Friday, January 19, 2007

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!

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10 Comments:

At January 19, 2007 8:28 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

You should be proud! When Noah weaned I was relieved (the last six months really tested my patience -- he was an intense nurser for the first 3.5 years of his life -- every two hours 'til then and then nursed a few months past four) but also sad. Very very bittersweet!

 
At January 19, 2007 9:18 PM, Blogger Lilian said...

You should indeed feel extremely proud of you and Micah! I weaned Kelvin the month after he turned four (last April) -- he only nursed in the morning, though, and I was getting impatient with that. One morning I just said no. He asked a couple of times, but then it was over...

I had NO IDEA that Noah had nursed every two hours until he was 3.5!! That definitely sounds pretty unbearable to me! (I did know that he had nursed for a long time -- I'm glad Dawn commented :)

 
At January 20, 2007 12:01 AM, Blogger SaraSkates said...

and proud you should be! You're right - with Toby, it was a bit bittersweet, but it was the right time and we were both ready. He stopped a few months before his fourth birthday too :)

 
At January 20, 2007 8:17 PM, Blogger jo(e) said...

It sounds like it went smoothly. And you will always have those nice memories of the nursing days.

 
At January 21, 2007 1:23 PM, Anonymous mamacate said...

Congratulations, my dear! Your nursing story is probably the most wonderful and amazing one I know, and I'm so proud of you and everything you did.

Hooray for you and Micah on this big transition. Henry went through a similar thing where he still wanted to but clearly needed to move on. I'm glad the end went so smoothly for you two--well-deserved.

 
At January 21, 2007 8:07 PM, Blogger susan said...

Well, that's a transition to celebrate for both of you! May you have much joy in the next phase of your relationship, too.

 
At April 16, 2007 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any nursing done past 1 year is for the mother, not the child. I think it's insane that someone would nurse a 4 year old. That child is going to have problems.

 
At January 25, 2008 9:36 PM, Anonymous Jen said...

I came across your blog, as I was looking at ways to become a lactation consultant..(due to my wonderful breastfeeding experience) What a wonderful story you must have, I plan to read your blog...I am truely inspired! Jen

 
At February 08, 2009 6:31 PM, Blogger StephLove said...

Bittersweet is certainly the word. I'm another one of those crazy moms who nursed past a year. My older child self-weaned a few weeks after his third birthday. My daughter will be three next month and still nurses 0-2 times a day. It's definitely winding down. She just went 48 hours without nursing this past week, though she nursed again the next day. I am more glad than sad it's almost over but it's a mix of emotions for sure.

 
At February 08, 2009 6:33 PM, Blogger StephLove said...

p.s. I don't know if it's his real name or a psuedonym, but I love the name Micah. It was on my list for a second boy, but we had a girl instead.

 

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