Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Weaning is Such Sweet Sorrow

*Warning: This post may be TMI for many of my regular readers. I'm lookin' at you, Poppy.*


Mommy has always known she wanted to be a breastfeeder. However, when (about 4 months into her pregnancy) she found out the AAP recommends breastfeeding for one year she just about fell over! That was about 9 months longer than she was anticipating.

By the day my birth came around, Mommy felt mentally prepared for 12 months of nursing. She and Daddy had attended a breast feeding education class at our hospital, and Mommy had finished reading the chapters on breastfeeding in a few of her baby prep books. The lanolin cream, breast pads, Lily Padz, double electric pump, nursing tanks, nursing bras, and Booby Tubes were all ready to go. Nothing was going to get in the way of my milk mama!

Nothing but sharp pain, engorged breasts, and a newborn's voracious appetite, that is. All these things (plus plummeting post-baby hormones) brought Mommy to tears faster than a newborn heart rate. I distinctly recall hearing Mommy blubber on and on to Mimi about how there was no way she could keep this up for 12 months. Absolutely no way.


But (as Mimi so wisely predicted) nursing became less and less arduous with each passing day. By the time I was two weeks old, Mommy was able to make it through each nursing session without even a wince. At six weeks, Mommy actually used the word 'easy' to describe breastfeeding.


The weeks and months flew by, and before we knew it the weaning season was upon us. Mommy was prepared for some rough days and nights (because I looooved to nurse), but was pleasantly surpised at how well I did each time we dropped a feeding. The transition from breast milk to cow's milk was nearly seemless.


For me, anyway. Not so for Mommy.


It turns out she misses nursing a lot more than she anticipated. (She also misses her nursing figure... vain as that may be.) I've been completely weaned for almost a month, but Mommy sometimes wonders if she should have held on to one last feeding for a little longer. Especially when I look at her, look at my rocking chair, and make the sign for "nurse". She does a good job of putting on a brave face as she signs back "all gone", but I know that she wishes she still had something left to give.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember those feelings too.
So proud of you and your mommy!
Love ya,
Gramma

Jessica Miller Kelley said...

Awwww. That "nurse" and "all gone" bit is precious and sad.

I have a TMI post about boobs coming up soon too (about what happens to them after the weaning--boo hoo hoo!) I was an exclusive pumper, so the emotional side was just my own personal accomplishment, but it was still a significant transition.

The Bradshaw's said...

Oh Momma I know how your heart is feeling right now. You're happy that you have your boobs all to yourself, yet sad because you now longer have that bond/connection and that's yet another proof our babies are growing up. I nursed Austin for 16 1/2 months and I miss it all the time. But I've found other ways to bond with him. ((HUGS)) to you momma and GREAT JOB at making it for 1 full year :-)

Michele Cannon said...

Okay. You're already making me sad, and we haven't hit 3 weeks old, yet!

Britt said...

I didn't nurse near as long as you did, only about 6 weeks, but even that was longer than I thought I would go. I do get your feelings though! I didn't think I would miss it when I stopped, but I really did. I agree with some other posts, you will find other ways, countless ways, to bond with the Bug!! Hang in there!

Erin and Chris said...

Ava was so easy to wean also at a year. It was definately harder for me than her! It is hard to realize that your baby is no longer a baby. I also totally agree with the "vain" aspect!

Joy said...

oh my gosh - i don't even want to think about that yet. krystopher's birthday is less than a month away, but i can't imagine not nursing him anymore... at least once a day. but i am also looking to go back to work, so maybe that day is sooner than i think...

Wendy said...

Weaning is so tough! My daughter self-weaned at 10 months (just decided one day that she was done) and it broke my heart. I never thought I'd love breastfeeding like I did. Or miss it so much when it was gone.

JessieLeigh said...

This is beautiful... and sad too. I can totally relate. I actually just let my 3rd self-wean and she had her last feeding on her 18 month birthday. I'm sure that seems like an insanely long time to some people but, really, it just flew by and I was happy to enjoy that closeness as long as she needed it. So glad to read that it went smoothly, though. Welcome to a brand new chapter! :)

Kristin said...

Followed you over from WFMW.
I have had 4 babies and know this feeling all too well. Good for you with sticking it out! Parting is such sweet sorrow in the end!