did all the research, or because “breast was best,” or because that’s
what hippie natural mamas did–I did it because that’s what my mom did with all
five of her kids, and because formula was a total mystery to me. Childbirth was
already so darn terrifying and overwhelming, and I just went with what I knew.
really enjoyed nursing, and moments when I did not, but I never felt particularly
attached to the idea–it was just how I fed my son. That’s probably why my
tears on the back porch surprised me!
My daughter Eliannah will be one later this month, and we’ve already started
the weaning process with her. My heart–it aches a little. My feelings mystify
my husband, who sees growing up as a healthy thing, and–it is! So good
and so healthy and I’m so thankful! But so bittersweet, for a mama. As much as
we long for showers everyday and time in the bathroom to ourselves and just want
to eat our food while it’s still hot…there is so much life here, being lived
with these little ones. Other equally wonderful seasons and times will arrive,
but we won’t ever have this season again, with all its chubby-legged,
fat-cheeked, dimply-fingered glory. We’d like to think we can be mothers and
have the world, too, but the truth is–there’s a deep, quiet joy in the
sacrifice of childbirth and motherhood that confounds the world.
We started offering baby food and rice cereal to L at about seven months, but
he really wasn’t interested. At some point, I learned about baby-led weaning, and
we switched to offering whole pieces of food. He still wasn’t very interested
until close to a year old (his teeth came in late, too, so that might have been
a reason), and over the course of a couple months, he started sleeping through
the night, so we dropped the night feedings, and then gradually, I just stopped
offering to nurse during the day. I’d feed him well for breakfast, and we’d
drop the late morning feeding. After another few weeks, we started dropping the
afternoon feeding, and I’d just give him a snack, instead. And gradually, over
the course of a few months, I found myself not nursing anymore, and crying to
my mom on the back porch.
I’m pregnant this time around, and as much as I’d like to nurse her for as long
as I nursed her brother, I’m due in September, and I’d really like a few months
where I’m not nursing anyone! She’s also much further along at eleven months
than L was–she’s already eating three square meals a day. Right now, we’re
working on sleeping through the night, so I just nurse her three times a day.
Eventually, we’ll drop another feeding during the day, though hopefully it will
all go a little faster with her than it did with her brother :). Because she is
younger, I’ve talked to her pediatrician about supplementing with formula, or
milk, or almond milk for a few months while she transitions from nursing to not
nursing. I haven’t decided yet which to use :).
I’ve learned the hard way that forcing my child into something he or she isn’t
ready for yet, is…painful. My goal is to do the research, know what’s healthy
and what’s not, and then let the Lord lead. He often does that be giving me the
peace to wait on my child’s cues. The longer I’m a mother, the more confident I
become in that. It’s easy to think “we will be doing this forever!”
but in reality, it usually goes quicker than you think. It just takes a little
Good luck with weaning, mamas! I would love to hear your stories and your
experience with weaning…please share!