Tuesday, December 09, 2008

almost done

I guess we're almost done nursing.
As I've mentioned before, Danny weaned himself about a month ago.  He has still been getting breast milk via bottles - slowly working through our freezer stash with one BM bottle per day from the nanny, and a few extra ounces a day that I have been pumping.  But I think I'm basically done pumping, I've only been managing to do it once a day lately, and the 3 ounces that I get doesn't really seem worth it.  And the freezer stash is just about gone.  So his days of breast milk are coming to an end.
Callie has been dropping feedings lately.  She's been off her mid-day nursing for a few weeks, which was my plan - to transition her to one bottle a day in the afternoon.  My plan had been to keep nursing morning and night for longer, really as long as she wanted.  But the last several nights she has asked for a bottle instead of wanting to nurse.  And her morning nursing sessions have gotten pretty short.  So she may be nearing weaning herself.  I can't really tell.  Or maybe just the stuffy nose she has right now is influencing her desire to suck and maybe maybe she'll come back when she's over her cold. 
It's strange really - I guess I always figured that it would be me deciding to wean them.  I never really thought about the idea that they would make the decision.  This is better for them I guess, to do it on their time vs any trauma of me not letting them nurse when they want to.  So I guess it is good that they get to decide for themselves. 
But I'm not sure I'm mentally ready to be done nursing, and I'm not sure I'm ready for them to be done with having my milk.  If they were under a year old and trying to wean I would fight it - I would assume it's just a brief nursing strike and I would keep trying to push them to get back on.  But after a year old I suppose they are ok to decide this on their own. 
I can't quite explain why I feel so conflicted about this.  Most people seem happy to be done.  I hear a lot of people say they are so glad to "have my body back".  But I never really felt like it was a problem.  Yes, I hated pumping, but I didn't hate nursing and I felt like it was such the right thing to do.  I've always appreciated what a miracle it is to be able to nourish and grow these babies from this body of mine. The body these babies have given me is frankly so much better than the one I had before (40 pounds lighter!), that I haven't had any of that experience of wanting my old body back (except for the stretch marks I suppose). 
It's so final, something that once it's done, we can't go back.  There may be more babies to nurse one day, but I will never nurse these babies again - I will never again nurture them from my own body. 


cat said...

I always believe to go with the flow - go towards what the babies are pointing you. I felt a bit sad to give up as I knew they are my last babies - so I do understand that too.

Hopeful Mother said...

Yep - like Cat said. Going with the flow is the way to go, even if it makes you sad. You have done SO well nursing them this long and have so much to be proud of.

Anonymous said...

There's definitely a sadness attached to the end of breastfeeding, but you've done amazingly well to go this long!

Anonymous said...

My girls weaned themselves too, dropping daytime nursings at 4 months and then nighttime too at 9 months. I can relate to the sadness, it made me very sad but the girls are happy, healthy and still very bonded to me so I got over it eventually. Just wanted to say I understand your sadness. And it is nice to be able to drink a glass of wine again! Good luck...Michele in Atlanta

Karen said...

I felt the same way when my babies weaned, as you may remember. I was so surprised that they did so on their own - and had they done so before a year, I would have pushed through and fought it, but they did so just past 14 months, and they were CLEAR they were done. And that was it. *poof* It just wasn't how I'd imagined it, and I think that was part of the problem... it was unexpected. I didn't want my body back either. I'm sorry this isn't the way you'd imagined it.