Friday, April 13, 2012

Her Last Supper

Wednesday, I dropped my daughter off at my parent's house. I've decided  to completely wean her, so Wednesday night was last time she will ever have her Mama's milk. She relished every drop of her "Last Supper." 

I'm sad. I'm very, very sad. My daughter has no idea what's in store for her. I'm surprised at how much I've cried over the last 36 hours. I had planned on having a baby-led weaning. I thought she'd nurse for another 6 months or so (at least). But, like most didn't match with reality.

My daughter LOVES to nurse. Her eye-rolling and humming and sighs of contentment always made me so happy. 

But, I found myself becoming resentful of her constant nursing. I found myself being more and more impatient with her requesting to nurse. I would pick her up, position her, lift up my shirt...all for her to then pop off after a minute or two because she was distracted by the tiniest of sounds. Ten minutes later, she would be back asking for some more.

I tried nursing her in quiet, dark rooms. I tried offering water or other snacks or toys when she asked to nurse (again for the third time in an hour or so). It helped a little...but not enough.

I realized that in the delicate balance of weighing my child's needs against my own, only her needs were being met. 

It's recommended that you wean children gradually. Cut back on a feeding here, a feeding there. That doesn't exactly work with your child is still nursing 16-20 times a day. It doesn't work when you have a spirited child with a tremendous amount of persistence.

So, I am sitting here drinking my sage agony. I had a whole list of things I wanted to accomplish while spending time away from my child. At this moment, my breasts hurt so much, I can barely get up off the couch. But, that's okay because right now I'm taking care of myself. And, I know that to be the best mother I can be...I always have to remember to take care of myself first. The thank-you cards and the laundry can wait.


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