Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hollow Weaning

The last time I nursed Westley was Thursday, Halloween Eve Eve. It was only for five minutes, and just on one side. I doubt he even got much milk.

I looked at the clock, and then down at my little dude. "It's night-night time," I told him. "Time to go to Daddy."

Westley popped off, looked up at me with a drooly smile. "Mmm!"

I didn't know it was going to be the last time I nursed him. But the next night, Westley was extremely wound up well past bedtime, and I was anxious to get him to bed so I could start my workout. When he demanded to have another book read, I gave him a choice: book and night-night or nurse and night-night. He chose the book. The night after that, Rob and I were gone at bedtime. And the night after that, it seemed silly to nurse him when I hadn't nursed him in two nights.

So I guess this means I'm really weaning him. Or, rather, I have weaned him, since I don't plan to go back to breastfeeding now.

The thing is, the way I'm getting away with not nursing Westley in the evenings is by not being there. As in, not inside the house. I tell Westley goodnight while he and Rob are reading books, and then I go work out in the garage for a little while.

"How'd he do?" I ask when I've had enough of sweating.

"Fine," Rob says. "He cried for mama and milk, but he was fine once I got him his pacifier and his green blanket."


I don't really hear anything else inside my head, because I don't know how I feel about this yet.

I really, truly thought I would never have to wean Westley. Which is not to say that I planned to breastfeed him until he was nine. I just hear often about children weaning themselves at nine months, a year, a year-and-a-half... As Westley's first birthday got close, I was prepared for him to let me know that he wasn't going to take his milk lying down any more. He started drinking more milk from sippy cups, but bedtime was still all about my boobs. Earlier this year, Westley was all-but-weaned (and I was anxious to have him weaned-for-real), but it was that once-before-bed token nursing that hung on. I kept hoping that he would forget about it. Or that he'd say, "No milk anymore. I'm good. See you in the morning, Mom!"


That is impossible for more than a couple of reasons, the most obvious (to me) of which is that Westley friggin' loves to nurse! Hence the sweet smiling and the yummy noises after he does it. Which completely breaks my heart, because it means that I have to be the one to say, "Nope, that's it. We're done."

Except that instead of saying that, I've been sneaking off to the garage. Like the toddler-weaning coward I am.

Last night, when I asked for the Westley report, Rob said, "Fine. He didn't even ask about mama or milk."


So there it is. It's over. After hating (and then loving) nursing, I'm going to miss it. My breasts haven't wised up to the change yet, which makes missing it particularly easy.

I was sure I would want to throw a party when I finally got to the point of not having to flash my living room every night. But now, thinking, I'm not going to nurse Westley any more, I just feel so...sad.

(And not quite empty.)



Rob said...

Crappy. Sorry, baby.

Allison the Meep said...

Aww, it is a sad transition to not nurse anymore. I weaned Julian at 18 months because he was driving me crazy with the switching boobs every 2 seconds. And standing while he was nursing. That was just weird.

When I eventually did wean him, I just told him "Sorry, no more. It's all gone now." He was disappointed, but got over it quickly.

Amber, The Unlikely Mama said...

I still hope to make it to one full year...but after that I hope Alexa weans herself. My boobs are tired, and I want to sleep alone :-)

Liliana said...

I just weaned my 15 month old too (not really by choice, but b/c my boobs hurt so bad from being newly pregnant again). He didn't even care. I just switched his morning and night feedings to a bottle with cow's milk and he completely forgot about me. He sees that damn bottle now and gets so excited, just like he used to when we were going to nurse. I have to admit, I also felt hurt, but also sooo relieved that he took it so well. Some people have a hard time, so I've heard.

candace said...

We are at 13 months now, and thinking of when Emma will end this nursing hoopla. She seems very into it still but the last couple of days she has been less so. I actually had to convince her to nurse before bed tonight, and frankly that is just downright weird. I think the disappearing act is a good idea, I notice in many circumstances if I'm not around Emma is way more easy going and receptive.
Good luck with it all.

Jessica said...

It is a sad thing when it's gone for good, but then it might be time to look forward to number two :)