Guest Post: Carnival of Weaning

Welcome to the Carnival of Weaning: Weaning – Your Stories

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Code Name: Mama and Aha! Parenting. Our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles about the end of the breastfeeding relationship.

This is a guest post from Emily, who is a SAHM to George, 3.5 years, and Elizabeth, 21 months, and wife to her ever patient husband, Simon.  They live in Surrey, UK and although she has written a little in the past, she’s just getting her groove back now and find herself more and more in front of the PC these days! Emily has started blogging at Slightly Soggy Mummy and is also on Facebook.

I can remember clearly the night my son nursed for the last time. He
was 19 months old, I was 5 months pregnant and felt completely torn
between wanting him to wean and reluctant to let him go.

Initially I had no plan other than to see how it went…I was open to
nursing both my son and the new baby when she came along and remember
eagerly buying a copy of Adventures in Tandem Nursing when I found out
I was pregnant again. But as the pregnancy progressed, I developed a
strong nursing aversion – I remember nights sat on the sofa nursing
through gritted teeth, counting to 100 and hoping he would be done
soon. Tiredness was a huge factor (as it always is in pregnancy?!)
and my husband, who is not always on side with regard to my attempt at
AP, convinced me to wean. Not that I’m trying to blame him…I mean,
if I’d really wanted to keep going I would have, right? Anyway, I
starting sitting with my son and stroking his arm before bed, and then
just nursing him a little before he went to sleep. We were down to
nursing just twice a day, before nap and before bed, and a couple of
times he’d refused his lunchtime offer to nurse. I decided to follow
his lead and when, one Friday, he didn’t want to nurse before nap I
decided that evening not to offer. He didn’t ask for it, and I began
to have second thoughts. I offered it and he wasn’t interested. I
sat with him and held his hand as he fell asleep with tears rolling
down my face – I knew in my heart that he wouldn’t nurse again. It
was over. That special relationship that we had shared numerous times
a day (and night) since he was born, the thing that only I could give
him, had ended. I waited until he was sound asleep before going
downstairs and sobbing my heart out on the sofa. I felt devastated,
and so so sad. My husband was out that night and I remember calling
my fabulous LLL leader to offload but couldn’t reach her. I only knew
one other mum who was practiscing extended breastfeeding (god, I hate
that phrase!) but couldn’t reach her either. I felt very alone and
overwhelmingly sad.

My son never asked to nurse again, and I didn’t offer. After 8 days, I
knew there was no chance of him going back and began to come to terms
with it.

When my daughter arrived 4 months later, I was half expecting him to
ask but he had no interest in her nursing at all and seemed to have no
recollection of doing it himself. He did ask once, about 3 months ago
out of the blue, but I think he was testing and not serious.

My daughter is now 21 months, and she is not ready to wean, and as I
have no pressing need, I am letting her go at her own pace. One thing
that helped me after my son weaned was the thought that within a few
months I would have a brand new nursling…but this time I don’t have
that to look forward to, and I just hope I can cope with it a little
better the second time around.



Thank you for visiting the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (and many thanks to Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch for designing our lovely button):

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8 Comments

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8 Responses to Guest Post: Carnival of Weaning

  1. Oh mama – you DO have other things to offer him – you have your love, your time, your attention. Those things were all wrapped up in your nursing relationship, but they continue, even after the milk is gone. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Amy
    Twitter:

    Oh, I feel the pain in your words as you describe what you went through during this difficult transition. I know that must’ve been a very hard thing to choose, and it’s clear you did the best you could for yourself, your son, and your family. Wishing you peace and sending you love for the next time you go through the weaning process. Hugs!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I keep wondering how I will feel when I wean my third child as I know there will not be another nursling to follow anytime soon, if at all. Makes it all just a bit different from the other times…

  4. Oh, I so know the sense of loss and sadness you describe! I too had huge emotions about weaning my daughter, who was about the same age as your son. I also was pregnant, too, and was just overwhelmed feelings of loss for my daughter (that were my worries, not hers) — and was really sad that part of our relationship was over.

    This time around, I feel SO much more prepared for weaning, partly because we had no pregnancy weighing down our nursing relationship — my twins have been able to nurse longer and I am certain they are weaning on their own with no push from me (and my pregnancy). Also, no pregnancy hormones helps a LOT! And, while I will be sad, I do know that our connection will go on after weaning — it is different this time, in a good way. I hope the same for you!

  5. Pingback: Gentle Weaning Means Knowing When to Stop | Adventures of Lactating Girl

  6. Pingback: Birth Story: Part One – Moon on a Stick! | Gentle Mama Moon

  7. Thank you for all the lovely comments on this post, that I only just got around to reading! DD is still going strong, although only nursing before bed these days…she turns 2 in a few weeks and shows no sign of wanting to give up anytime soon ;)
    Slightly Soggy Mummy (now blogging as Three Counties Mum at http://www.threecountiesmum.blogspot.co.uk)

  8. Pingback: Weaning my Tandem Nursed Toddler

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