I have written about my experience and thoughts on breastfeeding here, here and here. Breastfeeding has been a huge (HUGE) part of my mothering and becoming a mother. I worked very hard at making sure Crosby was breastmilk fed for his first year. Once he turned One, I retired the pump and Crosby nursed only when with me. At One we introduced rice milk in a sippy cup and regular cup. I thought Crosby would gradually wean himself and was as surprised as anyone when he was still happily nursing by his second birthday. Crosby would like a nurse before naps and bedtime if it was me putting him down (or if he knew I was in the house!) and also when he awoke in the morning. My favourite times were in the morning in bed, it was such a lovely way to wake up, quietly dozing with him alongside me.
I have to admit though, by 2 I was quite over breastfeeding. I didn’t really know how to wean Crosby and I knew I wouldn’t be able to cut him off completely if I was around. So, when David and I went to Bali in August for 7days, I thought that would be the weaning moment. Surely with me being gone for a week, he would move on from it. And surely with a week off, my supply would stop. I cried the day before leaving every time we nursed, thinking this would be the last time. I felt a little guilty. And I questioned if Crosby and I were ready. The first three days in Bali were quite painful, for me. My mum would email me saying that Crosby was quite happy and didn’t seem to miss it one bit. So we were all surprised that the morning I got back, Crosby jumped into my lap and settled in for a nursing session. Yeah, no weaning happened and my supply returned.
Since August, Crosby maintained a one to two nurses a day habit. Always the morning nurse (which in all honesty I was happy to keep) and the occasional nurse before bed. It became easier for me to do the bedtime routine without a breastfeed, and it also became easier to give Crosby a cuddle instead when he asked for a nurse. A few weeks ago, it was Monday and I realised that the last time Crosby had nursed was the Thursday prior. On the Tuesday he asked for one, and I said “no more, all done” and he giggled and that was the end of it. Crosby will still occasionally ask for a ‘nurse’ and I will tell him that there is no more and if he is thirsty give him some rice milk or water, or if he is sooky or has hurt himself, give him a cuddle. Interestingly, this surprise gentle weaning was accompanied with absolutely no discomfort or pain. I guess, it was how it was meant to be. Like most of my experiences with being Crosby’s mother, I fret and stress over little things, and in the end when left in Crosby’s hands, at his speed or level, these fretful milestones and developments just seem to happen with little fanfare and we all just move on.
And so at 29months, Crosby has quit the boob. When I started this journey, I surely did not think it would be as long as it was. But I am glad I persevered at this most natural basic mothering instinct. And I am really (really really) happy to have arrived on the other side.