Monday, March 16, 2009

Weaned, Apparently

So, we've been nursing twice a day (morning and bedtime) for quite awhile. This week, starting Monday, we dropped the morning feeding, and E didn't seem to care at all. I figured we'd see how things went and then in a month (or two? I wasn't sure) we'd drop the last feeding and be completely weaned. I've found that nursing while pregnant is uncomfortable/painful, which is partly what prompted me to move forward on the whole weaning thing.

Then at bedtime on Wednesday, right after we started nursing, E bit me. Hard. I started yelling "ow, ow, ow" at the top of my lungs. I put my finger in his mouth, but it did no good. He was smiling with the nipple pinned between his teeth. He finally released and we sat there for a minute. He was saying "kitty" and was completely unfazed. I could just imagine him doing it again, and I was too terrified to risk it. I decided to see if he'd let me rock him instead. I was sure he wouldn't, but I thought if he had to ask for the boob he'd be less likely to bite when he got it. He's hardly ever bitten me before.

Lo and behold, he put his head down and I rocked him like we usually do after nursing. I held him close, and I couldn't believe what was happening, that he was going to bed without nursing, and with no warning. The fact that it followed the biting made it even more upsetting somehow. I started crying, silently, so that hopefully he wouldn't know something was up. When I put him down, he was awake but sleepy, and didn't protest at all. He went down like any other night. I cried and cried, not really knowing why, but sensing that something big had happened.

We haven't nursed since then, which at this point I think means we're weaned. I hate that the biting incident was our last time. I wish I'd pushed it on him after that, so that we ended with a good memory. (There was a moment today when we could've nursed, but I felt like it had already been too long.) I kept thinking he would ask for it, and I decided to wait for him to initiate, but he didn't. I even put him to bed myself those first four nights. I have to believe that he was more than ready to wean, and perhaps so was my body: It's been six days on one side and five on the other, and my breasts are as deflated as ever.

I've been weepy off and on the past few days, missing the snuggle time with my boy. He's not a big cuddlebug otherwise. We'll find our way, though, I know . . . transitions are just hard. I feel like one of those annoyingly needy mothers right now, whose desperation ends up forcing their children to push them away to keep from being smothered. I can already see glimpses of how that dynamic develops over time. I vow here and now never to become one of those moms. It better not be one of those things that sneaks up on you. I will not do that to my children.

I should mention that TJ put E down last night for the first time (with me here, anyway), and it went off without a hitch. It was liberating! So there is something to celebrate in this change. And I have so many beautiful memories of nursing E, I can't even begin to count them. One day soon, I'll be able to think about them without crying.

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