Zen is in the process of weaning from breastfeeding and it almost feels like it’s my first time because when Shammy weaned I didn’t get to stop breastfeeding since I was tandem nursing.
This time when Zen is done it will mark the end of a very special chapter of my life.
I started using the “don’t ask, don’t refuse” approach to weaning which leads to a very gradual and gentle process. I then added some nursing guidelines and will refuse nursing at other times such as when out in public. It was liberating to no longer have to plan my wardrobe around ease of boob access. It’s thrilling to not wear a bra that is designed for nursing.
Until last week we were down to nursing twice a day, first thing in the morning and at bedtime. But then his brother moved into his own bedroom and we started the process of moving Zen into a toddler bed in our bedroom and that seems to have boosted his weaning speed.
Suddenly we are down to once a day… if that. I always thought that the “before bed” session would be the last to go but he no longer asks to nurse before bed and will nurse in the morning, if he remembers. Until this morning he went 48 hours without nursing, the longest ever. And when he did he only nursed for a few minutes on one side.
With Shammy I was blessed to have a clear memory (and a picture) of his last nursing session that I cherish whenever I think back to his nursing journey. With Zen I fear that I just won’t know that it was the last time until it’s too late. Every now I wonder “is this it?”
I thought that I would be more emotional about this process. And while I’ve had my emotional moments and was sometimes tempted to offer even though he wasn’t asking; overall I feel ready. I’ve been breastfeeding non stop for over 5 years and can hardly remember a time when I wasn’t lactating so this shall be an interesting transition.
So I end this post with a poem that I had shared on this blog 3 years ago but is even more relevant to me today:
Wean Me Gently
I know I look so big to you,
Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.
But no matter how big we get,
We still have needs that are important to us.
I know that our relationship is growing and changing,
But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness,
Especially at the end of the day
When we snuggle up in bed.
Please don’t get too busy for us to nurse.
I know you think I can be patient,
Or find something to take the place of a nursing –
A book, a glass of something,
But nothing can take your place when I need you.
Sometimes just cuddling with you,
Having you near me is enough.
I guess I am growing and becoming independent,
But please be there.
This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,
Please don’t break it abruptly.
Wean me gently,
Because I am your mother,
And my heart is tender.
~ Cathy Cardall