Thursday, August 13, 2015

Weaning Eleanor at 22 Months

I dreaded the day we would nurse last.   Like really dreaded it.  I wasn't being forced to wean her at all.   I knew when I got pregnant that I would try to wean her by the end of the summer.  I wanted to have a slight break and knew that it was imperative in order to successfully nurse baby 2.  I didn't want to get burned out on nursing if that makes sense and I knew I didn't want to tandem nurse (totally amazing if you do it;though).  Had I not gotten pregnant I probably would have gone until Eleanor turned 2. 

So with that being said, I decided that when she hit 22 months we would wean.   I felt like she would be okay, by that point we were down to bedtime only, one breast only instead of both, and more often than not she wasn't nursing to sleep and her nursing sessions were shorter.  I knew that we might have some hard times, but she would be okay.  She wasn't nursing multiple times a day and going cold turkey.  I had slowly been cutting back.

I'll miss the moments she would fall asleep on me nursing  

An older picture; she was ten months here

Still, I dreaded it a lot.  I know that for her it was more a comfort thing, but there were still lots of benefits for her health, and mine.

And for me it was a chance to settle down and sit after busy days with her and share a few sweet moments.  There were silly ones as well where she would shove her feet in my mouth and giggle.

Toddler nursing....

That last week I really focused on the nursing.  As much as I love those sweet and silly moments, the truth is that nursing can be boring, and I played on my phone often.   That last week I didn't do that.  I just took in the moment.  I tried to memorize it all.  I failed just so you know.  I wanted to remember the way that sweet little hand would rest on me or occasionally mold into mine.   The way I would brush the hair out of her eyes and she'd smile at me.  

(And with that I'm pausing for a moment as I am trying not to cry)

By the end there was pain when she latched (and this is a pregnancy thing I think), but it would usually dissipate quickly.

I know breastfeeding isn't something every woman is interested in, and that's okay, but I knew it was something I wanted to do.  The benefits are astounding, for both baby and mom.  I set a goal of a year, but as that got closer I decided to keep going until 2.

Most people were supportive; a few asked when I was going to be done, and made comments like 'your not going to nurse much longer are you?"  I don't care or wasn't bothered because what I do with my body is my business.   Full term nursing may not be the norm here (in the USA), and I'm not trying to force what I think on anyone, but as I said, still it's nobody's concern but mine.  

This post isn't intended to be a post about why you should do things my way, it's more about my feelings. And I feel sad.  I feel like I want to nurse her again and have that bond again.

It's been nearly a week since we nursed last and while she has asked a few times she's usually able to be redirected easily.  I feel uncomfortable and full but it's not horrible pain so I'm pushing through.

But I do look forward to nursing another sweet baby through toddlerhood:)

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