On Weaning


Let me preface this post by saying that I was lucky enough to have no problems at all with breastfeeding.  Aside from some pain at the very beginning, and some stress about supply when I went back to work initially, everything was a breeze.  I am truly hoping for the same experience with the next one.

I had a set plan that it was breastfeed or bust when I was pregnant with Morrison, but I didn't have a timeframe at all.  I was hoping I could sustain it for a year at least based on recommended guidelines, but wasn't sure what would happen after that.  Along with this I must say that I also had no intention of co-sleeping, or subscribing to the attachment method in so many ways, or quitting my job.  I had no idea who I would be as a Mom, and so as the days went on creeping towards 1 year and then after, I kept on nursing.  It turns out that my all or nothing attitude about things included motherhood, and I was all in.  Morrison dictated his sleeping and nursing schedule, using my boob as comfort and a way to fall asleep at night.  I really relished these moments.  Nursing solidified the bond between him and I in so many ways.  Of course, there were times that I wanted to pull my hair out...like when we were in the grocery store and he is screaming milk at the top of his lungs, until I put him in the carrier and oblige (with an audience of course.)  

So I hadn't really even thought about weaning until it started becoming painful.  One of my first indications that I was pregnant again.  And then when that indication turned into reality I wondered if I would end up tandem nursing two kids.  I couldn't imagine Morrison giving it up at that point.  So I kept on with what we were used to, but it just kept getting increasingly more painful.  I decided to start by weaning Mo at night.  One evening I simply told him, that he could have milk to go to sleep, but would have to have water during the night.  I wore a crewneck tee to bed, and amazingly he slept through the night.  Beginner's luck I thought...but the next night was the same, and the next.  That was at least two months ago, and he has only woken a couple of times asking for milk, and when I tell him there is none he remembers and goes back to sleep.  After this my supply plummeted, and I really wasn't producing much milk at all.  This made it super painful when Morrison did nurse.  I tried to go without nursing to sleep, but Mo would just cry...and then I would cry.  I'm not sure either of us were ready to completely wean...but about a month later I couldn't take it anymore.  We tried again.  I explained to him that I didn't have any more milk, and that I would still snuggle with him to sleep.  He went to sleep with no tears.  That was about two weeks ago, at age 2 years and almost 2 months.  He still asks for milk occasionally, and I explain to him again that I don't have any.  It's definitely been bittersweet, and a major step towards his growing independence.  I am so thankful to have had the experience, to know that we bonded in that way.  I am curious to see how he reacts when he sees me nursing his little sis.

Motherhood is such a crazy journey, completely unpredictable, wild, and furiously fulfilling.  It has exceeded and completely changed the expectations I had about.  It is definitely one thing in life that you really can't plan for, shouldn't have goals for, and in my opinion should definitely have no clear vision for.  Knowing you will be a great mom, and then going with the flow has been the best tactic that I have found.  I am so grateful to have been blessed with a chance at it.