I thought about weaning at 3.5 months we battled supply issues due to stress, mommy having bad food poisoning/dehydration and Andrew having rotavirus. Weaning him onto formula popped into my head more than once, but as quickly as it popped in, it also popped out! No, we could do this.
I thought about weaning him at 17 months I got mastitis. Ouch. After all, he was nearly a year and a half. But the best way to get rid of mastitis is to nurse, nurse, nurse...so we did.
I thought about weaning him at 18 months my husband and I went on a cruise. We were gone for nine days and I was positive it would happen while we were gone. I pumped religiously while on the ship, donating my "stash" to a momma friend who lived in the city our ship returned to, who was adopting soon. My son nursed within an hour of us being reunited.
I thought about weaning at 2 years. Nursing a busy toddler is hard. There is a physical aspect of it, the gymnurstics, the demand, the constant need to nurse. I was also beginning to get the weird looks and rude comments about nursing an older baby. For my own sanity, Andrew and I came up with rules about nursing. If mommy said to wait, we would wait. There was going to be no doing flips while attached to my breast. Pinching and hair pulling had to stop. Andrew was happy and compliant with the "rules". So we kept nursing.
I thought about weaning at 2.5 years. It was December and the holidays were hectic. I figured if they were hectic for me, they must be hectic for little man too. So we kept nursing and I decided to reassess after the New Year.
I thought about weaning on January 12th, 2012. I woke up that morning and wondered "Hmmm, where on earth is my period? It should start soon." Actually, it should've started eight days prior to that. After taking a test in the bathroom (which immediately came back positive), the first thing I did after getting over my initial shock was see my son, two years and six months and four days old and wonder how we'd survive pregnancy, nursing relationship in tact. One day at a time I said, one day at a time.
I thought about weaning on February 7th, 2012. While in the shower, I passed out and fell out of the shower and onto the bathroom floor. I hadn't been able to keep down food in days. I threw up everything, including water. While at the ER receiving fluids and a U/S to check on the baby, I told my husband I might have to wean Andrew.
I thought about weaning on February 9th, 201, when I realized my son had weaned. The last time he nursed was before his nap on Monday. We had kissed, snuggled and he had fallen asleep nursing. It was now Thursday evening and he hadn't asked for it. And he never did again, except to be silly.
I posted the following on my FB status:
"There is a part of my life, a defining part of motherhood that has ended. My son has weaned, two days shy of 32 months. When I nursed him on Monday, we did our usual "I love yous", kisses and snuggles...I didn't realize it would be our last time. In light of everything going on, it is probably best that my body not take any more demand at the moment. But there is still a twinge of sadness with it all, as well as a sweetness and fondness of the memories I have from nursing Andrew.
I praise God for giving me the ability to nourish and comfort my child, regardless of how our society feels about it or views it.
Psalms: 22:9 - "Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts."
Psalm 131:2 - "But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me."
It's now mid-May. Andrew will be three in a few weeks and I know he remembers nursing, because he tells me he does. He asks me to nurse his animals and tells me that's how I will feed the baby, which is arriving in late August/early September. He tells me he got milk from "neh-nehs" and that it was yummy. I hope he always remembers the comfort he felt during nursing.
I haven't thought much about weaning since then. My appetite has returned and I'm trying to gain back the 30lbs I lost during the beginning of my pregnancy. My husband is busy in training for his new job, I'm spending my days with my family and friends, knowing the fall brings many changes. Thankfully weaning won't be one of them, since we've crossed that bridge, gracefully and gently.
What I have thought about is how grateful I am. To God for providing me with the ability to nourish a child at my breast. To my parents who encouraged me. To my friends who supported me. To my husband, who thought I was crazy at first but defended me and now sees the benefits of "full term nursing". I'm just thankful and blessed.
Thank you for visiting the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (and many thanks to Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch for designing our lovely button):
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon May 21 with all the carnival links.)
- On Breastfeeding, Weaning, and One Mother’s Identity — Jessica at Natural Parents Network has been nursing one or more of her children since 1993 - breastfeeding is wrapped up in her concept of mothering and herself. She shares her thoughts on weaning.
- two tales of weaning — Aspen at Aspen Mama writes about their countdown to wean.
- Wean Me Gently — Tam at Please Send Parenting Books shares a beautiful weaning ceremony.
- You say potato, I say bleeeuuuuch... — Anelie at Mindcradle had read the books and knew just how to introduce her baby son to solids—unfortunately, he had other ideas.
- A post about Weaning — (Not) Maud at Awfully Chipper writes about how weaning her son took longer than she expected.
- On Weaning, Pregnancy and Emotion — Shannon at The Artful Mama talks about her mixed emotions as she allows her son, Little Man, to guide her through his weaning process.
- half of her life — Staci at Springpatch Jam looks back on her nursing relationship with her first born.
- Is it just this After Forty Mom or is it harder to wean when its your last? — Amanda of After Forty Mom shares her emotional journey towards the impending self-weaning of her toddler daughter.
