodbye

( photo by Molly Ann Wymer )


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