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We are Weaning

The Pumpkin and I are weaning.

I don't want to go into why right now, but it is for a good reason or I wouldn't be doing it. In fact, I'm not really ready to wean, and I'm not sure the Pumpkin is either. We are down to nursing at bedtime and in the mornings, and sometimes she barely even nurses (especially in the morning). But then other times, she really seems to need that time and closeness with me.

There are times when she has asked to nurse that I've said "Not right now," but those were times when she didn't really need it. It was just like something she thought of because I had my shirt and bra off and it came to mind or she was up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep. Those times it was more like, "Hey, what if we nurse?" not "Hey! I want to nurse!" When I said not right now, she practically shrugged and went about her business.

But those weren't the normal nursing times. It was not disrupting our routine. It was not something she was looking forward to at that specific time. (Okay, I'm totally tearing up right now.) Unlike this morning.

This morning, I coslept with her for an hour before we got up. She woke first and played on the bed, and then she got down and played around on the ottoman. Then she turned to her glider where we nurse every morning (and at bedtime). She looked back and me and inquired, "Nurny?" (This is her latest version in how she says nurse or nursing.) I said to her, "Not right now, honey."

She got an upset look on her face. She walked over to me and tried to take my hand. "Nurny!" She said more forcefully. "Not right now," I answered. Then she walked back to the glider and pounded it with her hands and exclaimed very frustrated and upset, "Nurny!!"

I went to distraction at this point and asked where her toys and books were. Luckily it worked. Once we both got up, I took her downstairs and fixed her a sippy cup of milk. But it's not the same. It's not the same milk, and more importantly it's not the same bonding, special, cuddly, comforting time for Mama and Pumpkin.

This is one of the hardest things I've ever done, and we've just started. I'm exceptionally frustrated that I am even doing it now. I put it off as long as I could, though. Now, unfortunately, it's time.


OneTiredEma said…
hugs to you.

You'll find lots of other special things to do with her. It's hard because this was The First One.
Becoming Mommy said…
I know my experiance has not been the same as yours, but it does get easier. And since, as you say, the time is'll both be better off for it.
Much luck!
Rudyinparis said…
Oh, my heart goes out to you. Reading this makes me actually appreciate that I weaned both girls at the one year mark, before they were communicating the kind of yearning that your Pumpkin shows. With both my girls, it just kind of slipped away without their noticing. This is a hard time for you. My thoughts are with you.
I am so sorry you are struggling with this. Be gentle on yourself. That is all I can say.
My family is known for nursing for a long time (2-4 is the average age!) and all weaned for different reasons at different time.
So if it is right for both of you, then be gentle on yourself.

You will have many ways to bond. Yes it will be different. But you will have new ways that are unique to her new age and your changing relationship.

Perhaps try and come up with something that feels uniquely special for you to share now?
OneHappyCow said…
You and I both have girls about the same age. I started reading you from your comments on Moxie. I am still nursing strong and have often thought of what will happen when we wean. I am as much tied into it as she is (and as you both appear to be). All I can say is that I am very sorry and hope that things will work themselves out. I am sure they will. I know how insistent my little one yells "NILK" when she wants it, so I wish you the best of luck and truckloads of patience for her, yourself and the situation.
Cloud said…
Good luck. You'll find other special mommy-Pumpkin closeness things. I know it is hard to let this one go, though. I am having a hard time with just giving up pumping!
Sweetpea's Mum said…
We weaned at 10.5 months, becuase she lost interest and it was a super easy transition. We do still do a bottle a night before bed, so we cuddle then.
Charisse said…
Oh Caramama, it's so hard! Did I ever send you the little weaning picture book I wrote for Mouse? Email me if you want it--I aimed it for 18-36 months (I weaned Mouse at 23 mos) but Pumpkin is almost there, right?

Couple other things that might help:

-you can use different strategies for different nursing sessions--we knocked out the after work one by distraction (cookie), the first thing in the morning one by a very special, decorated big-girl sippy cup she could have, and naptime by just giving up home naps (she was a little older. Bedtime and 5AM we just had to talk through and that's where the book came in.
-remember it will take 2-3 weeks for a new routine to set in, so if it's possible, focus on knocking out one session every two weeks, which will also prevent some of the potential owies for you
-and just know that there may be some pain after eliminating the last nursing--we were down to 5 min/day, but after we cut that out I definitely had the owies for a week. Remember, you're not nursing anymore so (unless you're weaning because you're pregnant) take whatever pain meds you need and take very good and kind care of yourself.
-oh, one more--again, Mouse was slightly older, but one thing that helped emotionally was to tell her what a wonderful job of nursing she had done, and how we had now done that job together and should be proud of it.

Good luck, hang in there!
Anonymous said…
My possum and I are doing the same thing at the moment - she is 15 months.
We now have a special book of nursery rhymes that we read/sing at what was drink times - and I try to save it for then and when she needs some special mummy time.

Hope it all going well for you both - cabbage leaves really do work - for me at least.
Colleen said…
awww. I'm sorry. :( Cooper weaned himself so much sooner so I was the only one upset about it. But he and I did a lot of cuddle time and rocking in glider (with his bottle, but still...).
It may seem hard on Pumpkin, but it's harder on you. You'll both feel better in a week or so.
ImpostorMom said…
It does get easier. I still miss it sometimes but other times I'm so glad that we're done with it.

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