Thursday, July 03, 2008

Weaning myself

My baby is slipping away.

Oh, I know in my head Fly isn't a baby anymore. He hasn't been a baby for months, really. Babies don't run, jump, dance. Babies don't climb up and go down the playground slide all by themselves. Babies don't spontaneously give hugs, and they don't try to sing the ABC song. I know that.

But in my heart, Fly has still been a baby to me.

I still call him a baby.

And I still nurse him like a baby.

Or, I did. I feel him pulling away from me, though. Since November, Fly has nursed just to go to sleep. But lately, he doesn't nurse as long as he used to. Sometimes, he doesn't nurse at all. And most of the time, he doesn't fall asleep nursing, so I put him in his crib when he's done so he can fall asleep on his own.

I know in my head it's for the best. But my heart hasn't caught up yet.

I have been keeping a secret. I believe my milk has been gone for a while now, so I have nursed him just for comfort -- a habit that helped him drift off peacefully to sleep. Fly seems to be outgrowing that, though.

Fly is weaning himself.

And I have to wean myself from this last little thing that is keeping him a baby in my heart.

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Blogger amanda said...

thanks for your honesty friend.

i am pretty sure when this weaning part of life starts i will have a harder time with it then beans.

truly. i don't even want to think about it :(

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that feeling. It's so hard, and yet so much better when they wean themselves rather than having it forced upon them. You're a great mom!

4:20 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I know that feeling well. With my son, I wanted to be done nursing in some ways and in others, well, I felt like you wrote. He too was only nursing at bedtime...only for about 5 minutes and only on one side. I knew I still had milk, but he was losing interest so we let it go. I was sad especially since I thought he'd be my last baby.

Although it also made it easier to have Dad do the bedtime sometimes.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Nadine said...

Your heart is so beautiful and honest in this post. As a mom of grown children - they are still my babies and don't seem to mind.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

How funny that we ended up weaning at the same time! It is bittersweet, isn't it?

5:36 PM  
Blogger CaraBee said...

Oh, I am so sad to think about weaning. We're still nursing full time, so I've got some time, but still. It's the one thing that only I can do for her and it will definitely break my heart when it's over.

Don't worry, he'll always be your baby. Hugs!

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just posting - like the others - to say I sympathize from the bottem of my heart. I know I kept up the nursing longer than C. was really interested. And then I truly mourned it when it was over. I still do, its the end of such an amazing era of making life and nourishing it. Just do what you can to think ahead of all the amazing things he will be doing soon. And both of mine have always snuggled and kept silly habits (like playing wiht my hair, a hold over form nursing) way after they were done. Your Fly still needs you.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh this makes my heart hurt...

My little guy is closing in on 15 months and weaned himself about 6 weeks ago. I wasn't ready but he was and it happened so gently and tenderly that I know it was the right time.

But as my (probable) last child, this weaning signifies the end of something so much greater than his growth. It also marks my transition out of my childbearing years. And I'm not sure I am ready to face that.

Thank you for writing about your experience...

10:01 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Swanepoel said...

Not being a nursing mother, I can't say I know how you feel, but I *do* know how much you have cherished this with Fly.

So...think you can join us for the retreat?

12:07 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

So hard to watch them turn from a baby to a toddler...I don't have babies anymore...sniff.

5:02 PM  
Blogger ohAmanda said...

*sniff* Beautiful post!

7:41 PM  
Blogger dianna said...

It's so hard I know...

10:48 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

Oh how I miss nursing! Those are dear moments indeed. Big hug for you.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an awesome tribute to nurturing yourself through the natural (and unstoppable) flow of life. You are an awesome mom!

BTW, this is my first time to your blog and it is *BEAUTIFUL*!

10:23 AM  
Blogger Mozi Esme said...

Sweet. Sometimes I wish my baby would wean herself, but at the same time I know whenever it happens (she's 15 months) it will be too soon. I love those snuggles.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Bloggy Mama said...

I, just, think that you are great. I love your words and your little Fly. Good luck with the next steps in your journey, as a Mom.

1:03 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It is amazing what an emotional thing nursing can be. With Haddie, she hated nursing and I couldn't wait to be done. Bode was the opposite but I had to wean early because of a trip away from him. Who knows what will happen witgh #3 when the time comes!

7:49 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Toddlers are such big kids in some ways, but needy little babies in others. It's a strange dichotomy, really, especially when as mothers, we desperately want to keep our "babies" as babies. I had a really hard time when Isabella basically weaned herself at 13 months, and it's really hard to explain just how sad this is to anyone who hasn't been there.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Every time The Boy drops a nursing session, I cry a bit. He's far from weaning at 18 months, but it could happen in a week... or a month... and I would feel the same as you in this post. I know I have milk now (he comes up with a dribble on his chin sometimes)...

The Boy will always be my baby... and fly can always be yours. :-)

9:10 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

oh stop, you are going to make me cry. I don't want to think of Lucy not needing me, but I am also excited for her to grow up and not need me as much... if that makes any sense.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's amazing you can do the nursing so long! It hurt too much for me I quit right away.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Madeline said...

You're post nearly had me in tears. It's so hard to think about Levi getting to that point. It's such a wonderful bond. Although it's a blessing for them to grow up and become more and more independent, it's also very hard to let go.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

You've got me all teary eyed. My baby is 9 months old now and I can see the signs of her weaning already. It's just so bittersweet. We will both cherish the independence, but it's so hard to let go of that bond. It's incredible how emotional you can feel about it.
Thanks for this sharing this sweet and beautiful sentiment.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

It happens in a blink, doesn't it?

2:41 PM  
Blogger groovyoldlady said...

Oh the weaning...It always broke my heart! And Silly-Head was/is a thumbsucker and she quit waaaaay earlier than the other 3 because she didn't (sniffle) need me for comfort.

11:25 AM  
Blogger dieMutti said...

I am on #3 and determined to make it at least a year nursing (more for me than for her)! Numbers 1 & 2 basically weaned themselves by 9 months. I kind of wish they never ate solid food! (Or at least waited longer!) Lovely post & I enjoy your blog!

1:38 PM  

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