Thursday, September 24, 2009

Weaned

Well, I think it's time to call it official.

The Beaner is a weaner.

We are breastfeeding no more.

For quite a few months, we had been nursing twice a day -- before nap and before bed. Sometimes at night if he woke up sick or scared.

He nursed through the first weeks of the pregnancy on this loose schedule without a problem. Then either taste or supply must have changed, and he was less interested. We'd miss a session here or there.

I was sort of ambivalent about tandem nursing (i.e. continuing to nurse him after the baby was born). When I found out there wouldn't be so much a BABY being born as BABIES -- well, let's just say I was less ambivalent and more determined that he would be completely weaned before the spring. I thought it wise to keep a balance in the boob-to-baby ratio.

Fortunately, Bean was hearing my silent wish. (Yet he ignores my verbal wishes... maybe I should consider telepathically telling him not to yank the cords out of the wall sockets? I smell a lucrative book deal in my future!) Anyway, I really didn't want to have to actively wean him. We had both worked so hard in the first months to get this nursing relationship off the ground. I've mentioned before how I felt like a failure at conception and a failure at delivery; this was the one thing my body and I could do right. After what Bean and I had been through together, I was loathe to deny him that part of our connection if he wanted it.

Breastfeeding was, in a way, part of my rehabilitation following infertility.

Although the pregnancy certainly sped up the weaning process, I like to think it was still natural for both of us. He was not at all upset when our nursing sessions gave way to snuggle sessions. And I wasn't either.

Every few days he would still ask to nurse (by taking his binky out of his mouth and handing it to me when we snuggled), and I obliged. But for the past couple of weeks, nothing. The girls and I are not offended. I'm thrilled that I have no recollection of when our last session was. If I had known at the time, I'm sure I would have sobbed uncontrollably. Because I tend to do that these days. Heck, I have tears rolling down my face when the Laurie Berkner Band sings "My Family" on the Noggin preschool channel. (Don't judge until you've heard it.) (There are many ways to make up a family, and they are all beautiful.) (Sniff.)

So that, my friends, seems to be that. The girls will be resting until the spring when we welcome our two new nurslings into the world. I plan to do much research, chat virtually with other breastfeeding twin moms, and reconnect with my local LLL group before that point.

But in the meantime, I'm fondly remembering 18 (mostly) happy months of nursing my darling Bean. Thank you for the memories, sweet boy. I love you to pieces.

18 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Wow, I never even thought of breastfeeding two babies at a time!

Jen said...

Good call on the boob to baby ratio thing...although it is awfully bittersweet.

Foster Family Blog said...

Awww - I feel you - I just weaned A on the 18th of September after exactly 13 months. She's handling it just fine. It just makes me sad b/c it means she's growing up! You and the twins are in my prayers. I hope you're feeling good!

Kristi said...

You are awesome for nursing him for so long. I exclusively nursed Isabella for 13 months, and I am very much looking forward to bringing my exclusive nursing relationship with the twins to a gentle close next month when they turn a year old. Of course, I say that now. When the time comes, I will dissolve into a puddle of snot and tears, no doubt.

PS: Nursing twins is entirely possible. I've done it for almost a year now. There are so many positions you can try! Check 'em out:
http://interruptedwanderlust.blogspot.com/2008/11/cattle-call.html

Coffeegrl said...

I think I felt sort of the same way about nursing being a little bit healing after the IF stuff. It just felt like things didn't work out right for so long, and that maybe it was somehow related to my body (although early testing suggested that we may have been dealing at least in part - or exclusively for that matter - with Male factor IF). We're still going at 20 months and I'm starting to think about when/if we'll stop. It makes me sad. But I would also like to rule that out as the factor preventing us from pregnancy 2nd time around....*sigh* So hard. I'm really really happy that you and Bean both have such a happy ending to your story of breastfeeding!

Mary said...

Big Big Big Congrats, that's a great bf'ing milestone :)

Enjoy your break and don't forget to check out the twinstuff bf'ing forum, they were a great help to me for the short time I bf!!

Nicky said...

So awesome that you were able to bring it to a gentle, mutually-decided-upon close. Bittersweet I'm sure, but having a natural end is nice. Also, good that it ended before the twins arrived, so that Bean doesn't blame his little siblings for his lack of access. :)

Furrow said...

I like that song, too :)

lisawitt said...

wow, 18 months! You go girl!! that is awesome! hope you are feeling good and hangin in there...

Aunt Becky said...

Since Mimi was my last and she self-weaned, I kind of wish I'd been able to savor the last time a little more. I didn't.

*sighs*

*sobs*

Martha said...

So sweet, Sunny, kind of bittersweet like you said in a comment about my teens.
I nursed both sons for 2 years, all of us still have warm thoughts about it, even at 12 and 9 years later!

Red said...

It is very common during pregnancy for the older child to wean. I am very happy for you that you got to the happy ending of feeding. Although it is bittersweet, I know.

OppositeOfOops said...

Good work momma!

I had very similar feelings about BFing after infertility, and it was probably those feelings that led me to nurse him for as long as I did. We just weaned about a month after he turned two. He still talks about "milkies" once in a while, but in his (very mature, I might add) two-and-a-HALF year old way, about how milkies are for babies. Awwww.

:)

elizabeth said...

such a sweet post!
Thanks for sharing your experience in the comment on my post about bf and if, it was really helpful.
My sister had the same experience of weaning her first early in her second pregnancy; apparently the milk did taste different to her.

Stephanie Faris said...

The end of an era always means the beginning of a new era! That's what I've found, anyway.

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL said...

What a sweet post. Glad that weaning wasn't traumatic for your sweet Bean and that you both are taking it all in stride...

Mike said...

That's a milestone. I remember the milestone when my kids were ... well, no longer babies but "big boys." The milestone? No longer going to Babies 'R' Us.


Mike
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Soxy Deb said...

Well good for both of you. And the girls.
The thought of breastfeeding 3 gives me anxiety. I just can't imagine how one would handle that.
Hope you all are doing well.
{HUGS}