Didn't mean to disappear on you but our computer crashed last week and we just now got the new one. We knew it was coming, Craig had even researched what to get since two weeks ago it was tax free weekend - but we decided to try and hang on for another month or so. Three days later, it was toast. Oh well - everything was backed up and life goes on. Now I just have to get used to this new keyboard and in the meantime, please excuse the typos and enjoy this post I wrote the day before the crash.

The first week in August was National Breastfeeding Week so it seems funny that it was also the last time Lucy nursed.

Our weaning process was slow (and yes, it was our process because nursing is a relationship). Technically weaning started when she started eating solids 20 months ago but she didn't really slow down her nursing much. When I got pregnant, she was still nursing several times a day and probably at least twice a night. Then my milk supply decreased and so did the amount she nursed, but not that much. So I still wasn't sure if we were going to be a tandem nursing family or not. Either way was okay with me.

Now, I will be the first to admit that nursing while pregnant can be a whole different ball game. Some women don't seem to notice much of a change but I did, it just was not comfortable. And I did have to put more limits on when/how long which I believe is perfect reasonable considering her age and my needs, but I wasn't going to force her to stop completely. Partly because I could tell she wasn't emotionally ready (and frankly, neither was I) but also because I was pretty sure it was a big factor in keeping my "morning sickness" from evolving into full blown hyperemesis. And for me, almost any discomfort is worth not throwing up 6-8 times a day. Nursing was also the one way I could really rest during the day - if she was snuggled next to me she wasn't getting into trouble. But I also completely understand the decision the stop because of pregnancy. I highly recommend Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding during Pregnancy and Beyond if you find out you are pregnant and are still nursing. The only thing I don't like about it is the title because really most moms are likely to stop before reading the subtitle and it truly is a book about nursing while pregnant too and it offers lots of information and support - no matter what decision you make (or your body makes for you).

Okay, back to my story. My supply was pretty much gone by 5 months but still, she kept nursing although she was down to once a day or so, normally naptime. At that point, I really did think we would be tandem nursing. But the last 6 weeks or so, she just gradual decreased more from every couple days to about once a week.. By the time she got to once every 2-4 days, I kept expecting each time to be the last so I tried to savor it as if it was but there was always that one more time. Two days ago she asked but once she was in my lap, she said her mouth was too big  and that she was a big girl so she didn't need to share mimi (her word for nursing), the baby could have mimi and she could have milk... and candy.

I know that some kids unwean when the next baby (and the new milk) comes and of course, she could change her mind in a few days and ask again, but I'm pretty sure this is it. And I'm okay with that. When I thought about weaning when I first got pregnant, it just made me sad. Then I was torn. Even a month ago, the idea still had me tearing up. Someone said to me that it seems weird to be emotional about weaning when your pregnant because you have another baby to nurse coming soon. And yes, I think knowing that I have another baby on the way is nice* , but it also kinda missed the point. Breastfeeding really is a relationship and I'll never nursing Lucy again.  But now, she was ready and so was I.

My originally goals were 6 weeks, 6 months and 2 years. I made Craig promise not to let me quit before 6 weeks, no matter what we had to do to make it work. But I knew I really wanted to go to 6 months exclusive nursing (which we did) and to the WHO recommendation of at least 2 years. We made it to 27 months. I'm proud of that. If I had to describe my perfect weaning situation, this would probably be it. Of course, it is a bit sad, but in the same way that it will probably feel like when she first rides a bike, first spends the night away from me or goodness I'm not really ready to think about this - gets married.(I'd add goes to kindergarten but I'm already thankful I'm not going to have to deal with that - I'm sure I'd be a mess).  Being pregnant is also another reminder that in a few short weeks, she will no longer be my baby. But then again, she'll always be my baby.

*Although it also makes me want to go out and by the most complicated dress I can find. Being 8 months pregnant makes that seem like a pretty silly thing to do so I won't, but I want to. I don't feel like nursing really limits my wardrobe except when it comes to dresses. And the fact that I rarely wore a dress before I had Lucy seems irrelevant :-)

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for sharing this!

    Even though I call #3 the replacement baby now that Eliza is older and weaning herself, it really doesn't seem to help me not be sad about Eliza moving past this close stage. The only time I get to snuggle with Zuzu is when we watch Mr. Rogers.