Nope, I am not referring to soccer, I am more of a baseball girl. I am talking about boobs. More specifically: Boobs as food for baby! I originally planned to breastfeed for 6 months and evaluate from there. 6 months came and went and Caleb and I were still going strong! I made a new goal of 12 months and I can’t believe it is already here. Caleb is down to only one nursing session a day, first thing in the morning, and I’m sure I could easily wean him from it. Heck, most of the time he wails like a banshee between sides for NO reason anyhow. Pretty hilarious to see him sit up in the bed, start wailing, spot the booby, and then awkwardly lean forward for more. He is nothing if not creative! Surprisingly, it is actually me that hesitates to wean him entirely. I know I don’t have to yet and I could certainly keep going no problem. We are not on a timeline and Zach doesn’t care one way or the other. Best I can determine, my hesitancy to be done with nursing boils down to two main things:
- Emotional closeness
- Denial that my son is growing up
Emotional Closeness – Caleb has never been cuddly. Even as a tiny guy in the NICU he wasn’t nearly as snuggly as most newborns are. We have napped a total of ONE time together when he was about 2 weeks old. He hasn’t fallen asleep on my chest or hardly anyone else’s (Papa is quite comfy though!) since about the same time. Zach and I tend to cherish the rare moment when Caleb will stay on our laps or want to be held close. They are few and far between so we eat them up! For that reason I have loved the closeness and emotional bond that breastfeeding creates. Perhaps if our guy was more cuddly I wouldn’t think twice about weaning, but that one time in the morning is often the only time during the day I get to be that close to Caleb where he is content.
Denial – On many levels, like all parents, I am in denial that I am now the parent of a one year old toddler, not a baby. Sure, he’ll always be my baby *cue Mariah Carey* but Caleb grows more independent every day. He is already the independent type so every little accomplishment seems more like a leap away from me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be pretty darn excited when he can wipe his own booty, but even that I can (and will have to) handle for a while longer. Time is just flying by and somehow I feel like I’m left in the dust. Everyone around is changing, growing, doing new things and I feel like I’m frozen in time. I know I have to let go but I thought that would be in a few years when he starts school, rides his bike, and later learns to drive and moves out on his own. I did not expect to ‘let go’ of my son in any way, shape, or form in his first year or so of life! For me, though, I suppose letting go will soon mean weaning him entirely from nursing. Part of this denial too I believe is roped in to my grieving for Dad. I put off designing Caleb’s party invites for weeks because somewhere in my mind I couldn’t acknowledge that yes, he was turning one, and no, Dad wouldn’t be there to see it. Each milestone Caleb hits is another that I also grieve about because my dad isn’t here to witness it. So often Mom and I look at each other and say how much Dad would enjoy this stage of Caleb’s life, the laughing, silly, easily entertained, innocence of being a toddler. Letting go of nursing will be acknowledging that Caleb is growing up which, 1) I’m not ready for and 2) my Dad is missing out on.
I guess the jury is still out on the exact timing of weaning. My best guess is it will just happen one day when I’m dead tired and I tell Zach to just give him some soy milk in his straw sippy because I am not moving a muscle.