Day 8: New Milestone
Today, something new happened! I was on my way home after having some personal time (thank goodness for me-time!), and I internally fretted about the possibility of my son wanting to nurse directly upon my arrival. My plan was to hold out till bedtime, a few hours later. I felt unsure about how exactly to hold this boundary with him, and I worried about how he might express his feelings and how many feelings he might have. In my catastrophic thinking, I thought the evening might be ruined with bad moods, tantrums, and everyone grumpily on edge.
I was right about one thing: my boy did want to nurse! I was also wrong about everything else. After a minute or two of crying and expressing his feelings, he was totally fine! He may have asked again at some point before bedtime, but I do not really remember because it was no big deal!
In the past, I would have nursed my little guy on demand (which has been great for so many reasons, including always ensuring an ample supply of milk). In the recent past, I would have had him ask to nurse politely (with a please and using his words). Today, I simply said, “Not right now, Honey. We’ll nurse at bedtime.”
When he shared his upset feelings, his daddy and I were right there with him. We did not take any of his feelings away; we did not distract him from his experience; we simply held space for our son and all he wanted to express.
I imagine how disappointing it must be to have been fed, by breast, on demand and then no longer have this wish fulfilled immediately at any beck and call. Even amid the disappointment and any other feeling that exists for my son, he is doing really well… much better than my catastrophic mind can predict! I feel grateful that we all went on to have a really wonderful evening, and yes, he did nurse at bedtime… and no, he did not wake again to nurse till the wee hours of the next morning. We did make our 8 plus hours of no nursing during the day, and I feel very proud of him for working all of this out with me… and because of his daddy’s involvement, with us.
Day 9: Birthday Party
Today was my little guy’s second birthday party! I did try my best to hold the boundaries I have set out to hold, but the result was a cranky mom and a whiny, negative-attention-seeking son. Ugh! Not how I want to parent. Luckily, the hardest part was only around 15 minutes. Because of the party and my understanding that he was simply overstimulated, we ended up with more nursing than usual. I feel ok about this. I want to gently encourage. I do not want to be a crabby, pushy weaning tyrant! With all the excitement, people, noise, etc., he needed the closeness and reassurance. I needed to give him a good birthday celebration. We both won, though our wins were not about weaning. They were about securing and enjoying our bond, celebrating the gift of his precious life, and listening to what is true while being able to act peacefully and spontaneously for the highest good of all involved.
Day 10: Moving On
My partner and I passed on some baby stuff today. My little boy is definitely out of the baby stage! We almost made our 8 hour no nursing hour window, in fact, we almost made it twice!
He is so good, and breastfeeding is so good and natural. I want him to nurse as long as he needs to. I am happy to provide this gentle encouragement to see what he is ready for and to know where his edge is. I want this shift to be gradual. We have time. We have plenty of time to be right where we are.
He has nursed 4 times today, a little less than usual. He has almost made it from bedtime to midnight without nursing, and I hope he will make it much beyond that! In case he does not, I do feel confident I will be able to be with him in a good way while he shares whatever feelings he may want to let go of. I love him so much, and the expression of all his emotions are safe with me.