I REALLY want to blog about weaning. But every time I try to, it comes out differently. I guess that's what happens when you have such strong and mixed feelings about something.
Last night, Bee laid her head on my chest and fell asleep there. In the night, when she awoke, she turned to me and asked for a hug and I cuddled her back to sleep. These sweet, perfect cuddles replaced breastfeeding. For two years and eight months, those moments were filled with nursing, and now they are filled with cuddles and... it's not really sad at all. In fact, it's some kind of wonderful.
I did cry. I did struggle. For one night. And then I realized I wasn't engorged, my baby was confident, eating well and gaining weight, and, um, if she asked to nurse I knew I would cringe so maybe I was a little tiny bit relieved.
I can't know if she's stopping because she's too empathic and she knows it hurts me a little now that I'm pregnant, or because she just doesn't need it any more, or because my supply is mostly gone due to the pregnancy. I can't know a lot of things, but I can know that it's right. The timing is perfect and it's beautiful. It's a sweet little dance and our relationship is thriving despite the changes.
We tried out a new (to us) organic vegan restaurant yesterday and I cried watching her scarf down so much good food and drinking organic juice. I told Papa it was a feeling I didn't know I could feel outside of nursing. Watching my perfect child be nourished by good, healthful foods makes my heart feel happy. Even if that food isn't breastmilk anymore.
And last night as she lay her head on my chest I thought of all the millions and millions of times I've done the exact same thing with my own mother. I LOVED IT. I think I may have even loved it more than nursing. Not newborn nursing. Not nursing when she's sick. Not nursing for months when she wouldn't eat foods and I KNEW it was crucial to her growth. But I did love it more than twiddling fidgeting painful nursing. I felt connected to my daughter and my mother. I could relate to how comforted she felt because that's how comforted I feel when I lay my head on my mom's chest. And I really think that until she weaned, I couldn't know how strong and lovely a connection could be between a mother and her child, totally aside from nursing. (See, you can teach an old dog new tricks).
A dear friend of mine told me that when her daughter self weaned, she found a new friendship - a new bond - with her girl. And now I know what she means. It wasn't time for that for us before now. But right now, it is time. And I'm glad we get this relationship before the new baby comes along. It feels right, and that's what I wanted all along when I set out to nurse until we were done. :*)