I haven't been on these message boards in ages. For the first 6 months of my son's life, I was here several hours a day for the support and advice I so needed. Everyone here was so wonderful. I "unsuccessfully" BFed by firstborn for only 4 months, and my second born for 6 months. I wasn't ready to be done with either of them. We had so many problems, and I didn't know where to go for answers.
With my youngest baby, Hayden, we were having the same problems. But, with the help of my local LLL leaders, and especially the help of these forums, we got through the problems. Not only did I make it to my goal of BFing for 12 months (which, at so many times, seemed like an impossible thing to me), but we made it to 22.5 months.
The thing is, I think he's done. I think he's weaned. I'm so heartbroken, and I am bawling as I type this. There's no one else who would understand.
I've been telling people that I will probably wean him when he turns two. But, secretly, I was thinking that I would tell people that, but that I would continue until he was done. Since about 15 months, I started the whole "don't offer, but don't refuse" process. But, about a week ago, he stopped asking for it. I didn't even realize it for about three days. He even hurt his finger bad enough to bleed, and was screaming in pain, and still didn't ask for it.
So, with the realization that he would probably never ask for it again, I had a "closure feeding" with him. I asked him if he wanted a "boober", and he was very excited, and did. I cried the whole time. I never wanted it to end. He nursed, we played, we laughed, I cried, he smeared my tears off my cheeks, it was so sweet. I used to always end the feeding when he started playing around, but that night I let him go until he said "nigh-nigh".
It's been two days since then, and he hasn't asked for it again. This morning when I got him out of his crib, he said, "Boober." But, it wasn't asking for it. It was more like just seeing it. He didn't pull on my shirt or talk about it again. Just a habit I think.
I feel so conflicted. On the one hand, I'm very happy for him. This couldn't have gone better. I nursed for almost two years - 10 months longer than I ever hoped or wished for. I'm also happy that he weaned in the most perfect and natural way - slowly and totally up to him and on his schedule.
But, at the same time, my heart is breaking. He is my youngest. My baby. He is my last child. This is the last BFing I'll ever do. As my youngest of three YOUNG ones, nursing is the only one-on-one, uninterrupted, 100% of my attention he gets. Also, because he is a toddler, it's the only time I can get him to be still and let me hold him and love on him. He won't let me hold him any other time- he's too busy. But, also, because I wanted so bad for BFing to work for his brothers, and it didn't, this is the one thing unique to Hayden and I. It's unique and special to him and to our relationship. It's what makes him different from his brothers. (And, at this young age, just about everything else about him is "just like Aaron" or "just like Ryan". )
I'm so tempted to start getting him back into a BF schedule, and get him back in the habit of it. But, I feel like that's not a fair thing to do when he's finished and we've had such an easy, natural wean. I feel like wanting to bring him back to the "boober" is purely selfish on my part. I think I just need to mourn this phase, and mourn what little "baby" is left in my baby.
I was very sad when my oldest two stopped BFing, too. Mostly sad that it didn't work out, and that we didn't make it to a year. But, I was also relieved - we had so many problems, and it was such a struggle. They weren't gaining weight, and the bottle gave me peace of mind. But with Hayden, it was different. This last year has just been fun. It hasn't been a struggle, or a big deal, or a time commitment. It was easy, no big deal, and precious. It took up very little time, and wasn't even "needed" to get to sleep. So, him weaning hasn't even brought with it the welcome feelings of relief and freedom that I got with the first two. I haven't found anything yet good or happy about weaning for me.
If anyone has any advice or support, I would really love to hear it. Thanks so much.