Today, I weaned my baby son.
Okay, he is not a baby. He also isn’t seventeen years old lifting my tank top to nurse as he grabs his car keys.
It has been months, dare I say years?, since my body was mine. Weaning means one thing: my son and I are no longer BFF’s –“breast friends forever.”
It has been a slow process. Yesterday, I nursed my last time at 5:45am, lying down in my bed, watching the sky bleed from a dark blue to a warm pink. My wiggling, panting son stopped nursing suddenly, scooted off the bed and ran out the doorway. That was it.
Earlier this month, we traveled across county. (Yes, with three kids. We do that sort of silly thing often.)
For the flight, Samuel was my lap child. He entered the plane a once-a-day nurser; he departed the plane, a chronic, every-10-minute-nurser.
Before vacation, I was skiing down the slope to physical freedom. After vacation, I became a round the clock, human pacifier for a small blonde-haired piranha.
I shoved half-melted Luna bars in my mouth one-handed. I guzzled water like a lost soul trekking the Gobi desert. Nursing a 20lb toddler is taxing. Not to mention, socially uncomfortable.
But this morning, it all ended. Samuel woke at 5:45am. I retrieved him and filled with dread as he cried while we walked together to the kitchen. He wanted to nurse. I wanted to relax him. I quickly made a bottle, warmed the milk and sat cozy with him. And closed my eyes.
When my husband woke, I went to the gym. Why?
I hope to curb my post-nursing blues. I feel so sad when I wean my babies. I need to replace my addiction to Oxytocin with an addiction to Endorphins. Can I “recalculate” my hormonal imbalance? Here’s a link to an article on post-weaning blues (apparently it’s a common occurrence): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/02/weaning-breastfeeding_n_5154681.html
I have a ritual when I wean. “Out with the old, and in with the new,” I tell myself. I buy a new, lacey bra (to make my newly retired tata’s look good after years of hard work…) and I buy myself a new pair of Converse sneakers. Happiness.
I try to re-frame my thinking that weaning is less an ending, and more of a beginning to new phase with my son.
Outside my kitchen in the early morning hours, we pick flowers. Then, we feed our pets. Samuel is excellent at spraying dog food across the kitchen floor, sending kibbles into corners that I’d rather not think about. But, it turns out that our dog enjoys the hunt.
Samuel’s loves his newfound independence. I mourn his baby phase. I am proud that I have nursed as long as I have. Now, I await the slow return of energy to my body – how nice will that feel?! Just in time to actually keep up with him…