Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weaning

Learning to breast feed was, as my dear friend Laurie said, "The first dragon you and Ellis will slay together." Man, was she right. I don't know what was more difficult: my pregnancy, my longer than  The Brother's Karamosov birth, or discovering, that despite my na├»ve assertions that all things related to motherhood would be easy for me, I didn't have the faintest idea how to feed my baby.

Somehow we all survived and we became so good at breastfeeding, as we turned the corner on two years and my friends stopped eating out with me for fear I might whip out my now numb to the world breasts, I started to think, "Oh shit. How am I going to slay this dragon?!" I don't pray very often, mostly because I'm too concrete of a thinker in a lot of ways so it's hard for me to pray to something that I haven't quite figured out but I did pray when Aaron got hurt and I prayed when my mom's heart was under duress and I prayed that I would win when I found those skinny, black corduroy True Religion jeans on eBay, and to be totally honest, I prayed that Ellis wouldn't cry when I decided it was time to wean her. Listening to her cry is my least favorite activity. It literally hurts my heart.

So imagine my surprise when she suddenly stops latching on and she starts taking "sips." A term she coined by the way. So I took notice and starting quantifying her sips. Day one, she got 5 sips per breast. Day two, four. Day three, three and so on until the milk was, "all gone." She seemed to enjoy the process and I think she cried maybe once and it was nothing to write home about. I couldn't BELIEVE my luck. Was this possible?! Could something this scary really be so easy? Oh I'm goooood!

Then yesterday she started to pout, cross her arms and tell me that she wants to be left alone and she's mad at me. My response, though difficult because I want to cry now, is, "OK honey, I love you so much. I'm here when you're ready to cuddle." "NO!" is usually her retort and then she comes around after about 10 to 15 minutes. So my concern is that a) I have traumatized beyond repair, b) she now has attachment disorder, and c) she is going to hate me for the rest of her life.

Any thoughts on this would be helpful. Please don't collude my distorted thinking though by agreeing that I have ruined my child. Really, I'm just interested in words of encouragement and praise.
Many thanks.

And no, I didn't win the corduroy pants. I refuse to pay the same amount as a new pair of pants for a pair that someone else's vagina has already touched.

2 comments:

  1. you're over thinking it mom. from the moment of birth you spend your life learning how to detach from that gorgeous creature you created. this is only the beginning. give her some space and she's always going to come back to you. even when you are not ready for it or would like some time alone. you let her wean when she was ready. well done. now let her gain some distance from you as she chooses. you are not working with a potted plant that will always rely on you for existence, you are creating an adult who must find a way to be in the world ... without you. give her all your strength and confidence that she can do anything. no tears.

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