Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The End of an Era

It actually hurts me to write these words, but Keevia is weaned. While I'm quite proud of myself for nursing her 17 months, I also feel sadness because I always thought we'd go longer. I think my PCOS hormones played a roll in my supply tanking in January, and I'm just thankful it didn't tank earlier than that. Teething (from the beginning of December on) has also played a large role. Unlike most kiddos, Keevia did NOT want to nurse while teething.

The end was simple, and painless on both parts. I subscribed to the "don't offer, don't refuse" mentality and it went over without a hitch. She dropped down to nursing around once a day about a month ago, and I just went with it. She stopped nursing to sleep (except for very, very rare occasions) before her first birthday.

She doesn't seem to miss it much. Today, as she was wallering me to death, I could tell she kind of wanted to nurse, but I didn't ask. When she's tired she still plays with my breasts (rubbing them, sticking her hand down them) but she doesn't ask to nurse anymore.

It's the end of an era, and the end of that bond that we had. Oh, I know we'll still be just as close, but we don't have that special thing between us anymore. I won't lie, I'm more than a little heartbroken, and I definitely think that weaning (at least when done the way we did it) is much harder on the mother than on the child.

I'll miss the first morning session the most I think, although I've been mourning it for months. I loved that session, the reconnecting I felt from being apart from her overnight. I have always felt like she's an extension of me, another limb on my body, and when she started sleeping in her room, I missed her with a physical pain. That morning session would reset both of us, and let us reconnect. She was still sleepy, so she wouldn't get distracted easily, and it was the longest session of our day. The only time I felt totally and completely needed in her day.

Everyone thinks nursing a newborn is hard. And it is difficult, don't get me wrong. But nursing a toddler is much harder, at least emotionally. While I'm glad to have my body back, I'm so sad to see my little girl growing up. I look forward to sharing this bond with our next child, but I'll always think of my time of nursing my sweet baby girl.

Wean Me Gently 
by Cathy Cardall

I know I look so big to you,
Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.
But no matter how big we get,
We still have needs that are important to us.
I know that our relationship is growing and changing,

But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness,
Especially at the end of the day
When we snuggle up in bed.
Please don't get too busy for us to nurse.

I know you think I can be patient,
Or find something to take the place of a nursing;
A book, a glass of something,
But nothing can take your place when I need you.

Sometimes just cuddling with you,
Having you near me is enough.
I guess I am growing and becoming independent,
But please be there.

This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,
Please don't break it abruptly.
Wean me gently,
Because I am your mother,
And my heart is tender.

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