A Denver Home Companion | weekly portrait

[above is a photo of ramona in bed w me. i often sneak her in to snuggle when jp is away at work. below is an excerpt from an entry for her 19 month mark in her baby journal]

dear ramona,

my apologies there are three blank months preceding this entry. lord willing, you will have a younger sibling one day and I can guarantee you they will have even more empty months than you, so don’t feel too bad.

a lot has happened in the last three months. mama and papa opened a restaurant, and i stopped looking after max full-time. it’s just you and i now. and the transition, though relatively easy, was a big one all around. oh, and papa and i also are trying for another baby. so we thought now would be a good time as any to officially wean you.

i was worried about it — weaning you. but i had no idea you’d handle it so well. and, worst part for me? i didn’t know that the last time i nursed you was the last time i was ever going to nurse you. while we were planning to do so, we weren’t planning it for when it happened. at this point it was just talk: it was before nap time on 2/4, a monday. and then papa put you down for bed that night w/o incident. and then i was gone to work before you woke up the next day. and then papa put you down for a nap before i got home.

and since it was three times already w me NOT putting you to sleep (a record!), i tried putting you down that tuesday evening to sleep w/o nursing. and whaddya know, i  found myself shedding some tears during my final song to you (God made your ears, God made your nose…) when you just simply put your sleepy head on my shoulder and let me rock you without pointing to the couch and saying “nurse! nurse! nurse!”. i was sad, minka, –for me– that i hadn’t known to hold that last time –at nap time the previous day– tight in my memory and to take it in and relish the moment. it happened so, well, naturally. but i wish that final time was more vivid in my memory bc all those nursing moments the past 18 months have been so so important to me. 

but i’m so proud of you too, little minka moo. the first three days of not nursing were painful only to me. you seemed to have moved on overnight, which is a testament to your strong, stubborn personality that is so confident and assured. after three days, papa brought you up to bed with us, like we always used to, for a family snuggle. and this act must have triggered memories for you bc you started crying adamantly “nurse! nurse! nurse!”. and i sat up w you and asked you to look in my eyes. once you did i gently said: “ramona, we don’t do this anymore” even though it wasn’t exactly what i wanted to hear either. so papa brought you some almond milk and we all went and sat on the couch and, sure enough, you guzzled that up and started asking for cheerios.

two days have passed now that you haven’t even mentioned the word. at least not in seriousness. this morning you uttered it quietly. and then looked at me with a knowing smirk on your face as if to say, “well, it doesn’t hurt to ask.” and then you let out a giggle and gave me a “BEE HUH” (a big hug). you are growing, mo mo. and i am so proud of who you continue to become, miss independent and all.

i love you. love, mama.

a portrait of ramona, once a week, every week, in 2013. inspired by jodi’s project.

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6 Responses to 07/52

  1. Okay. Now, well, I’m bawling.

  2. Okay, this seriously made me cry. I drop by occasionally and never comment, but I also have an 18 month old daughter and I’ve been thinking lately about what our weaning process will be like. I am not ready to give up nursing yet, though I know my daughter is getting there. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • emily says:

      welcome, yellow buttercup! it’s definitely a tough transition and i think, w extended breastfeeding, it’s often much harder on the mama than the babe. i’ll be interested to see how your journey goes with it. enjoy it, though, (as i am sure you are) in the last moments of its sweetness!

  3. sarah sibley says:

    pure and beautiful

  4. Sarah C. says:

    well that had me all choked up!

  5. [...] reflections on weaning ramona. [...]

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