Winning at Weaning

Today, I write this post so that I don’t forget. My baby is growing up so fast and I realise I am not ready for all of it just yet. I planned to wean him off as soon as he turned two. And he just did, 2 weeks ago on December 21. I’ve been looking forward to weaning for the longest time but now that we are finally at it, I find myself suddenly heartbroken. My baby. My firstborn. My dearest Elian is no longer a baby.

Since the New Year started, I’ve been readying him for weaning. I started putting calamansi since Jan. 1 when it’s time to put him to bed. On his first taste of it, he made a face and refused the breast. I told him Mummy has a boo boo and he can no longer breastfeed because he’s already a big boy.  He cried and looked at me with a hurt and betrayed look and I find myself giving in when he would persist since he wasn’t feeling well. During the middle of the night, he would still latch and breastfeed again. The rest of the days, we went back on breastfeeding because he got sick and couldn’t sleep well.

But since this Monday, I decided to put bandaid on my nipples to stop him permanently. When he saw it, he immediately understood that Mummy has a boo boo and he could no longer breastfeed. Oh the long and hurtful cry he made! It broke my heart and took all of me to not give in. The past nights of starting to wean, he would climb on top of me and ask to sleep on my chest and for me to put my arms around him. He would hug me during his sleep. The other night, he tried to latch despite the bandaid but would stop himself and cry again. Oh it was so hard. It was a long night.

But then last night was different. The following days were different. He no longer asked for the breast when he woke up. He no longer cried when I put him to sleep. He just asked for me to wrap my arms around him. Then when he got sleepy he moved on his own pillow and just slept. He adjusted faster than I thought. I was dreading another crying fit as it’s our third night of completely weaning off. It’s been 4 days now and it’s already the longest time since and I am quite surprised of how emotional I feel now. I didn’t expect myself to get this affected. Well, it doesn’t help that I am uncomfortable as I have to deal with engorged breasts again for a few days until my milk stops and dries up. I didn’t really think I still have milk. It’s just been a few days and I already miss my baby and our breastfeeding bonding sessions.

I suddenly remembered that post I saw moments after I gave birth about savouring each and every moment with your child because you wouldn’t know or realise that you’re doing something together for the very last time. Thinking about this made me cry as I watched him sleep the past nights. I was so proud that he was able to adjust quickly. But I also felt so sad that this chapter of our relationship has ended.

So today, I write about it to remember.

It’s all going by so fast. I guess this is the thing about breastfeeding, it’s really bittersweet. Ours was. It wasn’t so easy for me at the start and there were moments I hated (the pain, the hassle) but in reality I loved every moment I had Elian snuggling in my arms. My initial goal was to reach a year of breastfeeding him and I’m actually glad we made it to two years. I am happy to have my body back, to be able to wear my old clothes and whatever I want without having to think of breastfeeding. But boy, oh boy, do I also feel sad and heartbroken. I already miss it all.

Breastfeeding is truly bittersweet and beautiful. Thankful for the 2 years and 2 weeks.

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