Dare I Say “Weaned”?

lucile-baby-child-1520111-l.jpgIt’s been almost a week since I’ve last breastfed our youngest, who will on Saturday be two years old.  For some that seems like an eternity to breastfeed, yet some might ask why I quit now.

For my first child, breastfeeding was a lonely gig.  I really didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t know where to go for support.  It lasted for all of six months, most of which were spent pumping.  On our second round with breastfeeding, I knew I would do well, and it went like a charm.  It wasn’t until our third child that I actually went to La Leche League meetings, but from then on I was hooked — not to mention that Bradley instructors are ingrained with League philosophy!

In our local LLL group, I’ve made many friends and look forward to meeting more.  I’m not going away so quickly, even if my youngest is weaned.

Can it be true, though?  Back to League philosophy, you’re supposed to wean gradually and with love.  At first introduction of food other than breastmilk, the weaning process is started.  That started long ago, I suppose.  I went away on weekend trips, sans bebe, after she was over a year old, but every time I returned, she quickly assumed position.  (You know what I mean!)

Even now I think she would nurse if I let her, but my nipples are tired.  I feel psychologically ready to move on.  As our youngest and last child, though, I have a bittersweet farewell to the nursing relationship.  I already miss the prolactin.

One thing is certain.  Kids grow.  The time they spend as infants and toddlers is brief, no matter what it feels like when you’re in the thick of snot and slime and dirt and poo.  Fortunately what you remember most fondly are the sweet kisses and coos and laughter, the baby that molds into your arm, chest and abs, and the overwhelming feeling of unconditional love.  You sacrifice your body — breasts and all — for the nourishment and nurturing of this sweet soul.

There will be time to focus on our own body later.  Workouts make great mommy time-outs.  For now I still need to make time to hold the sweet young child as she weans herself from my lap.  Too soon will she be too big for me to hold so close.

(Photo by Raphael Goetter, from everystockphoto.com)

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