Wednesday, August 1, 2007

the final stretch

I have graduated my first adopt a mom mentee and received a new one, with twins. She's pumping for them currently and is trying to get them to nurse more. They do nurse some, but she's having some problems with latch and stuff. Ahh. My department. Anyway, so I decided I'd better read up on twins. So I got a bunch of books at the library yesterday. It was very fun to freak out my husband. "Why are you getting books on twins and triplets?" ha ha ha.

Also, along with those books, I spotted LLL's "How Weaning Happens" and decided to grab it. It's usually out and I know its a highly recommended book. I got a few pages into it last night, but had to put it down. I know we've got a long time still, and sometimes I am SOOOO tired of nursing. But when I think about weaning, about my son being weaned, being done, no more otherside, ever, I get kinda ... you know ... sad. There were lots and lots of weaning stories. Most of them didn't affect me too much, and I totally understood the mom's reasons for weaning, whatever they were.

But there was this one story about how a mom was determined to remember the last time her daughter nursed and write about it. Well, every so often, she would realize it had been a few days and to her horror, she couldn't remember the last time they nursed. "What if she never nurses again?" the mom would think. Well, a few more days would go by and she would nurse again. This happened a few times until the mom realized it had been more than a week. Surely that was the end. But then relatives came to visit and there were kids and dogs exploding this little girl's ordinarily quiet house. She loved it, but was overstimulated big time. That night, as she was laying next to her mom drifting off to sleep, she said, "Mom, I need to nurse." And that was the last time.

Big fat tears welled up in my eyes when I finished reading their story. And if you've ever nursed, I bet you know just how I feel. I love my son so much, and I do want to see him grow up and become independent and learn new skills, but yet there's still this bittersweet aspect to the whole thing. He'll always be my baby, you know?

I know I could let him self-wean and maybe that would make it easier, but I imagine I'll be sad no matter how it goes down, and I really do want to start TTC next summer. And in order to do that, I need my fertility back. That means "all done otherside" for the munchkin. My plan is to nurse freely up until his second birthday. I will feel that I've given him his birthright (according to the WHO) at that point. Then, we will begin "Don't offer, don't refuse." I'm giving him six whole months for a gentle weaning program. If it looks like it isn't going so well, then I might have to step up my practices as the summer gets closer. I don't want to traumatize him too much, but I also would like to get my period back a few months before TTC so I know where I am in my cycle. Sometimes I can hardly remember what it was like to have a period, its been so long.

That, I don't miss at all. :-)


Anna said...

My babies weaned themselves at 10 and 11 months. It made me sad, but they just didn't want to any more. Silly kids! I decided that I wanted to remember it as a pleasant experience, so I didn't force it.

A week or two after my son stopped nursing, he was really upset about something, so I tried nursing him to comfort him. Nope. Not what he wanted. So we just snuggled.

thesynergizer said...

not that it matters so much to you now, as you most likely won't be having any other kids, but babies rarely are ready to wean before 1 year. at that age, its most likely a nursing strike or just baby's natural distractabilty mixed in with awe of the big bright world.

common advice is to offer to nurse when they are sleepy (or in their sleep!) and to bring them to a dark boring room to get them back to the breast.

still, sometimes i think i'll wish ben weaned himself when i start trying to push him that way.

thesynergizer said...

PS: no one else seemed interested in having their link posted here, so i'll just throw yours up later this afternoon.

Kate said...

I'll be interested in swapping links once I get my going.

I'm planning to just do one post for other peoples links and I'll keep updating it as it goes.