Weaning is a lot like having someone break up with you. I didn't know that.
Actually, there are a lot of things I didn't know. I thought that "self-weaning" meant that he would be at least 18 months or older when he weaned. I thought that we would both be ready at the same time. I thought that it would be an easy, casual thing. I thought we would make it to a year and then see what happened
Boy was I wrong.
We went from nursing 3-4 times a day to twice a day about 6 weeks ago. Then, three weeks ago it was once a day when he decided that he no longer wanted to nurse in the morning. So we are now nursing at 10 pm only. And he is asleep the whole time.
But Xander didn't nurse Friday night. He nursed Saturday night like a starving man. Then he didn't nurse on Sunday night either. I thought that Friday and Sunday might be because of scheduling issues. We were out late both nights and when we came home he was sleeping in the van. Unfortunately he woke up as we got home and then was too awake to nurse. But last night could have been perfect. He was sound asleep in his own bed. I gently took him out, curled up with him on my bed, and offered. In times gone by he opened wide and sank into breastfeeding with a look of sheer heaven. Not this time! This time he opened his eyes a bit, looked at me like I was crazed, clamped his mouth shut, and turned his head away.
I am heartbroken.
I am going to try again tonight, but if he refuses again I know that I have to respect his decision. And I will have to officially call it over.
We've breastfed for 11.5 months, which is far longer than I thought in those grim, tough early days of no sleep, lots of pumping, bottles, nipple shields, and desperation. That 5 weeks it took to get him to do it to begin with seems like a blip now.
And it is not easy or casual. I am going to miss his warm body all cuddled into me. The smell of his hair. How he hugged my boob, as though hanging on to it for dear life. The glassy satisfaction on his face afterwards. And knowing that I had a big hand in how big he is growing.
Most of all, I am not ready.