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Thread: Grieving

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    16

    Default Grieving

    Ya know, I never read anything yet about grieving when the baby weans. I grieved as if they moved out and went to college when my kids weaned. Not like crying constantly, but like, "my baby doesn't need me anymore". I didn't try to make them continue to nurse or anything, I let it go, but there was a slight emotional sting to it. I haven't read anything about it and just thought I'd voice my feellings. Maybe most mom's don't feel that????? So, while I look forward to weaning my 2 yr old, there is a sweet sorrow about it somehow. Take care..... Gen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    526

    Default Re: Grieving

    My DS (now 8) weened himself when he was about 2 1/2. At that point he was only nursing a couple of times a week at nap time, and when I returned to work days, I wasn't around at nap time anymore. I remember the first weekend after I started back to work. I was sitting on the couch talking to my mom, ds came and climbed up on my lap to nurse. After a minute or so, I looked down and realized he wasn't nursing, just kind of staring at it. He'd open his mouth and pretend he was going to latch, but just laughed and climbed down. That was it!
    It didn't hit me till I was at my LLL meeting a few weeks later. I was introducing myself and ds to the newbies. When I said that ds had weened I got so upset and realized how much I missed it. I was single at the time and thought I'd never get married and have anymore children...my nursing experience was over!
    Well, here I am, now married with another ds (13 mos.), and loving every minute of nursing.
    I do believe that a grieving period is appropriate. There is nothing like having that bond. I could cry just thinking about this one weening!!
    Jill
    Wife to Steven, mom to ds Noah (11), ds Oliver (4), dss Peter (11), Linus (2), and 2 in heaven.

    Buy Eco-friendly Handmade at GaGa Bum
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    133

    Default Re: Grieving

    My DD hasn't completely weaned yet, but she only nurses for naptime and bedtime. Although I am happy not to be nursing as often, I felt a little grief when she slowed down so much on her nursings. It made me feel like she wasn't really a baby anymore. We had so many struggles at the beginning, and I didn't think I would ever make it to be an extended nurser. It's kind of a lost feeling now that it's close to the end. Like, a part of our relationship has changed and will never come back.

    But, it's also a good feeling knowing I got her off to a good start, both physically and emotionally. I guess it's just part of being a mother, and a feeling I would not want to give up for anything in the world.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Grieving

    Quote Originally Posted by OceansAura1
    I grieved as if they moved out and went to college when my kids weaned.

    Wow, I think this is a really apt analogy. My 4yo DS recently weaned, and my 16yo stepson will be off to college in another year and a half. For both these transitions, I felt or am now feeling HUGELY ready for it to happen but also very sad about the irrevocable loss it represents in my life.

    As a previous poster said, part of weaning is the satisfaction that I've gotten my son off to a great start in life -- and surely the same can be said of any parent who survives the teen years and sends a kid off to college. I tell my stepson that we'll throw ourselves a party after he leaves for college -- but I'm sure the house will feel so empty, and my life will seem to have lost half its purpose for a good while.

    Grieving was a part of my reaction to weaning. It blindsided me, because I thought those feelings would be minimal since I probably wasn't even lactating for the last year of nursing (our weaning was VERY gradual, and included a 2-week hiatus more than a year ago). I got fairly depressed and weepy, and despite being a hugely active LLL member and hearing from others about the emotional rollercoaster of weaning, it took a friend's insight to help me even connect these "blues" to the fact that Michael had weaned just a month previous! (I'm kind of an emotional idiot when it comes to myself.)

    I guess what I'm trying to say in this rambling post is that a parent is always, in some form, learning to let go of her child. Weaning is a big milestone, but it's by no means the only or last one. A good mother, ironically, aims to become obsolete -- but when she does, it can feel like getting laid off!

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Grieving

    then im not crazy..ok! lol i thought i was being selfish by my nervousness at the thought of him weaning and often find myself EAGER to feed in the middle of the night. i just want to lay with him by my side and cuddle him as he soothes himself to sleep by nursing..omgosh, IM going to cry and he is only 9 months...gosh this won't be good when it has to come to an end. lol
    ~~ Valarie ~~
    wife to matt
    mommy to
    ricky 2.9.03, christian 6.28.05, baby olive due JAN 2008

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,198

    Default Re: Grieving

    I'm so glad to be reading this topic; I've been thinking alot about this lately as DS is now just over 12 months and 'only' nursing before naps, bedtime and of course during the night as many as 1-3 times, depending on the night. I never thought I would enjoy breastfeeding (due to a variety of reasons and body image issues), but have found it to be one of the very best experiences of my life. I will miss it more than I can describe. I am sure it will come with a good deal of emotional bittersweetness when he weans. I still remember being in tears when I recounted to DH that DS had taken his first bottle (from my best friend and one of the women who helped convince me that motherhood was a journey I shouldn't miss) at age 10 weeks or so - because from that moment on, I knew he didn't 110% need just me! While that was a good thing, even that was emotional. When my periods started up again at about 10 months and I knew my body thought it was time to not be 110% dedicated to tending of baby, that, too, was another emotional hurdle.
    I'm hoping baby will self-wean when he thinks he is ready, though I hope it won't be for several more months... like others have said, I might be willing to give up pumping at work (doing that right now, actually!) much sooner, but I'll be very content to have this bond and those precious pre-sleep innocent moments for a while longer.

    There's nothing quite like the look on J's face when he knows he's just so wrapped up in my arms and love, in a way that nothing else can mimic.

    <big teary-eyed sigh>
    J'smom

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Grieving

    Yes, it is a great and awesome thing to nurse as long as we can. And it is very comforting to know that we gave the kids the best start that we possibly could. Even now, like last night, when for some reason, my 2 yr old nursed for at least a total of 2 hours and i thought my boobs would fall off..... I still get sad knowing he will wean. I am pregnant now and I don't want him to feel left out when the baby's born so I will not stop him from nursing now. But I just feel sad that he's getting so big I guess. He's still my baby right now and I don't want to have that "he's not the baby anymore" feeling about him. I will be ok I know, not as good as he will be I'm sure, but it'll be ok. Gen

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Grieving

    As anyone who has been reading my posts under the "I think she's weaned" thread knows, my just-turned 4 year old (Mar 29) has nearly weaned. She did try to nurse for about 30 seconds yesterday (April 7).

    Even with a weaning as gradual as ours (Nursing a few times a week for several months) I am still very sad that the part of my life as a "nursing mother" is almost over for good. (Barring accidents or winning the lottery).

    Nursing no longer puts her to sleep, but when she is very emotionally upset, the idea of nursing still soothes her. I no longer offer to nurse her, but sometimes when she is upset, she will ask to 'have mimi's', but by the time I stop what I am doing, and go to the couch, she has often changed her mind.

    Anyway, those of us who grieve the end of a nursing relationship are not alone.

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