Thursday, January 12, 2017

Weaning a Toddler


I have officially been pregnant or breastfeeding (or both!) for six solid years. Tomorrow, January 13th is the actual day that, six years ago, I took a pregnancy test at 5 in the morning, still warm from my bed and jet lagged in our little tiny apartment in Adliswil. We had just gotten back following a trip to Spokane for Christmas and I wanted a baby so badly I could hardly see straight. I had woken up and just knew that I was pregnant before I had even opened my eyes. So I jumped out of bed, grabbed a pregnancy test and within seconds, we saw two pink lines. Oh, the joy and wonder that followed.

Six years. Two babies. Two continents. Four homes. All of it either pregnant, or breastfeeding, or both.

Weaning Theo has me all emotional. We actually started weaning back in October, but now we're nearly there. I'm not even sure that I'm producing any significant amount of milk, or if it has just been mainly comfort for him the past few days, but I can feel that it's different somehow. We're down to once a day, before bed. On the one hand, we need to be done. Theo's forgetting how to latch and he approaches it like a straw. On the other hand, I'm going to miss snuggling up with him and hearing him ask for "nay" (his word for nurse). I'll miss the way he holds onto my hair, or strokes my arm or face while he nurses. It's the most loving, tender time we share and I hate to think of it being over. But then he starts doing this weird thing that isn't quite biting, but sort of feels like chewing or grinding and I just want to scream!

So it's time. I know that. And yet, it's hard because it feels like the end of an era. It is the end of an era! As a new mom, you hear again and again that it goes so fast. And then, in the blink of an eye, you see what all those people were getting at. My babies are no longer babies. They'll never be babies again. And I really don't know if we'll have another baby. This might just be it. What a lot to say goodbye to.

I never had to wean Coco. It happened naturally because I was pregnant with Theo. After the first trimester, my milk stopped producing and neither of us had a choice in the matter. But this time is different. It's harder. And knowing there is no new baby on the way to nurse and hold onto makes it harder, too.

I'm getting more and more ready. Time is flying. Spring is actually right around the corner. The days are gradually getting longer even though the temperatures are positively frigid. I have some travel coming up in February without the kids and J and I'm mentally preparing myself that that trip will mark the end of "nay." I think I'm almost there.

If I'm perfectly honest, I'm ready to see what's in store for us after "nay." We know we'll be moving out of our sweet little house and current school district ahead of Coco's starting kindergarten. This sweet tender time, "The Time of 'Nay,'" while it has been good and wonderful, is reaching the end of its line. Nothing lasts forever. I have this incredible feeling, very similar to the way I felt right before I met J, that we're on the edge of something even more beautiful. So I'll just have to let go and allow it to happen. Onward and upward!

How did you wean your baby or toddler? Was it hard for you, or were you relieved to be done? I would love to hear all about it. xo


10 comments:

  1. Ugh. I just weaned my toddler and have had mixed feelings about it. I love having my body back to myself, but I miss the snuggles. I definitely don't love the weaning blues or the five pound weight gain, but it's all part of the cycle, so to speak...

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    1. Hang in there! I'm sorry to hear you gained weight and are feeling blue. Two horrible side effects for an already tough transition. Sending hugs. xoxo

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  2. Why are you guys having to move? Did I miss a post?

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    1. I guess we don't have to move, but the school connected to our neighborhood is not the best. It's not horrible, but it's not great. The other options are keeping Coco for a fourth year in Montessori or Catholic school. So we'll see...

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    2. Design Mom's post on "Not the best school" was really good, but of course you really know your own area. May be worth a read if you're on the fence and really love your little house!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. I have been increasingly mindful during my pre-bed nursing sessions with my 4mo son. I make sure to put away my phone (which I struggle to do during daytime nursing sessions) and I try to be truly present for his snuggles, his tiny hand wandering and tugging on my hair or shirt, and the sweet quiet purring that emerges as he begins to doze off. Weaning feels to far away right now but I want to soak in these tender moments.

    I also took my first positive pregnancy test early on a January morning (1/4/16 to be exact). After one full year of being in baby production and newborn mode, my body surprised me this past week by switching back into fertile mode with the return of my period. I was shocked since and my son nurses (a lot!) and I exclusively breastfeed. Just another reminder that time passes whether we are ready or not.

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    1. Yes, Flannery. I hear everything you're saying here. What a good point that time passes whether we are ready or not. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! xoxoxo

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  4. I love that Theo calls is "nay." Hunter never had a name for it. Paloma doesn't either, but when I sense she wants to nurse, I ask, "Do you want milkies?" And she answers yes with this crazy, throaty giggle that I am obsessed with. I will miss it for sure, but I don't need to worry about that right now because she doesn't show any signs of letting up. I want more sleep and my body back! If I am being honest, I just want to quit cold turkey, but for so many reasons I can't. I wont. This post reminds me to just soak it all up while I can :)

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    1. Yes, soak it up. But it can be hard to do that if it's interrupting an area of your life. Really after a year or so, it's nice, but it's not absolutely necessary. Don't feel badly if you have to give it up. Coco just called it "milk" which was kind of weird and a bit embarrassing. ;)

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  5. Sigh, I'm on the verge of weaning Eleanor... It means she won't be my baby anymore.
    Also, have you looked into choicing into a different school? We applied for 3, LOL. We shall seeeeee....

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