Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What Now?

With child-led weaning, you never really know when it's your last time. You might not even really remember it, afterward. You might not have known that it was especially significant, at the time.

With Ellie, we were traveling. We got in late one night, Paul distracted her the next morning, and she never asked again. She was 25 months old.

With Ada, we left for vacation mid-day last Wednesday. That night, in the hotel, though she and I shared a bed, she didn't ask to nurse. Nor did she the next morning. Paul put her to bed at his parents' house, and she didn't complain. She asked me to nurse once while we were away, but was easily diverted. Today, back home, she asked twice but was relatively easily diverted. She is 26 months old.

I wanted this. Yet . . . I feel conflicted. Did I force it? Should I redirect or allow her to nurse when she asks?

I am not pregnant, nor trying to become pregnant. The last time I fed someone with my breasts was a week ago. My body is . . . mine. For the first time in . . . more than 6 years. Wow. (But I am a little uncomfortable.)


Amy said...

I feel ya. I weaned Claire last November, and I've been hearing "Nur nur all gone?" ever since, at least a few times a day. For me, I'd been pregnant or nursing or both since November of 2004, so I was more than ready to move on.

I found that hand expressing just enough to take the pressure off helped. People told me that I'd keep producing, but I've been completely dried up for about a month now. Other people I know have taken nearly a year for all their milk to dry out.

It is weird. But it's good. It's the first step away from Mommy that our kids generally take, the first in a long line that will eventually lead them into their own independent lives, and it's bittersweet. At this point, though, I would just tell her "all gone," and be done. Otherwise you might confuse her.

One thing that seems to help Claire is letting her rest her little hand on the swell of my breast. She always goes for the nipple, she wants to pinch it which drives me insane. I don't let her/ But like a lovey, just letting her pat it helps.

Good work, Mom. You deserve a merit badge for giving your kids a great nutritional beginning!


Tracey said...

Oh I know exactly what you're talking about! When my A weaned herself, and my body was mine again after so many years, it felt so alien. I am so proud to be able to nurse as long as I did, and to be honest I do miss it more than I expected to.

Congrats on a wonderful job well done!

Krupskaya said...

John weaned himself overnight at 9 months (um...yowch) and Maia was a weaned herself at 2 1/2 (by that time it was 30 sec. in the a.m., 30 sec. at nap and 30 sec. at night). Both times, I had the same bittersweet feeling -- my body was now mine, but I missed that closeness, that enforced slowing down and focus. It's full of mixed feelings, like every time a child hits a milestone.

Funny, a friend of mine just blogged about this same thing...

Krupskaya said...

Oof, here's the link:


Sarahlynn said...

Krupskaya, it's been a long time since I've been to Beverly's blog; thank you for the reminder! Fabulous post.

As for John - ouch. Ellie kept acting like she wanted to quit at that age, too, but I was persistent and fortunately I won out in the end. (She was just going through something, not REALLY weaning, I suspect, unlike John.) Actually, I'm having a really hard time imagining John as a nursing baby. I've now completely accepted him as a reading, writing, hockey-playing kid.

Tracey, thanks. And that describes how I'm feeling pretty exactly. :)

Amy, I got pregnant in January 2003, but I've been pregnant, nursing, or trying to get pregnant continually since September 2002. That's a LONG time to not make decisions about your body without considering how it impacts someone else.

Today I didn't drink any water at all! Just soda and coffee. I know it's unhealthy, but I did it because I felt like it AND I COULD. So, hah!

I did take your advice and expressed a few drops from each side, just enough to feel comfortable again. Ahhh. Though it was totally weird doing that during Dollhouse.

I'm still conflicted about the weaning, though. I don't NEED to wean now for any reason. I want it to be Ada's decision. So maybe when she asks I should give it to her. She's got a great memory, is persistent, and very hard to "confuse." I just don't know. It's hard to have perspective from inside!

Anonymous said...