Stories of motherhood, parenting tips and challenges of kids growing up…


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Weaning_BreastfeedingRecently, I was talking to a friend about how I am in the process of weaning Adelyn from breastfeeding. I explained how I like to take weaning very slowly, cutting out one feeding every few weeks or month at a time. Knowing Adelyn will be our last baby, she said, “Oh, that must be bittersweet for you that you won’t have any more babies to nurse.” I kind of laughed and said, “Not really.”

Adelyn has been a difficult breastfeeder from about six weeks of age on. She was a champion nurser at birth, but a few weeks later things changed. She would get so fussy and beside herself that she would have problems staying latched. The nursing sessions would become so stressful for me that my once fast and forceful letdown became very slow, which only aggravated Adelyn even more. Having had excellent nursers in the past, I didn’t know what to do. I finally packed her up and headed to a local breastfeeding clinic where she proceeded to scream and cry until we somehow managed to coax my letdown to occur. Unfortunately the consultant wasn’t able to give me any advice other than, “I’ve heard that fussiness is sometimes a sign of intelligence.” At that moment, near tears, full of embarrassment and in desperate need of a shower, I didn’t care if my baby would become an Einstein. I just wanted her to nurse calmly, peacefully and with the vigor that her siblings did.

That was the low point for us. We’ve continued to have ups and downs along the way and plenty of moments when I wondered if I’d achieve my goal of breastfeeding her for at least a year. Sometimes I look back on those low moments and I am surprised that we’re nearly to her 15-month birthday and she is still receiving breastmilk twice a day. She nurses first thing in the morning, but takes a bottle at night, forcing me to pump every night before bed. I know that if I stopped today, she probably wouldn’t even notice. She is not attached to breastfeeding. She does it because I offer and I offer because of the amazing benefits breastmilk has, but I know that our nursing journey will soon come to a close.

So is it bittersweet? Honestly, if she nursed as well as my first two, I might be sad to see that special bonding time fade into the past. But, the struggles make it much easier for me to bid it all adieu. What is more bittersweet for me is the realization that she is growing up. I won’t miss the act of nursing, but the weaning is an indication of the fact that she’s not going to be a baby much longer. I will do a happy dance when we kiss the diapers goodbye and I clean the breast pump for the last time. But I will forever miss her little baby giggles, her intense cuddles, her gibberish that seems like a foreign language that she totally understands. I will miss getting to kiss her soft, round cheeks whenever I feel like it. I guess there are a lot of bittersweet moments in the life of a mother and these words reflect just why that is:

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is do decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~ Elizabeth Stone

What bittersweet moments have you experienced as a mother?

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