Monday, February 7, 2011

And It Was Good

Until Saturday, I had been nursing three times a day, and in an act of overshare, I'm going to break it down for you all:

Saturday morning: Nurse as usual.  All's right with the world.

Saturday nap: I read a couple of stories, sang a couple of songs, and put her down.  Of course, as I finished the first song she perked right up and was all "Okay!  Nursing time!"  And I just kept singing and she looked around the room, confused, and then I put her down and she screamed.

And screamed.  Dave went in to comfort her every three minutes, since we've decided a little bit of time by herself isn't terrible, but prolonged waiting is dumb.  We discovered that three minutes is simultaneously a very short time and a very very long time.  But on Dave's seventh visit he rubbed her back for a few minutes and she went to sleep.

Saturday bedtime: I read a couple of stories, sang a couple of songs, and put her down.  And she did not cry.  She grumbled, and took a while to get comfortable, and I rubbed her back for a while, and then I left.  She was still awake when I left, but she went to sleep.  I am still in awe of this.

Sunday morning: It hits me, for the very first time, that perhaps I should not nurse her.  I had planned on keeping up the morning nurse, thinking that it would be reassuring--"we're not cutting you off entirely, we just don't want you nursing to sleep." 

But all of a sudden it occurred to me that the woman I met Saturday, who told me that I should hide my boobs from Willow for a while after this, was entirely right.  And that all of you who have written in to tell me,  "Don't worry!  She'll forget soon enough!" are also entirely right.  And that Willow would not be able to forget if I kept reminding her every single morning.

And I started to cry.  Dave, bewildered, said "I figured when you said wean, you meant wean."  But I just hadn't thought of it that way, and I realized that the Saturday morning nurse, which I barely even remember, since I was bleary and it was early and I just wasn't thinking, was the very last time.  And my breasts are starting to hurt, and that intimacy is gone and I didn't get to say goodbye.  And Willow doesn't even notice.

My accurate but unhelpful sister said "Well, that's kind of going to be the story for her whole childhood, isn't it?"

Sunday nap: I read a couple of stories, I sing a couple of songs.  She doesn't reach for the nursing chair, but does cry when I put her down.  On Dave's third visit he rubs her back and she falls asleep.

Sunday bedtime: Stories, songs, I put her down.  Again, she doesn't cry, and I rub her back until she gets comfortable and goes to sleep.  As I come out I tell Dave that the relative ease of this makes it clear that it was, in fact, the right decision and the right time. 

Monday morning: However, that doesn't mean it isn't hard still.  This morning, Willow does notice, and does want to nurse, and I have to leave the room for a while until she is distracted enough by something else.  And while this is hardly the first time that's happened, I get all weepy again at the thought of having to leave my baby so that she can learn to separate herself from me. 

Monday nap: I'm nervous, since while bedtimes have been easy, naps have been less so, and Willow and I are on our own today.  But an hour before her naptime, she's looking mighty sleepy, so I sing a couple of bars from "You Are My Sunshine," put her down in her crib, and she murmurs a bit but then goes to sleep. 

And she sleeps on.  And while I am beyond relieved at how easy it's been, somehow, in anticipating this, I spent all my energy thinking about Willow's reaction, and didn't think about how I would feel. 

 I'm just so sad.


Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you. I made this transition last June and can remember those feelings still so clearly.
I also have one starting kindergarten this fall and that seems just as scary of a transition. The joy, the pride (the fear of doing the right thing and guilt) in your children and your job as a mother just never ends.
Hugs to you! Steph

Ashlie Hawkins said...

Aw, that makes me so sad! My little one is only 2 months old, and I was getting frustrated with nursing the other day, but this makes me remember how much I love it and want to keep going. Keep your chin up, you're doing an amazing job!

Izzy said...

Hold on in there, I'm sure it will be OK. My little guy is only a couple of weeks younger than Willow, I want to stop feeding, but keep putting it off. I'm in awe of your courage to get this done. Sending positive thoughts your way.

Jenn said...

Hugs. It was much harder for me than my daughter. She, also, was ready to give it up before I was. But it was the right decision for her (and ultimately for my sanity and ability to escape the house!), but I cried a. lot. about it. I'll be thinking about you this week. It will get better. And it's OK to miss that closeness, that 'needing' of mommy. Don't worry - she still needs you! Just not your boobs! :)

Vicki Suan said...

I am so proud of you, and Willow. It is hard and I felt the same exact way you do now when I weaned Emily (who is now 10 yo). I get sad and weepy when I think of the time she turns into a teenager and can no longer sit on my lap for cuddle time. See? Same mom feelings, just different stages in life. Lots of hugs to you. Vicki

Laura said...

When I told my friend I was weaning Parker she gave me all these books and pamphlets about how to deal with the emotions. I didn't know that was going to be an issue, but it was. :-(

Nicole said...
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