so, micah has weaned...
...and it feels just right. we were both ready, he only needed a tiny nudge from me, and while it feels a teensy bit bitter-sweet, it's a whole lot less so than i expected it to be!
i've been ready for this for most of the fall, but i just wasn't sure whether micah was or not. i had this thought that he really needed to wean -- that our nursing relationship was no longer the beautiful, healthy, nurturning thing it had been for so long, but rather was holding him back in some way. i can't quite put my finger on it, but he seems clearly ready to be moving to a new place (there's been a lot of that totally age-appropriate separating-from-mom stuff that he's doing which is driving me kinda crazy because it's a lot of one step forward two steps back, and the two steps back involve a lot of clinginess on the one hand and lashing out/limit-testing on the other. that, and a lot of night waking. sigh.) my intuition was telling me that our nursing relationship was holding him back in some way. but i wasnt' sure. what if our nursing relationship was actually the thing that was helping him through? what if he really needed his nursies to get through this feeling nurtured and secure?
i had decided i would push a tiny bit over our vacation, and see how it went, but in the end i didn't need to. with all the excitement of christmas -- multiple church services, parties, presents, visiting relatives -- he totally forgot to even ask on christmas eve and christmas day. then we flew to arizona, drove to the desert, and set up camp -- and again, he never asked. on the fifth day, when we went to the library to escape the rain -- he asked once, but i easily put him off. he asked a couple of times when we were backpacking in the desert and he was a little miserable, but again, he was pretty easily put off.
when we returned home, he started asking with a bit more frequency, but it was never very hard to say no, and so i decided we were definitely going to be done. i always offer a cuddle instead, and now he only asks maybe once a week if that.
i decided that if he forgot to ask when things were stressful/exciting/new, and only started asking again when we landed back into our routine ... well then, it seemed to me that this was much more of a habit and less of a coping mechanism. and so there you have it -- we're done!
micah was 15 days when he started nursing, and 3.75 years when he stopped. all together, i was lactating/nursing for 4.25 years. and if i do say so myself, i'm kinda proud of that fact!