Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Whining about Weaning

I can't give it up.

I'm in total denial. I think as long as I'm breastfeeding my baby then he still IS a baby, and I'm still a new mom (and that explains why I haven't lost more weight), and that I'm perpetually young...and needed.

I don't know what it is about this one. I've nursed all of my babies. I love breastfeeding. My services as a milk cow get longer and longer with each child. My goal is always, "at least a year and then we'll see", but here Conor is now 18 months and I get so sad when I think about quitting, even though now it's hardly at all.

I have a hard time with most any transition. I'm so sentimental and nostalgic by nature, and I get so emotionally involved in all things mother-y.

He likes it.

I like it.

My husband likes it, and tells me to just stop when I'm ready. (that doesn't help, although it's sweet of him. He's very supportive and says just go until he's 2, but I don't think I want to go that long...I just can't figure out how to stop!)

What if this is my last baby?

What if this is the very last time I look down and see my baby nestled up against me drinking up life?

What if my breasts are done working? Then they'll be those breasts that used to work.

Great, now I'm crying.

See what I mean?

Part of me feels ready.

I've certainly put in my time.

It would be nice to not have huge breasts anymore. (shut up, I'd rather be smaller and cute.)

It would be nice to move on to the next stage....maybe not. Aaaargh!

Conor eats table food. He drinks cow's milk and juice, and enjoys them both. But once, sometimes twice a day, a drink and a snuggle just feel so nice. They grow up so fast. I'm not in as big a hurry as I used to be with my older kids. I just want to drink it in, if you will.

What do I do? This is the longest I've ever nursed a baby. 15 months before this one. He's not crazy addicted. If he asks and I say 'no' he's fine. But how do I say goodbye to this sweet phase, especially since it might be my last baby? Somebody help me!


Abby said...

I have zero advice as I've never been able to nurse much. I wish I could have..I wish I had that ability. I get a little envious of all of these women I know who just have milk overflowing..and I'm like..womp womp wommpppp. Maybe someday...

I give you props for being able to even breastfeed as long as you have been. On top of everything else you do? Jeeze, woman..where do you find the time?

Andrea "The H family" said...

Oh girl. So funny! Well, I have to say thank God my child loves to snuggle. I wanted to BF so bad. I get it. Even though I've never been able to do it...I would be exactly where you are.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I can offer a big hug of support, but no advice. I worked full-time when each of my children were born, so between the nursing at home and the pumping at work, I was able to do 6 months (ish) with each. I was good with that though.

Good luck with the decision! I feel for you.

Luisa Perkins said...

I totally know how you feel. I remember my last few weeks nursing Daniel, thinking I'd never have this sweet experience again.

(All my kids weaned themselves--totally lost interest--right around their first birthdays.)

Turns out I was wrong.

I would just go with it for a while longer if I were you.

Madam Crunchypants said...

I wish I'd been able to nurse Punkin at least a year. I understand the heartache of weaning - she self-weaned at 8 months, the little rot. I was not ready at all.

My advice? Go until 24 months, if you can/want to. Particularly if you both enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

You totally got me all mushy from that.

I miss nursing my babies. I had to stop way too early w/ my second b/c it wasn't conducive to going back to work and having a toddler already lurking around.

I don't think advice is appropriate - just support for doing what you want to do and think is best.

Laski said...

I'm crying with you! I am so glad I read this today. I am not alone . . .

"I have a hard time with most any transition. I'm so sentimental and nostalgic by nature, and I get so emotionally involved in all things mother-y."

I have always been really independent and I'm really big on needing my space. But with this little guy, I don't want independence nor do I need the space. I want to take in each moment. Ugh! Motherhood is apparently an affliction.

I so feel for you!I am going at least a year and if we can go 18 months, great. 24 months, super. Nothin' wrong with it at all. :)

Saint Holiday said...

I remember the horrible day back in 1951 when my angel mother weaned me. There I was all wide-eyed and willing, as she held me out in front of her, my long, skinny legs dangling from my diaper. She said, "Let's just be friends." I've never gotten over it. That was the very day my whole life swerved off the main road. I say, breast feed the kid till he's 13. I love you. Don't forget your brother Jonah's birthday.


Laurie said...

Your dad is so dang funny!

Okay, my advice....don't stop until you're ready. I've nursed 4 out of 6 of mine until they were almost 2. I loved it. The other 2 I could only nurse a couple of weeks. Very sad. The one's that I had to force them to be done, I had so much guilt over. Just love every day you still have and don't feel guilty or sad. You are so awesome! Thanks for sharing this post. I chose to bottle feed this last baby and I have missed what you just described.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I can't help you on the nursing, because to be honest, I hate nursing. But, I do understand your not wanting to give up the baby stage, especially when he might be your last. That's hard. I think we're prepared to be done when it's time -- maybe it's not your time and there's one more. Not to freak you out, but just a thought . . .

