Here is my "weening" story that really involved no "weening" at all! (Do you know if you forget the first 'n' in "weening" it becomes "weeing"? That is an entirely different story.):
Due to a bout with sinusitis and medicines I needed to take to cure it, I was told by my doctor that I had to stop nursing right away. WHAT?! I had no milk stored up. I mean, with Juniper being 11 months old, I had already switched one of her feedings with a bottle - but ALL of them?! I wasn't ready for that! And I was SURE she wasn't ready for it. My desire was to nurse until Juniper stopped wanting it, so I was almost devastated hearing that I had to quit cold turkey for 10 days. I prepared myself for a week of hell.
Well, color my face red when Juniper didn't bat an eye at no longer getting my boob. She didn't have any trouble at all! I was the one falling apart over it but she hasn't seemed to miss it. She is chugging a bottle like a champ - even holding it herself.
The other day, I had her on the bed while I was changing clothes. Usually, when she's sees me without a shirt she smacks her lips and whines, wanting me to feed her. Instead, she handed me my bra, as if to say, "Put those away, Mom!" And it was only the 1st full day without nursing! Excuse me if I feel a little rejected! I kind of thought I was more necessary than that. HA!
You know, I thought I would miss the closeness of nursing, but I am finding that we are connecting even more and cuddling more when I feed her from a bottle. I guess it is bc she gets to be so much closer to my face. With my anatomy, she would have to lay flat on my lap to nurse. Now, I can cuddle her up close while I feed her. She seems to be exploring my face more and taking breaks to "talk" to me. She even directly called me "Ma ma" for the first time! (I don't count the times she's wailed it when she wanted something.)
I expected this "cold-turkey" to be as miserable or more so than my sever case of sinusitis. I didn't expect to have to "ween" like this. But, as shocked as I am, it seems to actually be a good thing. I am no longer used as a bag of milk to comfort her - there were many times that she didn't want me, just my milk. I felt objectified!
Here are some more positives:
I no longer have to consider her diet when deciding what I want to eat. (Sweet tea, anyone? YES!)
I can get back on my ADD meds!!!!! (if my insurance company would stop being stupid. arg!)
I am no longer the ONLY ONE who can feed her milk! (this last one is my favorite)
How did I deal with the discomfort of "cold-turkey" weening? Part of my medication for the sinusitis was Zyrtec D. My Doula/Breast Counselor friend told me that when mothers ween but continue to produce milk, they prescribe Zyrtec because it will dry them right up. Well, there you go. No fussy baby. No achy boobies. Thank you, LORD!
A little piece of me has died, as does every time Juniper takes another step away from being my little baby and towards becoming her own person. But, that empty place is restored and refilled to overflowing by the blessing of seeing her grow into the beautiful creature God has created her to be. What joy I feel when she turns to me out of choice for a kiss, a hug, a snuggle - knowing that she is showing conscious love and desire for me. Now you've got me crying.
Being a parent helps me understand God's love for us so much more. How He must feel when we choose Him and also when we try to objectify Him as just a resource to be used. I know that this journey of parenthood will continue to take me to a greater understanding of our Lord. This child is an unending source of blessings :)
Today, I found her walking around with my nursing cover slung around her neck like a cape. That is the most interest she has had in anything having to do with nursing since the last time I nursed her. It made me smile :)
Of course, I will choose to nurse with my next child, and will encourage any mother to do so if it is a possibility for her. And, though I really enjoyed that season of my relationship with my daughter, I am enjoying this new season of her independence, as well. Even if she IS already exhibiting behavior associated with the "terrible two's" at the age of 12 months. *sigh* More on that, later.
p.s. I just looked it up and realized that the correct spelling is "weaning," not "weening." That clears up the confusion at the beginning. yup.