Monday, June 14, 2010

Happily Weaned (my little Odin)

We haven't nursed in over a week now. It's been pretty sporadic for the past couple months, and now I think it might be over. I decided that throughout this pregnancy I would practice the "don't offer, don't refuse" principle of gently weaning, which would allow my toddler to decide when he was ready, emotionally. However, I think it turned into more of a "don't offer, lets find something funner to do, keep him extremely busy, please take this cookie instead" principle of distraction. I admit nursing during pregnancy isn't ideal for me. Painful breasts, barely any milk, that feeling of extreme irritation when someone is in your bubble--I've experienced all that and more these past months, and have actually been eagerly anticipating this moment. This is our conversation this week:

Mom: Odin, would you like some "milkies?"

Odin: No.
Mom: Why not?
Odin: All gone.
Mom: So there's no milkies in there?
Odin: No milkies.
Mom: What about when the baby comes? Then will you have more milkies?
Odin: No! Odin big!

And that was that. There was a time last week when we we were nursing one of our last nursings (i didn't know would be), and I felt that hormonal rush of oxytocin, once again. It was that strong nurturing hormone you feel when your baby is at the breast. I hadn't felt that for a long time, especially as I've been pregnant. It came so suddenly, and so powerfully, that tears filled my eyes. I looked down at my big boy and just adored his little face all over again, trying to imagine what it was like when he was just a baby, nursing quietly at my breast.
That time goes by too fast, as everyone says. It really has.

One of my favorite paragraphs from the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, about a weaning toddler, is this:
"While many people see weaning as the end of something--a taking away or deprivation-it's really a positive thing, a beginning, a wider experience. It's the broadening of the child's horizons, an expansion of his universe. It's moving slowly ahead one careful step at a time. It's full of exciting but sometimes frightening new experiences. It's another step in growing up."

So run my little boy--go explore the world, and Mom will still be right there with you, just like from the very beginning.


Melodie said...

That's such a sweet story Sally! How wonderful that he came to it on his own too. I am still waiting for when my three year old will wean. No time soon I don't think, and I am in no rush, but it feels like it will be sooner than later so I am definitely trying to soak it up.

Sarah said...

So sweet! Cheers to new adventures and growing up! :)

chelsea mckell said...

So this is pretty much exactly how nursing ended with Zadok, right? He weaned himself just a month or two before O was born! It's a trend!
Beautiful post. Many mother-baby couples would be so much happier if they weaned as gently.

redrockmama said...

Love it Sally!!

Ashlyn keeps getting to the point where I think she is weaned and then she comes back and needs more a few days later. It's been a slow weaning process, but I agree that it's such a gentle way of doing it. No trauma. YAY for Odi-bear!!!

The Estrogen Files said...

It's sad and sweet at the same time. Odin is growing so fast! DJ shows no sign of wanting to wean, still going strong at bed time and nap time.