Hannah said...

I think the very fact that you're unsure says that you're not ready to stop.

If little man still wants it and you still want to give it, then by all means continue breastfeeding.

I think that once either of you are ready, you'll know it.

You are an awesome Mama, Jen!

Scribbit said...

I have no advice sadly. I'm afraid I gave it up at the first sign of a tooth :) For obvious reasons but good luck! :)

Julie Lybbert said...

I can relate to what you are saying. I thought my seventh baby would be my last so I had many similar thoughts before he was done. Isn't it strange to think about never nursing again?

I just kept on nursing him (mostly just once before he went to bed) until one day I found that I was getting really tired of it. So we stopped. And it was okay.

Now I've got #8 on the way, so I'll get to start the adventure all over again. :-)

Jennifer said...

I say do what feels right. If you enjoy it (and Conor does too) then don't feel guilty and keep nursing. Every kid is different, and Conor's siblings are much older, so maybe he needs this connection to you. BTW, most women in Costa Rica (and a lot of Latin America for that matter) nurse till the kid is 4, 5 or even 6. (they come home from school and ask for it). Not that I'm suggesting it, but just don't feel bad! :)

Unknown said...

I feel for you. It's a tough decision. But it really doesn't affect the child for life when he or you decides enough is enough. Little ones get over these things faster than moms :-) There will always be a strong attachment because of the nursing.

By the way, was that you, Jenna, who sent me a comment on Creatbuzz? So sorry I haven't yet responded, if it was you. Things are in a whirl here since winning the screenplay award. I keep telling myself I really must go back to Createbuzz and see what's going on.

Sarah said...

Ok, I have put off commenting about this for long enough!

When Rylie was a baby, I never would have imagined I'd ever nurse any of my babies passed 6 mo. It just seemed weird to me. I only nursed Rylie til she was about 3 months, then Alyssa I nursed about twice as long. I honestly can't remember for sure how long I went with Camden, I'm thinking 4ish months. Then Trenton came along and I nursed him right up til and then passed his first birthday. I quit nursing him around 15 or so months. Looking back now, it again seems weird. But at the time it was convenient and very natural. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I actually miss it when I see a mother nursing her baby now...I think that may have to do with my baby hungriness. Anyway, I agree with most of the other comments left and that you should only quit when you are really ready. Enjoy it while you can.

Jenna Wood said...

Jenna, I have no advice. I know this one of mine is my last baby (I've had 5 c-sections so I had a tubal done with this one, which was good, things were actually a bit dangerous).

It kills me knowing he's my last. I wish I could slow down time. But it moves just as quickly as with the first 4.

Lesley said...

Just slow down and savor the moments. There shouldn't be a rush or a certain time you need to wean. He is still getting benefits from your milk and from you. If it ain't broke don't fix it! I nursed mine about 2 1/2-3 years each and treasured every moment.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Nursing never went well for me. I have a friend who nursed her second to last until she was two and a half. She would've gone longer but her daughter didn't want to anymore.

No advice...just support. ~Hugs~

Anonymous said...

awh jenna,
you will know what to do and when to do it.

and your shut up made me giggle. thanks.

don't cry sugarbear. it's totally sweet.

it's not an ending, it's a beginning.

soak it up, these precious life moments,

C. Michelle Jefferies said...

I had to laugh as this is totally where I am right now. My DS is 20 months and still going strong on nursing, there are days I want to just give him a cup of juice and wean him and others where I don't want this to ever end.
I love nursing by babies and I am a breastfeeding advocate, but i also know that when my 7 yo was 17 months I had had it with feeding him every 1 1/2 hrs at night. I was deserate for even four hours of sleep at a time. I had to night wean him or I was going to go postal. I still nursed him during the day till he was 22 months.

I will tell you this, it is up to you and your baby when you wean, everyone of us can say yay or nay and it'll still be up to you. Know that I'll be thinking of you as I go through these last months of nursing my little one.

Michelle nursing mother of 6 nursing for 73 months over the last 15 years.

piper said...

I nursed my oldest for 11 months, and he suddenly boycotted me, out of no where. He was DONE with me! It happened as soon as he figured out the sippy cup. I didn't see it coming, I was distraut, I missed the connection, but appreciated the sleep, and no more dripping boobs.

I was able to nurse my youngest one, one time. I was thinking about that yesterday infact. I'm so grateful for that one time, I can still feel my milk letting for him.

No doubt the bond that comes from nursing is a life long one. I think your little guy should stay as long as you want him to. No harm at all.

Heather Moore said...

Fortunately, my last baby weaned herself!