The day your baby is no longer breast feeding brings with it lots of mixed emotions. It has for me, at least. Halle and I quickly bonded in the hospital because she nursed really well right off the bat, that is…until she got jaundice and we gave her bottles for several feedings in a row. This was a major set back in her nursing.
You know, our emotions are so wacky after giving birth that it seems unfair to have to deal with any trial during those first few weeks. I. Was. A. Wreck! Trying to breast feed an unwilling baby was one of the most difficult things I have done. She was uninterested and I was determined. It was a battle of the wills and it wasn’t pretty. That’s not a good indication of what’s to come during her teenage years!!
However, after 8 grueling weeks of crying (both of us) and severe pain (only me) she finally turned a corner and it was smooth sailing from then on, at least until last week. Halle has become a different baby since she started eating solids. She seemed happier, more content and even slept better. Poor thing had probably been hungry! Well, right around her 6 month mark, her nursing periods were very brief and she was very uninterested. in what I, her mother, had to offer (again, a glimpse into the future) After consulting with our pediatrician, I decided to wean her from breast feeding. I tried to prepare myself through prayer and over the next few days I held her a little closer each time she ate, trying to savor the moment. Then I dropped an afternoon feeding. She was fine. A few days later, I dropped another feeding. She was fine! After about week, I was done to breast feeding her just in the mornings. This didn’t last long though because I knew she was just waiting for her bottle and her cereal. So I stopped. And she was still fine. I knew she would be but I thought she would want to cling to me just for a bit, or cry for me just for a moment. None of that happened. I was the one clinging to her and crying for her!
Oh, I’m fine now. The sadness only lasted a few days. I just kept thinking of ALL of that work that went into it in the beginning and now that stage of her life is over. She’s growing up and this was the first time in her short little life she has made a move toward independence. I keep thinking of all the other times in her life that will resemble this: her first day of kindergarten, her first sleep over, getting her license, graduating, college…..Oh My!! Be still my heart.
I guess I’ll take it all as it comes. But for now I’m so thankful she relies on me for everything else.