Weaning is NOT for Wussies.

After Oliver's first birthday I wrote about how I was determined to wean him from nursing. (Weaning from Nursing-Step 1: Stop Messing Around!) While I was serious about wanting to wean him, I was not as determined as I thought I was.  Weaning your child from the breast is not awesome, and no matter how much you want to wean, it takes serious determination.
How in the hell do I say NO to this face?!
When I originally set out to start the weaning process after Ollies' first birthday I managed to get him down to three nursing sessions, morning, nap and bedtime. This was about three months ago that we leveled off at that, and since I have not pushed him to wean anymore.  I decided that since I was not working, I was fine with the three feedings.  I also hoped that he would start the process of self-weaning. It never happened.

Needless to say, he loves to nurse. Nursing is a huge part of our daily routine. I struggle sometimes to understand why we have to stop. I worry about him feeling rejected.  Plus, I have milk, why go by some from the cow? Plain and simple all excuses aside,  I am scared of losing the bond Ollie and I share once I fully wean him. The idea of my very last nursing session with Ollie makes me feel sick in my belly.  It makes me feel sad in my heart. It makes me realize that I want to keep nursing as much as I want to stop.

I cannot freaking believe that weaning is so hard!  I thought it would be this simple process of drop a feeding every week.  WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!  It is this complex process of drop a feeding, wait a week or two to let you and your child get over the adjustment to the routine, then move on to the next feeding to be dropped. Little did I know that there was one more major hurdle, the emotional strings attached to nursing run deep.

I know it is time to wean. Now that he is eating a well balanced diet he no longer needs my milk.  Plus, I don't want Ollie to get too used to it, or God forbid in a few months point and ask for it! For me I want to have the freedom to go out for the day and not worry about nap-time.  I want FTD to be able to put Ollie to sleep at night.  I want to stop lactating for fuck sake!   I know we need to move on and that is that.

Last week I dropped the morning feeding.  To be 100% I-may-be-a-selfish-mom honest, I kept the nap and bedtime feedings for last because I hate to hear Ollie cry himself to sleep, so to me, the sessions that nurse him to sleep will be the most traumatic to loose. So far Ollie seems OK with losing his morning feeding, but what do I know since he can't talk.  He may be furious and waiting for the chance to escape during a diaper change to pee in my shoes.

My friends, my heart is breaking and it sucks! I don't want to lose the special moments of quiet nursing when I hold Ollie close.  I am so afraid of losing this bond.  Thinking of that last feeding is so bitter sweet.  I want it, I know I need to do it, but my God I know I will cry.  I have to stay strong and focused on weaning.

I never in my time as a nursing mother imagined that weaning was going to break my heart. I hated nursing in the beginning.  At 8 months I dreamt of weaning.  At 12 months I was determined to stop, and now here I am at nearly 16 months of nursing trying to figure out how to stop without needing to be put in a padded room and be heavily medicated.  WTF?!

My friends, again I say, Weaning is NOT for Wussies!  If you are going to wean, you are going to need to get tough. You are going to need to be focused and determined.  You are going to need support and help.

UPDATE:  Weaning is NOT for this Wussy!  Click here to read my nursing update...

Please, if you have any stories, or tips on weaning please share!  

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Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com