This weekend Brad and I decided it was time to start weaning Nevie. It’s been such a struggle for me to come to a decision with this. I’m very proud that I’ve exclusively breast-fed my daughter for 9 months straight. The only time she’s had a bottle was while she was a newborn and my milk was taking it’s sweet time to come in. Since then, she has been a boob-only baby. Well, as of last week she has started trying to stand while she nurses. This doesn’t work very well because my boobs don’t stretch that far. So nursing time has become quite a workout for us both. She’s very interested in breast-feeding, but she’s equally interested in practicing her mobility at the same time.
My plan was to breast-feed for a year, and to be honest, I’ve been counting down the days until that one year mark. I’m just over it. I haven’t had my body to myself in almost 2 years. Monitoring everything I put in my body as safe for baby or not, to not be able to leave Nevie for more than a few hours at a time; we’ve only seen a movie in an actual theater once since she was born because I can’t be gone that long. I need a break. I need myself back.
So as we began the weaning process I’ve felt like such a bad mother. What’s her pediatrician (also a lactation specialist) going to think of me? What are other moms going to think of me? Am I hurting my child by taking away the very best thing she can eat? Should I just deal with her lack of concentration to eat and try to force her anyway? Am I being selfish? Am I not trying hard enough? These thoughts have been plaguing my head for days now.
This is such a bittersweet stage in motherhood. I’m excited about my freedoms, but I’m also sort of mourning the loss of being so needed and feeling such a closeness to my little one. It also reminds me that she’s not going to be a baby much longer.
Brad’s been really great at supporting me. I think it’s easier for men to not care what others think of them- especially as parents. Men can’t relate to the pride that comes along with sustaining your child her entire existence to this point. He continues to reassure me and remind me of what a good job I’ve been doing and that it’s okay if I want a break.
For now, Nevie is nursing when she wakes up and before she goes to bed. Between those times she gets formula. She’s still learning how to use the bottle. She doesn’t quite realize that she’s suppose to drink from it instead of banging it on things. She’s getting better at it though. I haven’t decided how long I want to stick with this schedule before weaning completely to a bottle. I think I will give it at least a month before I decide. Until then, I plan to relish in the little bit of freedom I now have. I think even a movie might be in our near future.