July 13, 2011

The End of Nursing

It’s been about a month now since our last nursing, so I think it’s safe to say that that time in our lives is now over. We nursed for two years and a few weeks. It was both one of the hardest and one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life. I am both sad to see it go and glad to start on a new phase of our lives together.

For the longest time I was extremely conflicted about weaning. Nursing made H happy and it was no particular inconvenience for me. In fact having a sweet, quiet child on my lap for hugs, kisses, and nursing was very nice. On the other hand, she was getting older and as we thought about other children, I started to feel like it was time.

When I did get pregnant this spring we were still nursing, and I started to suspect I might end up a tandem nurser. H showed no signs of stopping. If I tried refusing/distracting when she asked, it resulted in the most piteous of fits, which I had no will to resist. Never in my life had I ever envisioned I might nurse two kids at once (who weren’t twins). But I was surprisingly OK with it. It was a moment of true “go-with-it-ness.” Accordingly, we kept up our routine when I got pregnant earlier this spring. Things were sore, but manageable. It was in line with what I had heard from other moms I knew who had or currently were nursing while pregnant. It did, however, force me to start introducing time limits.

Sadly, on so many levels, it was the later miscarriage that signaled the beginning of the end of our nursing relationship. At that point it was really just a comfort/routine thing. We nursed only first thing in the morning, before nap, and before bed. If I wasn’t the person getting her up or putting her down, she didn’t nurse and she didn’t ask to nurse. This was a major reason why we were still nursing. It was just the two of us all year, and I was the only option for putting down and getting up.

We had been planning for Josh to take over at least bed time when he got back in an effort to gradually wean her. When I miscarried, I was told not to lift anything heavy (like H) for a few weeks. My parents came to help, like the super heroes they are, and took over the going to bed and getting up for a whole week. That was followed by Josh visiting for a few days and shortly thereafter Mimi and Papa taking care of her while we were in Vegas. By the time we got home from Vegas, the habit was pretty much broken.

It occurred with little drama. It happened a lot faster than I expected. But I was ready for it when it happened. I feel that I did all I could for H in the nursing department, and I supported her needs. I almost never said no, and there was always extra milk when needed. Weaning is just one more sign that’s she’s growing up now. She’s going to be outgrowing a lot of other things in the years to come, and I can only hope that I’m ready then as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be kind.

Printer Friendly