For the past 18-ish months, I have been nursing Baby Jane. For the last few months, we've been down to 1 nursing per day, in the mornings. I knew that I'd wean her eventually, sometime around the 18 month mark, but wasn't sure when or how that would happen.
My original plan was to nurse for a year. At the beginning, when I was struggling so much with it (Baby Jane was a cluster feeder the first few weeks---basically, she wanted to nurse constantly from about 7-10pm. Plus, it didn't exactly come naturally to either of us), I didn't even know if we'd make it to the year mark. When it felt like my entire day was taken up by nursing, and I was so frustrated at how much time and energy (and logistics!) this single activity was taking up, I wondered if we'd make it to the year mark. When I went back to work, and was pumping several times a day, I wondered if we'd make it to the year mark. But we did.....and then, because I didn't really have a clear weaning plan and because we were both still enjoying it, we just continued.
This weekend, I decided that I was finished with it. It's not that it's a bother or anything, or that I was resentful---neither is true. But I decided it was time to take my body back, and that, since nursing is really just a special, close time that Baby Jane and I spend together, that this could also be accomplished in ways that do not involve nursing. Basically, in my mind, it was time to wean.
So we did. Or are. (When do you consider your kid "weaned"? Is it when you stop? Or is it when the kid is ok with the decision and stops asking for it?) I don't know that Baby Jane understands what's going on, but she seems mostly ok with it. She got a little upset yesterday, the first day I didn't nurse her, and apparently was a bit annoyed with Mr. Jane this morning when she asked for milk and he gave her a cup of milk. And she's been a bit clingier than normal, wanting more hugs and snuggles from her mom. But that's, from what I understand, normal.
I'm mostly ok with it, too, but it's definitely bittersweet. This is, after all, a bond that the two of us shared for so long, something that was just ours, something that took up so much of our time together for so much of her early life. And even though I was ready to let it go, a part of me still misses it terribly. (I'll admit that I'm getting a bit teary writing this post!)
Maybe, if nothing else, because this is just another sign that she's growing up, that she's not really a baby any more...and part of me is not ready to accept that.
Some moms find that when they stop, there is a little hormone crash that makes them bummed out for a while, which I hope you avoid.
Warm thoughts with you (and Baby Jane)
I am sure that you made the best decision for you and Baby Jane, but I understand how it must be hard nonetheless. Thinking of you.
Jane, I have been so out of things for the past several weeks - I just found this post. Seems like I should offer you both congratulations, for successful weaning and "taking back your body", and also sympathy for having reached the time of weaning.
It seems like just last week to me that I was congratulating you on Baby Jane's birth; now she's 18 months! How can that be?!?!? Does the time seem to have flown by even faster to you? Or not, because of that "I don't know if we'll make it to one year of nursing" feeling?
I don't tell you anyways near often enough how much I admire all you are able to do.
Mommyprof, I did have a bit of the hormone crash, but nothing too bad. Mr. Jane did say that it seemed like I was PMSing for a few weeks, though. :)
Zuska and CE, thanks for the kind thoughts! And yes, Zuska, the time has just flown by. Especially since I've gone back to work---I remember some of the days just dragging on when I was staying at home, but now that I'm back at work, they fly by way too fast. :)