Luke had been weaned for a little over a week now, and it’s been a heartbreakingly beautiful process.
I nursed Maddie for a whole year, and quit the day she turned 1. She was ready. I was ready. I fully intended to only nurse Luke for 1 year as well, but by the time his first birthday rolled around, he definitely wasn’t ready, nor was I. Luke just seemed so much more like a baby at 1 than Maddie did. He seemed to need so much more mama time that it’s hard to explain, except for other moms I know often said this was true of boys.
But Luke seemed to just want more and more of the bobo (as he called it), and by his second birthday, I was ready. He wasn’t ready at all, but I had a feeling that if I didn’t wean him soon, he’d be 5 years old and still breastfeeding. But, I knew this was going to be a process and one that would take diligence on my part–diligence I just don’t have when I’m in the full swing of my teaching load.
Plus I’m kind of a breastfeeding monster–in that I truly don’t understand women who don’t do it and women who succumb to formula just because it’s easier. In my experience, NOTHING is easier than breastfeeding. It forces both mom and baby to do what’s natural and to relax. Neither of my kids have ever had formula, and I think that’s great. I think it’s great that even in my hectic life, I could take 5-30 minutes out of my day at a time to just sit back and look at my baby. I know that sounds cheesy, and maybe it is, but it’s the truth. But after 26 months of nursing, I knew we were both ready.
So last Monday, I just stopped. I didn’t even stop gradually like so many books recommend. I knew that would just drag out the inevitable. So Monday morning, when he asked for his bobo, I just calmly said, “The bobo’s went bye-bye.” I repeated this over and over throughout the day.
It was heartbreaking. That first day he just wandered around looking utterly lost and sad. I barely kept to my guns.
By Wednesday, it was a little better. Friday even better. And today’s the first day he hasn’t even asked. I feel like I just won some great battle.
Naptimes and bedtimes take longer, but the beauty is that I have the time to just lie down with him and read him a book and wait until he falls asleep. There’s nothing on my agenda except for this, so it’s been a pretty relaxed time for both of us.
And I honestly had this fear that Luke might not need me once he stopped nursing, like my role as mama bear was over. Nothing has been father from the truth. Luke snuggles up with me even more, and as an extra bonus, because I’m not constantly sitting down to nurse, I’m getting so much more done in a day. And it’s been such a beautiful process as I’ve watched Luke kind of grow up in this week, and now I look at him as such a big boy, which is odd since he hasn’t had a growth spurt or anything during this time. But he just looks and acts like a bigger boy.
I’m thankful I breastfed Luke as long as I did (and Maddie as well). I’m thankful I chose his pace rather than my own. I’m thankful that weaning wasn’t as terrible as I thought it might be. And I’m thankful that I’m done!