Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We Might be Weaning

Buddy still nurses. We decided that he'll nurse until it is no longer mutually desired. The last week or so, Buddy hasn't asked for mommy milk before bed. If he doesn't ask, then I don't offer any more. During this time, there have been a couple of mornings when Buddy either nurses just for a few minutes and then goes back to sleep or waits until after his breakfast. He used to nurse for over an hour while we drifted back to sleep together.

Buddy isn't asking, which means he doesn't want. That means he's ready to start weaning. I am usually nonchalant about almost everything, and who knows where I'll be when he actually weans, but for now, I am feeling a little sad. I wanted to breastfeed so badly because of all the health benefits for Buddy. It builds his immune system, gives him my antibodies and helps him fight diseases. It also helps me because it is linked to lower risk for several diseases and the oxytocin released during breastfeeding makes me calm and relaxed. But it has become so much more than just about health for both of us. There is a bond a nursing mother can form with her baby that isn't like any other bond anyone can form with them. The Hubs has a great bond with Buddy. They love each other, they play and snuggle and nap together. It's wonderful. Looking in, I am so happy that they have bonded like this. But it's not the same deep connection a mother feels with her nursling. I have come to love the short time before bed when Buddy is a bit sleepy and he plays with my hair (or tries to pick my nose). When I sing to him and he stares lovingly into my eyes. When he laughs so much milk dribbles out of the corners of his mouth. Even though it completely exhausts me, I love when he wakes early in the morning and I bring him into bed. He nurses while he drifts off to sleep and we snuggle together for another hour before we have to get up. Lately that drifting off to sleep has become crawling from one side of me to the other, sometimes spinning circles around me. Trust me, you don't want those nighttime diapers crossing over your face. That is not fun. Though I will still miss it.

The way we bond is changing, but I will always remember these times. I hope I can continue to give Buddy what he needs. That I can cure any boo-boo with a simple kiss instead of the comfort of his mommy milk. I hope I can help Buddy get through his rough times when nothing we do is what he wants until he calms down at the breast and is then able to tell us what he wants. I hope Buddy will still cuddle with me as he drifts off to sleep before I put him down for the night. Buddy will wean eventually. It might be next week or it might be next year, but it has started because Buddy is growing up. Buddy is becoming the independent, hard working thinker that every parent wants their child to become. If Buddy is ready, then I have to be too.

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