I only have 2, but will not attempt to have any more after this. Making the decision of having the first 2 was very difficult for me, since there are some genetic issues at play in my family.
I told my then fiancée, while we were discussing future family plans, to be prepared to adopt, that I will probably not have my own children.
I had prepared for that my entire life and was sure that I would never carry and give birth to my own child. After running tests and having discussions with geneticists, we decided to tempt fate and ‘go for it’ — attempt to have our own, and hope for the best. I had an amnio, monthly and then weekly ultrasounds.
My first pregnancy was picture perfect and I had a huge healthy baby boy.
Three years later we decided to try again. Although it was a little harder to conceive the second time around and the pregnancy was not as much fun (I had more discomfort than with the first pregnancy and I had a toddler to run after), it was still very good compared to what it could have been. I ate right and tried to get as much rest as possible (a little hard with a 3 year old, but hey I was still having fun!).
My daughter was born a month early, although a little scary, she was healthy, a little small compared to her brother, but so much easier. When it came to breastfeeding, she latched on without any problems (I had a month of constant crying, from both of us, and pain while trying to learn and teach my son how to breastfeed). She slept PERFECTLY, waking up every 3 hours, like clockwork, to nurse and then back to sleep. It was wonderful!
Now she is 13 months old, and even though both of my children are flourishing and remain healthy ,we have decided not to tempt fate with any other children. I have started to wean my baby (barely) and a feeling of sadness is overtaking me.
After the weaning process is over, I will never hold a baby to my bosom again, I will never create another life, I will never feel a baby moving and kicking in my womb or kiss my newborn baby.
I know that I am blessed in so many ways! I completely understand the difficulties that some women go through only not to be able to have a child at all. But still, a little selfishly perhaps, I wish I could be one of those women who could have lots of children, running from room to room and causing raucous all over the place. I imagine that a house full of children must be a happy home full of love and laughter (although if I were to be honest, the chaos in my home can be quite overwhelming at times, especially while nursing).
I know that I need to wean her eventually, and especially for my sanity (and my sore nipples), but I am not sure that I am ready yet, nor is she.
She does just fine without me when I am not home while I am at work, but as soon as I walk in the door she comes crawling over to me saying “Mama! Mama!” and doesn’t want me to put her down. Come time for bed, she pulls at my shirt, to indicate that it’s time for milk. It was so easy to wean my son, I didn’t even have to think about it. I slowly substituted 1 bottle of pumped breast milk for a bottle of cow’s milk. I then slowly stopped pumping at the office.
It was an organic and natural progression, and soon he decided that he did not want my breast anymore at around 16 months. This time it’s different. I have been blessed to not have to pump as much with my daughter – so she got milk directly from the breast much more often. However, now when I first tried to give her a bottle of whole milk she spit it out.
I have always been a believer in allowing a baby to self-wean (with a little “help” from mommy), but this time around my baby decides that it’s fun to bite, which hurt mommy’s breast (something that my son never did).
As much as I don’t want my baby to “grow up” and feel saddened by the prospect of weaning her, (I love the quiet bonding time and the nutritional benefits breastfeeding provides), I go through my day with sore, overly sensitive nipples. My mother (who never breastfed) says, “she’s little, she’s crying, give her your breast.” My husband who sees the pain that I am going through, says “I’ll help you in whatever way you need to wean her”, and at the first whimper hands her back to me to deal with a crying baby, whose sole comfort is the breast.
I just keep telling myself, breast is best, it’s only temporary, I can deal with a little pain for the sake of my child and other such clichés…. But really, all I want to do is cry alongside her.
Having decided not to have any more children is making the weaning process so much harder for me, but for my sanity, and physical well-being I know I have to do it. I just wish I was sure that I wanted to.
How did you decide to wean your baby? What process did you go through? Were you happy/relived/saddened by the prospect of weaning?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Maman Aya of New York, USA.
Photo credit to Melissa Stampa.