That is such a sweet ending:love:cry. I understand why you feel sad and you have every right to mourn. You've done a great thing for your little man- all 3 of them, even if you didn't go as long as you wanted with the first two- and you are a wonderful mother for trying so hard and for being so sad that it is over.
:hug to you. I both anticipate and fear the day my little girl stops asking for "Mip".:o
I thank all of you so much for the kind and supportive words. I'm crying all over again, but your words mean so much. (And, yes, probably part of it is hormonal.) ;)
Well, just when I was devastated about quitting, I fed him last night. He had a fever, and kept waking up, crying out. Sometimes he was still sleeping when I checked on him. Other times he was awake and comforted by covering him back up and patting his back. He never once asked to BF. After the 8th time getting out of bed, I told my husband, "I think I'm going to boob him." I wasn't sure if my husband was going to be down on me since he knows we're weaning, and he knows Hayden didn't ask for it. But, instead, my husband said, "Ok, honey. Go for it. You're a great mom!"
When I asked Hayden if he wanted a boober, he was very excited, and he nursed a long time. Then, he slept the rest of the night without crying out anymore.
I think I understand that, thankfully, and more than likely, the weaning process is more gradual than I thought last night. Maybe he'll still nurse once every few days for a while, or while he's getting through this illness. I'm really glad, because clearly I am the one who needs to be weaned. I never thought it would be hard for me. I think it's definitely knowing the end of the road is in sight that is so upsetting. I know we're moving into a new phase of childhood, but that's a phase I already have with my other kids - this is my last baby. Bless his sweet little heart.
Thank you all so much for your support. I appreciate the advice to be active on these boards, even after weaning. I know I wouldn't have made it without the help of all of these women. And, being that I've had every BF problem under the sun in the last 7 years, I hope to be of help to another frustrated mom. And I definitely do plan to remain an active advocate for the BF community.
You didn't quit Mama. It sounds like its been very gradual.
I know that I've read some older nurslings sometimes only nurse every few days, some once every 2 weeks! So its definately not an all or nothing thing.
Kristen, you have written so beautifully about the bittersweet pain of a gentle, full-term weaning. Your post has powerfully recalled some of my own memories of my son's weaning more than two years ago, especially how sad and weepy I was even as I rejoiced and took pride in the great accomplishment of our long and happy breastfeeding relationship.
With another child (my stepson) already grown and off to college, I am able to take a longer-term perspective on the bittersweet heartache of my baby growing up. Weaning is tough on a mother's heart, that's for sure. But it is not really the first transition in a mother-child relationship, and it most certainly will not be the last. Weaning is just one more letting go in a long, tears-and-laughter chain of them.
As mothers of healthy, thriving children, we are blessed to always be letting go of them, a bit at a time, as they launch themselves by increments out into the world. This can feel like a very hard joy at times, but in our hearts we know we wouldn't wish for any other outcome.
Your son is nursing again, and you clearly feel relieved and grateful for this renewal in your breastfeeding relationship. I'm happy for you. When, in due time, you come back to this place of transition, try to remember that mothering does not end with boober, and that new rituals of love and closeness can and will come to life between you and your child.
hi, just some thoughts and questions having read your story, isn't it ok to offer if you are not keen to encourage weaning? as far as I understand it the don't offer/don't refuse is a weaning method after all. I hear your pain at the loss of the nursing relationship, and at the same time I hear about the excitement in your little boy when you offer him the breast. Why if he still nurses happily would you force yourself not to offer? I don't see it as a selfish thing at all, on the contrary, as part of the gradual weaning process you are already undergoing. When he says, no mom thanks, I'm ok, I don't need to nurse, then you'll know for sure that he is done, not just too busy to remember to ask. I have no experience of weaning, and now that I'm pregnant I don't know what's going to happen, but for sure I am scared of my DD's weaning soon, and I think I would try offering when she stops asking, just to make sure...