- Nursing Limits — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she has weaned her toddler down to minimal nursing and her guilt about the decision to do so.
- Weaning Video Series #1: Preparation for the Weaning Process — Why is weaning such a taboo topic? Dionna at Code Name: Mama got mamas from across the blogosphere to start talking about weaning - on video. Come check out the first video in a series of five that she'll be posting this week.
- On the weaning of the boy in the middle — Kelly at Witness To Hope shares the lessons of a little one self-weaning at 18 months in the middle of an unexpected pregnancy, after nursing his older sister for three years.
- Weaning due to anxiety — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about how she had to wean to preserve her mental health.
- When Will I Wean? A Guest Post — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama hosts a guest post from a mama who contemplates when her breastfeeding relationship will end.
- On His Own Terms — Momeeezen shares her heartbreak from when her son weaned much earlier than she anticipated.
- Our Weaning Story - Sudden, Surprised, and Embracing a New Season — Weaning doesn't always go how we imagine. That Mama Gretchen shares the story of her daughter's sudden weaning and how she has embraced this new season of motherhood.
- A Tale of Two Weanings — Valerie at Momma in Progress shares the similarities and differences of how her nursing relationships with her now six-year-old and four-year-old daughters came to a close.
- She Doesn't Remember — Alicia at Lactation Narration finds that her 6 year old no longer remembers nursing, only one year after weaning.
- It's The End of the World As We Know It — A story about the end of a tandem nursing relationship on Never Mind The Rain: A toddler moves on to a new phase in her life before mom is fully ready.
- A Natural End To Our Breastfeeding Relationship — With two self-weaning children, Jennifer at Our Muddy Boots does not know when the end will come, but that it will be natural and without regrets.
- Child-Led weaning: It's Not Extreme; It's Biological — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children explains why child-led weaning is based on biology rather than social constraints.
- 6 Years of Natural Weaning in 5 Steps — Jess at miniMum shares how and why she let her first child stop when he was good and ready.
- Is This Weaning?: A Tandem Nursing Update — Sheila at A Living Family bares all her tandem nursing hopes and fears during what feels like the beginning of the end for her toddler nursing relationship.
- Memories of Weaning: Unique and Gentle — Cynthia at The Hippie Housewife shares her weaning experiences with her two sons, each one unique in how it happened, and yet equally gentle in its approach.
- Weaning Aversion' — Gentle Mama Moon shares her experience of nursing and unplanned weaning due to pregnancy-induced 'feeding aversion'.
- Three Months Post-Mup: An Evolution of Thoughs On Weaning — cd at FidgetFace describes a brief look at her planned (but accelerated) weaning, as well as one mamma's evolution on weaning (and extended nursing)
- Weaning my Tandem Nursed Toddler — After tandem nursing for a year, Melissa at Permission to Live felt like weaning her older child would be impossible, but now she shares how gentle weaning worked for her 2 1/2 year old.
- Every Journey Begins with One Step — As Hannabert begins the weaning process, Hannah at Hannah and Horn's super power is diminishing.
- Reflections on Weaning - Love Changes Form — Amy from Presence Parenting (guest posting at Dulce de Leche) shares her experience and approach of embracing weaning as a continual process in parenting, not just breastfeeding.
- Weaning Gently: Three Special Ideas for Success — MudpieMama shares three ideas that help make weaning a gentle and special journey.
- Guest Post: Carnival of Weaning — Emily shares her first weaning experience and her hopes for her second nursling in a guest post on Farmer's Daughter.
- 12 Tips for Gentle Weaning — Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting describes the process of gentle weaning and gives specific tips to make weaning an organic, joyful ripening.
- Quiz: Should You Wean for Fertility Treatments? — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries talks about the key issues in the difficult decision to wean for infertility treatments.
- I thought about weaning... — Kym at Our Crazy Corner of the World shares her story of how she thought about weaning several times, yet it still happened on its own timeline.
- Celebrating Weaning — Amy at Anktangle reflects on her thoughts and feelings about weaning, and she shares a quick tutorial for one of the ways she celebrated this transition with her son: through a story book with photographs!
- Naturally Weaning Twins — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings discusses the gradual path to weaning she has taken with her preschool-aged twins.
- Gentle Weaning Means Knowing When to Stop — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl writes about knowing when your child is not ready to wean and taking their feelings into account in the process.
- Weaning, UnWeaning, and ReWeaning — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy discovers non-mutal weaning doesn't have to be the end. You can have a do-over.
- Prelude to weaning — Lauren at Hobo Mama talks about a tough tandem nursing period and what path she would like to encourage her older nursling to take.
- Demands of a Nursing Kind — Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares her conflicted feelings about nursing limits and explores different ways to achieve comfort, peace, and bodily integrity as a nursing mother.
- Breastfeeding: If there's one thing I know for sure... — Wendy at ABCs and Garden Peas explores the question: How do you know when it's time to wean?
- Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Two, Three? — Zoie at TouchstoneZ discusses going from 3 nurslings down to 1 and what might happen when her twins arrive.