A Letter to My Daughter
On January 24, 2010, I snuggled Ainsley extra close to me during her bedtime nursing, soaking in the warmth, the breaths, the closeness. I knew it would be the last time we would share this special moment. The time to stop breastfeeding had come. We had cut out all her nursing sessions but the one at bedtime. Now she was sleeping through the night, and I knew she was ready to go to bed without nursing.
The next night, two days shy of her 17-month birthday, I put her to bed without a nighttime nursing. There were many tears, but not from Ainsley. This is the entry from my journal on that night.
January 25, 2010
Today was the first day in (nearly) 17 months that you didn’t nurse. The first day in your life without breastmilk. My first time since becoming a mother that I didn’t nestle you to my breast and hold you in my arms, cradled, comforted, nourished.
I love you, baby girl. I will always miss the moments we shared. I will always treasure your breath against my skin and the way we would look into each others’ eyes. You are such a big girl now. Such a daring and confident little individual. When you need to snuggle or read or take my finger to explore something new, I will be there, ready to learn with you.
Darling girl. Punkin’ Head. Ainsley Roo. Ruthie Girl. Big sister. Firstborn.
Someday you may hold your own little one close, draw her to your breast, and I will be so proud of you for the woman you’ve become.
But you will always be my baby. Always my Ainsley Ruth.
Mama loves you.