Saturday, November 22, 2008

No More Moooooooooo

It wasn’t the fact that my daughter’s nearly two and speaks in complete sentences that made me wean her.

It wasn’t even (when push comes to shove) the fact that she has been waking up at 5 am for her morning feeding and then not going back to bed.

It wasn’t the fact that my love is embarrassed when my daughter reaches her hands into my shirt when we’re in public and casually digs around until I feed her.

Before I actually gave birth, I thought that any single one of these would have been enough to make me wean my daughter. But at the end of the day, I loved the bonding too much. I loved her snuggling against me, her eyes gazing at nothing in particular, her hand around my fingers or on my necks and face.

And I appreciate the extra antibodies that keep my girl from getting sick.
And I loved the “100 elements in breast milk that can’t be found anywhere else”
and the idea that breast milk is perfectly fitted to the needs of my daughter at any age.

We were down to twice a day, so we could breast feed in private. And anyway, I told myself, my daughter refuses to drink cow’s milk, even milk with honey and vanilla. And I HAVE milk, so why not keep going?

But three times in the last week, when we were looking at cows (in Texas), reading about cows, or dancing with our fabulous, battery-operated dancing cow, my daughter stopped in the middle of it all, turned to me, reached into my shirt and said, “milk? milk?”

That did it. I refuse to be identified with a cow!
I mean, I certainly joke about feeling like a milk machine, but I'm allowed. No one else is. Not even my daughter.

She started weaning this weekend at my parents’, and now she’s (mostly) all done.

Not so painful. Though, to be fair, I’d started “trying” half-heartedly to wean a few weeks before, so at least the milk supply wasn’t urgently painful by the time we quit.

Her last gulp was on the plane, taking off in the Houston airport. Now we’re “all done. Bye-bye, mama’s milk” (mostly).

And for the first time in her entire life, she slept through the night last night (after a short crying spell at midnight).

3 comments:

Michelle Nevada (Michelle_Nevada@yahoo.com) said...

B"H

I cried when I read this because I am thinking of doing the weaning thing soon, and it is extremely painful--to me. Not so much to him, I think.

But isn't everything more painful for us?

Good luck and, if you show weakness and go back a few times, I know there are a lot of Imas out there who will understand!

Maya said...

Good luck, Michelle!

Joyous Jewess said...

Mazal tov! It's bittersweet, I know. My little ones self-weaned at one year and though I was feeling sort of ready to have my body back to myself and was relieved that the impetus came from them, when it actually happened, I felt totally rejected! I just reached the point at which they've been weaned for as long as they were nursing, and it's strange to think that soon that period will have been just a short part of their lives.

But you should feel a real sense of accomplishment -- both for nursing for two years, and for managing the weaning smoothly. Good luck!