Re: Is he self-weaning?
Many hugs, mama. Weaning is hard. And it's even harder when it's not what you really want to do. But your perspective is a good one- that it is about him and not so much you. You do have every right to mourn your experience and feel bad about it not going the way you expected, with the added bonus that when you need a little pick me up you can just look at your healthy happy little man and know that he is all good and that makes it so much easier.
Try not to look back and second guess yourself or play the blame game. I know that's easier said than done, believe me, but it's not productive. I don't mean ignore it or anything, but just recognize that maybe you could have done things differently and gotten a different outcome...but maybe not. There's no way to know, so there's no point in dwelling on it.
Your comment about not knowing when the last nursing was made me tear up. I totally understand that and just wanted to say that even with extended nursing pairs that can happen. My daughter, who weaned right around her 2nd birthday, did it so slowly that I don't know when her last time was. I tried to keep track, but after a month of thinking that every time was the "last time" I sort of stopped paying attention. And then one day I thought about it and realized it had been weeks and I couldn't remember. On the other hand, I have a very vivid memory of my last time nursing with my son and it's not a happy one. He was 9 months old, it was two days before thanksgiving, and I nursed him in the doctor's office right before she came in and told me that I had to wean him immediately. Out of the two I prefer the first way.
Also recognize that there are hormonal changes that are taking place, though if you are still pumping that will probably help. I had a crazy couple of weeks after weaning my son and it was only looking back that I realized that it was partly the hormones making me nuts.
Anyway, long ramble, sorry about that. Your post touched me and I felt I could relate. You've done such a wonderful thing for your son by nursing him this long, I hope that THAT is what you remember most when you look back at this time in your life as a mother.
“We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”