Last week Otter and I said goodbye to nursing. He was two months past his second birthday.
The decision to wean was not made lightly. He had been growing more independent for quite some time, blossoming the way breastfed babies do. Then suddenly he began to regress, demanding more and more milk, becoming less willing to eat solid foods and becoming violent and angry when I wouldn’t let him nurse. I started feeling as though keeping him on the breast was doing him more harm than good, a feeling that started inside me, and grew. One day he and I had a huge fight about nursing, and we decided, together, that it was time to stop. I told him, in one week, we say bye bye to Mama milk.
That week we snuggled a lot more, we nursed for longer periods, even though we stayed on our three times a day schedule, mornings, naptimes, and bedtime. When weaning day came, we woke up and I invited him to have as long a nurse as he wanted, because it was our bye bye to Mama milk nurse. It was a wonderful nurse. We nursed for a long time. We smiled at each other, patted each other’s cheeks, played with our hair, smiled. He would sit up and talk from time to time, and then settle back in to nurse some more. We snuggled close, took our time, really said goodbye.
Then we got up, got dressed, and went out to Target to get Otter his very first “Big Boy” toy. He picked out a plasmaglider, this very cool self propelled glider. He was very proud of it, rode it through the store, the checkout line, and under my very paranoid eye, even out to the car. He has ridden it around the house constantly ever since. He is thrilled with it, because sister even likes it, a sure sign that it is, in fact, a Big Boy toy.
This week has been surprisingly easy for my boy. We have had a few times when he has asked for milk, and then gotten sad when I have reminded him that we said goodbye to it, but for the most part he has not missed it. He has been co-sleeping again to make up for the lost closeness, and has been less willing to be away from me during the day. He has been needier. However, it seems the milk was more a comfort thing for him, than it was a source of food, as he doesn’t miss the nutrient as much as he does the snuggles.
As for me, I have found it very hard. I have not only said goodbye to nursing Otter, I have said goodbye to nursing. I have said goodbye to babyhood. I am no longer the mother of infants. All those silent moments of communication, spent staring deeply into my baby’s eyes while they greedily drink away, every swallow bringing satisfaction, knowing I am personally responsible for making them healthy and strong. All the soft, fuzzy head snuggled against my arm moments. All the hushed nursery moments. All the first balloons, and baby chortles. At thirty three years of age, that magical part of my life is behind me. Otter was my last baby.
I am on to the hustle and bustle of noisier children, busy children with questions and activities, and the certainty the Mommy doesn’t hold the world in her hand and certainly doesn’t always know what she is doing. I am on to PTO meetings and playdates, boyfriends and girlfriends, allowances and driving permits. I am on to children who don’t have time to snuggle me, and won’t want to spend an hour on Saturday morning cuddled in bed with me, just talking and playing with my hair.
Otter took well to weaning. Me, not so much.
5 thoughts on “Bye bye Mama milk…”
I applaud you for being just who you are. You give your all to every stage in your life and in your childrens. It’s hard to move on to the next step but it’s inevitable. Really though, I’d hate to freeze time because what if we froze as kids? Stuck playing with Cabbage Patch Kids and listening to NKOTB forever! We’d have missed out on all the fun grown up stuff like seeing our babies grow up. It’s been fun so far and I can’t wait to see what’s next…
You know what I’ve discovered? Because you took the time for those special moments while he was young, he will STILL look for them from time to time as he gets older.
My oldest is 13, and will still crawl into my bed on a sat morning for some ‘chat time’, and I still sit on his each night, and he STILL gets and GIVES a hug and kiss goodnight.
They may not snuggle as much, but the snuggles will still be there, hiding just below that cool kid surface 🙂
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. In any case
I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon!
Thank you Maria! I appreciate you stopping in to visit and deciding to stay!
What a beautiful post! I am in tears after reading this. My baby turns one next month and after reading this I can see that we will be continuing with mama’s milk into year two! Thank you for a lovely insight into what nursing is really all about.