Weaning: What If Mom Isn’t Ready?

by shelly on June 30, 2009

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My daughter is 2.5 years old and showing signs of weaning. At times when she would normally nurse, she is now telling me that my “na nas are broken” and is starting to nurse less and less.

She is completely ready. I, however, am not.

She is my youngest, my baby. When my oldest daughter weaned at 22 months old, it didn’t bother me as much; probably because I was pregnant and knew that another baby was coming to take her place at the breast.

This time, there is no baby. There was going to be a baby boy born in about two weeks to take her place at the breast, but we sadly lost him in the second trimester.  July 4th was my due date, and as that day looms closer and my youngest nurses less and less, I realize that for the first time in over five years I will have both an empty womb and empty breasts.

I don’t want to let go, I simply don’t. I want her to continue to be my baby, it is too hard for me. Then, last night, after my youngest told me that she didn’t want to nurse to sleep and I lay there with tears in my eyes, she suddenly turned towards me, threw her arms around my neck and said “I need you, Mommy” and asked me to stay with her until she fell asleep.

That’s when I realized that she still is my baby. So is my oldest. Weaning is not an end to them having needs that only their Mommy can fulfill; it’s just a step into the next stage of parenting, where I can meet her needs with lots of cuddles and hugs and attentiveness rather than comfort from the breast.

I need you, Mommy.

Maybe, just maybe, this won’t be as hard as I thought.

Shelly is a WAHM to two girls. You can find her daily at Adventures of a Breastfeeding Mother

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shelly (9 Posts)

Shelly is a mother of two and a birth and postpartum doula. When not blogging, she homeschools her children and is involved with her local La Leche League chapter. You can find her daily here: http://www.adventuresofabreastfeedingmother.com.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

justine June 30, 2009 at 10:26 am

Shelly,

Thank you for sharing this touching story with us… knowing that a relationship of ANY kind is coming to an end is usually wrenching <3

I am pregnant with what we figure will most likely be our last baby and knowing that breastfeeding will “end” someday makes me feel terribly sad, too.

I have often considered keeping up my supply through pumping and donating milk to babies who need breastmilk, but for whatever reason cannot get all they need from their mothers (sites like MilkShare match up babies who could benefit from your extra milk). Perhaps you could look into using this time of “loss” as an opportunity to “give” in another way? Knowing that you have a valuable resource to share with other babies in need could help ease the transition from being a nursing momma to a non-nursing one :)

Just a thought!

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desiree fawn June 30, 2009 at 11:25 am

I hope that everything goes well and that you feel happy about all the fabulous time you had to nurse.
My thoughts are with you!

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Mama K June 30, 2009 at 11:25 am

((hugs))
Weaning is bittersweet for sure and then there is the added grief over the little one you lost. It’s perfectly ok to be sad, mourn, whatever… I found the due date and the time leading up to it very difficult.

btw, your blog will not load on my computer any more. don’t know what is up with that.

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Lesley S Ulloa July 1, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Thank you for sharing that honest account of your experience. I, too, have a 2.5 yr old. Thankfully, he shows no signs of weening and I, for one, am perfectly fine with that! You have opened my mind to the possibilities of what I may feel when that day comes. I appreciate that.

My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

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Amber July 2, 2009 at 8:42 am

It’s true that weaning is just a step along the way. I found that all the things that were ‘supposed’ to change with weaning didn’t. I hope this is as gentle of a transition as possible for both of you.

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Samantha July 2, 2009 at 6:34 pm

My heart goes out to the original poster this seams like a sad time in more ways than one.

I’d like to share briefly my experience on weaning. Each was weaned gradually at about 3.5yrs by my instigation. Yes sometimes it was bittersweet and I wished I could nurse the pain or upset away like I did when they were babes.

Yet they were and still are my babies although much, much bigger now. I found other ways to offer comfort and love.

Frankly, weaning was a relief to me. I had my body back in a way I had not had in a long time. I think that is important too.

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Zel August 13, 2009 at 10:30 pm

I wait for the day when my son weans, he is 14 months old right now. I want my body back, I’d like to be the sexy wife and not just the nursing mom… But I know when that time comes I will truly miss being so close to my son, having him look into my eyes, touch my chest, make cute sounds while nursing. Anyone can play with him, change his diaper, read him a book- but only I can nurse him. Congrats to you for getting as far as you did and may your next stage of parenting be a great one.

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