Weaning - the emotional aspect of it all

To be completely honest, I’ve been staring at my blank screen for about an hour now, just trying to figure out how to even begin to write this post.  I guess I’ll start at the beginning.

Peanut

When I was pregnant I looked forward to experiencing nursing with our little baby.  After we welcomed Peanut into the world, I got my wish.  And the truth is that for the first 2 weeks I hated it.  It hurt me in almost every way possible from feeling too full to the pain that goes along with learning the latch.  On top of the pain I was going through, Peanut kept spitting up, having a hard time adjusting to the new world.  To say the least, it was not the great experience that I expected.

But by the time I was at my limit, things started getting a little bit easier.  By the end of my maternity leave, Peanut and I were in sync – and I was loving every moment of it.  Peanut was on a pretty decent schedule, everything healed up and my body readjusted.  Life was wonderful again and I was so glad that I stuck around to enjoy it.

At the end of the three months, I went back to work full time and switched from feeding Peanut to pumping.  I still kept our morning and evening routine the same, but now instead of nursing, I was pumping 2-3 times a day.  Every. single. day.  At first it was’t so bad and I readjusted to the new routine.  But by around 7-8 months I just couldn’t take it anymore.  Work was busy and running downstairs to my pump room to sit around twice a day for 20 minutes was driving me bonkers.  I started having a real mixed bag of emotions, going from the ups of nursing my baby until she fell asleep in the evening to the downs of watching the clock while pumping.  On weekends Peanut started getting excited about, well, just about everything, refusing to nurse.  So needless to say, by 10 months I was ready to quit this whole ordeal.

At 10 months I recounted my stash and figured out that I had over 2 months worth of milk stored up.  It was time to quit.

That’s when I freaked.  It was time to stop.  I had just spent 10 months nursing my baby, providing her with the nutrition that she needs.  And now it was time to stop.  I had never had to pack anything for long trips or worry about warming a bottle.  And now it was time to stop.

Was I really ready for this?  Was Peanut really ready for this?

And so I put it off for a little, convincing myself that it wasn’t the right time.

But that week something happened – I started to pay real attention to what was going on around me.  Peanut was on the move and was rarely interested in taking a long break to nurse and even started to refuse in the evenings, my patience with pumping was wearing thin, and work was getting so busy that I was delaying and sometimes even skipping sessions. What other signs did I need?

So as we made plans for our time off, I made plans to wean.

When the time came, I was ready to go through with it.  I still had some days when I questioned whether or not we were ready, but I was already set in my plans and so I kept going.

Today Peanut is drinking the stored frozen milk and actually holding her bottles while I found almost 3 hours of my day freed up.  While Peanut happily goes through her day, I am enjoying the freedom of actually going to the mall without pumping in a parking lot or having to turn around and run home 20 minutes after I get there.

Our evenings are still special as I hold my little nugget and watch her drink her bottle, petting her head as she closes her eyes.  Our mornings have become less hectic since Peanut is now waking up later, letting me have some time to wok out, shower, and get ready before she’s ready for her morning bottle.  Lately Peanut has even began drinking her morning bottle by herself in our bed while I put on some finishing touches or just hang out with her.

There are still some moments when I really miss nursing Peanut and it’s hard to think that I’ll never get to experience that with her.  But, just as some day I’ll have to send her off to school for the first time or even send her off to college, I have to face the fact that my little Peanut is growing up.

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