I’m sure this is no surprise to you (as it was certainly no surprise to me): Weaning Hayden is very emotional for me. I’m sure it’s partially the hormones, but let’s be honest, I’m not the most level-headed when it comes to sentiment. ESPECIALLY when it comes to my babies.
Lots of issues are making it emotional:
It’s painful. I’m doing it right (slowly, progressively), but for as much milk as my body makes, I probably should have given myself 3 months instead of 1. (Not an option, I’d like to be close to done when he turns 1 next week).
The pain is connected directly to my anquish of having to dry up after we had Elisabeth. I had pain for close to a week, just another constant reminder of having lost our baby. I know women choose all the time to forgo nursing and have the same discomfort, but for me it’s that association that hurts.
Um, in case you haven’t noticed over the past 33 years, I’m super sentimental. Not only is it a milestone in Hayden’s life (I don’t have a “baby” anymore!), but it’s the last time on this earth I’ll experience this miraculous thing. I totally didn’t think I’d be that granola mom who was all into nursing, but turns out I love it. Which brings me to my last point…
I’m lazy. OK, maybe not lazy persay, but always looking for ways to do things easier and smarter. It’s easier for me to nuzzle him close than to search around for a healthy snack and watch him suck and spit milk from his sippy all over the place. In fact every time I have a letdown and know I have to ignore it because I want him weaned, I think about addicts (stick with me here). Recovering addicts work so hard to not fall off the wagon, and constantly have to ride out the urges they feel. Because the urges will come, no doubt. Same here. The urges come constantly, but this is one wagon I have got to stay on. My body, nor his heart, can take the back-and-forth of inconsistent weaning.
My final thought is one of self-awareness. I wish I could say it will be over soon and I know I’ll be fine on the other end, but I know myself better than that. I’m sure I’ll look back on this experience and get emotional for the rest of my life, but I can just pray that I will remember the benefits and then focus on the things I can do right then to bond with and nurture the boys.
I believe weaning our children from anything that causes them to grow up can be hard. We wean them from the breast, a bottle, a crib, a paci, from diapers, etc. For you, there is something deeper that weaning symbolizes and that is your memory of Elisabeth. I am grateful you are able to identify why and how you are feeling about this process. It has always been helpful for me to know why I am feeling something and also helpful to me as a friend in how to be sensitive to you during this time.
Even if Elisabeth was not a factor, you’d feel this time more deeply than I do. You and my sister are the sentimental ones! I don’t completely understand it but I love you both for it!