Friday, April 5, 2013

On Weaning (for real this time)

The other day as Bub's tee ball practice was winding up, I asked a friend to hold Button while I picked up Bub's gear. The friend said sure and then got distracted by her own son and started to walk away with her saying Bye, she'd see us next time. Realizing that she was holding a baby not her own, she said "Oops, I was about to walk away with her." I said, "OK, but she's not weaned so it might get a little awkward for you." We laughed and I took my child back.

But seriously. I am actually working on weaning her. I had a goal of 12 months of nursing her and I met it. For a while I thought about going longer but my milk supply dwindled and I knew I would be able to sustain it. Plus, in all honesty, I'm tired. A year of having a baby or a machine on you, it gets exhausting.  So since about 11 months she's been getting mixed bottles of whole milk and breast milk. At first I wasn't happy. I wanted to make it to 12 months solely on breast milk but I stopped making enough and the freezer supply gave out quick. But at least she was still getting some. I also cut out the nighttime feeding around the same time because it was becoming her crutch to go to sleep. Or so I thought because she took the elimination pretty well. And then during Easter break I didn't wake up to feed her at 6 a.m. like I usually do, just letting us both sleep til she woke up. So when I started back to work after 4 days off this week I continued not doing the morning feeding. BT has to give her milk when she wakes up right away instead of waiting but she hasn't seemed to mind.

With that I've eliminated one pumping session during my work day leaving just the morning. She can continue to still get a little breast milk during the day but we are working her up to just whole milk. So now I'm down to feeding her just once when I get home. I'm a little sad about that. I miss the morning feeding since now the first I see her is in the evening when I get home from work. But it was the easiest to eliminate of the two nursing sessions. The evening session is going to be hard. It was the hardest with Bub. It involves a lot of distraction and jumping immediately to dinner rather than a little down time together. Because if I try to relax with her that is what she is going to want to do. I'm not sure when I will start to get rid of it. She's only be 1 for a week. I guess I'll give it a few more weeks or let it go when the time seems more natural. Whatever comes first.

I am ready to be on my own again. But at the same time I know that I am going to miss it. The closeness, the little shuddering sighs, the ability to put her to sleep so easily, the sweetness. She is becoming a toddler and toddlers are so busy that sometimes they only come back to their moms to "touch base" and this is just another way of enabling even more independence. I will miss this aspect of our relationship. But the time has come and I just have to roll with it.

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