Friday, October 26, 2007

Silent transitions

In my 11 and a half months of Ima-hood so far, this was a pretty momentous week. I weaned my babies, thus bringing to an end the activity in which I’ve spent more hours than I’ve spent sleeping in the past year. I felt that the babies were ready and so was I; nevertheless, I’d been dreading the weaning process – afraid that despite their apparent lack of interest in nursing, they’d feel a sense of loss. I didn’t know how I would respond if they started pawing at my chest and begging for milk, as I’ve seen friends’ babies do.

But in the end, it went smoothly. In fact, a little too smoothly: the babies seemingly didn’t notice any change. Which, of course, made me feel quite strange and sad, more so than the relief I was expecting. I didn’t want them to be traumatized or bereft, but I’m left alone with my own feelings of loss, watching my babies take another big step toward independence and away from me. I see their eager faces as they grab the bottle from me and proudly hold it themselves, and I can’t help but wonder if they even remember all the hours we spent snuggled together, with them at my breasts. (If I ever started to forget, my droopy boobs would surely remind me!).

So after bracing myself for a difficult transition, I found myself instead dealing with the invisible, silent anticlimax – the change that no one seemed to notice except for me.

The other transition of the week – equally private but more insistently annoying – was the (TMI alert) return of my period. It was a powerful convergence. While I was preparing for what I thought of as the return of my body to myself, I was reminded that I was merely trading one set of bodily claims for another. I am in awe of what my body is capable of doing… but a little exhausted by its demands.

No comments: