Chloe turns one next month and I assume I will wean. Only because I know how quickly it goes from ‘sweet’ while you provide the sustenance your child needs to survive to ‘awkward’ as you become a walk up buffet.
But I’m not happy about it. Not that I am one of those irrational breastfeeding advocates. I advocate doing what works – and that’s different for every mother. I have found it’s also different for every child.
When Gavin was born I had high hopes of sailing right up to his first birthday nursing exclusively. Oh boy did we get off to a rocky start! I was about to throw in the towel one week in. It was so much harder than anyone let on.
Proper latching? positioning? engorgement WHAT? Other moms made it seem like you just stick the kids on and go.
Then there were the undesirables not mentioned in baby books — the constant leaking, special bras, certain “accessible” clothes (pull down to expose boob or pull up to expose postpartum belly? Oh, the choices!). It was a lot for me to handle at once.
I was certain that if it was this hard, I must be doing it all wrong.
The logistics settled in a few weeks later, we got a routine and things got much easier…until they got much worse. Yes, I suffered with the entire Nursing Mother’s Encyclopedia of breastfeeding problems. You name it, I had it. Clogged ducts, mastitis, thrush, more clogged ducts and the worst of the worst – Raynards of the breast. Imagine someone stabbing you with a penknife 1000 times in the breast. Not awesome.
With troubleshooting and a lot of Tylenol I managed to hang in there a little over 10 months. When I was done nursing it was more of a relief than anything since the Raynards continued.
So when Chloe was born I wasn’t sure what to expect. People say breastfeeding is easier the second time around. My doctor had a homeopathic plan to fend off the Raynards. I was optimistic.
Turns out, she was a dream. Every moment nursing her was easy and natural. Nursing her went beyond simply providing the best source of nutrition (which is all it ever was with Gavin). It was the beautiful bonding experience that those 1970s hippie dippy books promised it would be.
And now, I am thinking of ending it. The thought barely registers in my brain, like I can’t get my head around it.
What will it be like when it’s over?
Will she continue to plead mmmmmh, mmmmmh, mmmmmmh as she waives her wrists excitedly every time she is hungry?
When she is tired, will she dive for comfort in the crook of my arm?
Will she miss me rubbing her back and singing as much as I will miss her num-num-num-num noshing, watching her eyes get heavy?
Will I know how to soothe her any other way?
With Gavin I was so proud of him as he crossed off every milestone in the book. With Chloe I am sad. I just want it all to slow down. First it’s weaning, then it’s walking, talking, toddler beds and toilet training. This time where she relies on me for every one of life’s necessities (a time that is both precious and maddening) – it will all be over in the blink of her pretty blue eye.
Please share your thoughts/advice on weaning – I need it!