So, I’m still breast feeling. I suppose I kinda whisper it when I say that. There are a lot of judgemental people out there who think I’m nuts for still breast-feeding at fourteen months but here we are. There are lots of kinds of parents out there (and lots of kinds of babies, too) and we seem to be the kind of parents and babies that take turns following and leading. We’ve never had Ida on a super-regimented schedule, mostly because WE aren’t on regimented schedules so putting her on one seemed impossible. People have been asking me for over a year how long I plan on breast-feeling and I’ve never had a real answer–or if I did, that answer changed entirely after the alleged date came and went.
Only in the last month has she been sleeping in her crib–and her crib isn’t even in her room– it’s at the foot of our bed! Ha! (but this was still a huge milestone for us!) Only in last month or so has she kinda sorta started sleeping through the night, too–and full disclosure–the only reason that happened at all is because I separated myself from her (and consequently Jason, too) and started to sleep on the sofa in the living room. Now that I type that out it sounds really crazy, but there it is. Ida took the lead on that one. But hey, we BOTH got through most of September with six or so hours of sweet uninterrupted sleep (and our couch is huge and awesome) so, yeah. Now, in the last week, Jason has been putting her to bed with a baba which is a huge change because she (and I) were used to her going to bed on the breast–and for the most part we are now down to one feeding per day–the good ol’ 5AM feeding.
Now that we are close to cutting out the breast-feeding altogether I can admit that as much as it was a pain-in-the-ass (especially in the beginning) I will certainly miss the closeness, the convenience, and the special, sweet one-on-one time. It was such a big challenge to overcome–now it seems like, wait, that’s it?? We’re done?? It sounds SO cliche to talk about how fast it all goes but (wo)man oh (wom)man, it goes fast. I’ve already noticed a change in her behavior too–she doesn’t automatically grope at my breasts anymore if I’m holding her and she is hungry or tired, she points at food or asks for food or a baba. Now that she can walk I think she fancies herself a big girl. Up until now she hasn’t seemed ready to wean, but in the last week or so she seems totally ready, and it’s as though I’M the one that’s not ready! The few times that I have breast-fed her in the last couple of weeks (other than that 5AM feeding) has not been because she’s wanted it, per-say, but more because my breasts had not yet caught up with the new feeding rhythm and were in need of relief.
Overcoming the hurdles and sticking to breast-feeding is probably one of the achievements I’m most proud of in my whole life. That may sound exaggerated, but it’s real. That sh*t is NOT easy and I feel both extremely lucky for having been able to do it, and extremely gratified for having stuck with it. I think I’m most proud of myself because it took an immense amount of patience on my part–and I often feel that patience is one of those qualities that I possess very little of. It’s amazing how having a baby will give you patience, yes? Anyway, now that it seems that Ida is ready to wean, I just have to get ready and follow her lead here, too.
Do you have any weaning experiences you’d like to share? Is this kinda like the post-pregnancy feeling where I have to give myself time to ‘mourn’ before I can totally move on? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Photos snapped almost exactly one year ago by the lovely and talented Shauna Nep