Monday, July 14, 2008

The end of an era

I haven't nursed G since last Tuesday.

It is a little bittersweet to be done nursing, but a lot more sweet than bitter. I do have a little bit of that "my baby is growing up too fast" feeling, but at the same time, things went so well, I can't really complain.

For a little while we were down to just one nursing, first thing in the morning. It was probably my favorite nursing time. He wakes up early, so I could roll out of bed, stumble to his room, pick him up and sit down in the rocking chair to nurse without having to truly wake up. It was a nice way to start the day.

I didn't have a cutoff or a plan of when I wanted to stop completely. But last week I started to feel ready to finally pull the trigger and be done. He'd gone from nursing all the time to only once a day with no trouble at all; almost made me wish he'd fought a little harder for it. But not really. Like I've said before, I felt like he was giving me a window of opportunity, so I decided to take it. So last Wednesday when I got him up, I decided I'd not nurse, but instead take him downstairs and get him his sippy of milk, and see what happened. And he was totally fine.

The next day was the same. He's never acted like he's missing something, never given me any indication that he was anything but ready. And that has made the weaning process so easy. If he'd given me any grief about it, shown any sign that he was feeling deprived, I would have kept going. But it's like if he could talk, he'd have told me, "I'm good, Mama. We can move on."

Physically, I'm utterly amazed at how easy this was. When D quit nursing it was abrupt, followed by a month of pumping, followed by a week or so of trying to wean myself off of the pump. That kind of abrupt end to nursing equals plugged ducts, mastitis and over a week of horrific engorgement. I'm talking rock solid boobs for DAYS. It was awful. I was doing everything I could think of to get my milk to dry up - putting crushed cabbage leaves in my bra, taking antihistimines, drinking sage tea. It was a mess.

This time, I didn't get even a tiny bit engorged at all. For the first few days I kept waking up expecting it to happen, expecting that horrible discomfort of those playboy looking boobs. But nope - they felt slightly full for about two days, just a little heavier than normal. And then, nothing. They've gotten a little smaller (although not near my pre-pregnancy C-cup yet, but I'm not spilling out of the DD bras I have anymore) and unfortunately look about as deflated as I remember they used to. But that's it - no pain, no discomfort, just a nice smooth transition.

This time nursing started out rough (two months of cracked nipples and awful pain), but ended perfectly. He nursed for almost 14 months and weaning went better than I could have hoped for. I certainly can't ask for anything better.

But my baby is growing up. Sniff, sniff.

No comments: