Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Got milk? (Part deux)

Sophie is finally weaned.

It's been about a week since we first started trying and while she went all Tasmanian Devil on us those first couple of mornings-- our daughter is not one to let things go without a fight-- I think she's finally come to realize that the only milk she's going to get from now is coming from a sippy cup.

Mind you, she wasn't nursing very much past 15 months or so, just nights and mornings by that time so it was just a matter of getting her to drop those feeds when she felt like it. I've been agonizing over this whole weaning thing since Sophie turned one and I just didn't feel ready, and I knew neither was she. It was something we, and only we, shared and I wasn't willing to let go emotionally even though rationally, I knew she was old enough to move on to soy formula exclusively. I told myself that between her allergies and all the cold-related illnesses she might be getting exposed to at school, keeping up the breastfeeding was the best thing for her. There just didn't seem to be much sense in weaning before either one of us was ready.

But then this semester, I started teaching in the evenings and pumping got too time-consuming, so we decided to try dropping the night feed and have Jude put her to bed with soy milk. She wasn't happy initially of course but she was old enough by then to realize that I wasn't around and often too tired to put up too much of a fight anyways, so that was that. But she clung tenaciously on to the morning feed like her life depended on it. We think it has less to do with milk at that point but more the warm comfort of me holding her close after an entire night alone in her crib.

So I let her take her time and it was another couple of months of just morning feeds before we decided last week that it was time for her to drop it completely. My milk production was tapering off and Sophie was getting frustrated at that, asking for more even though we were done nursing and us having to make her extra soy milk anyway. So it was just a matter of by-passing the breastfeeding altogether and just giving her the formula when she woke up.

I'd be lying if I said I'm not a tad sad that this aspect of mothering is now over but I'm glad we got to nurse this long at all so that comforts me a little. I guess a part of me believed that I would lose some kind of special bond with Sophie once I weaned but thinking back, it was probably the hormones talking. I'll always be her Mama and a sippy cup isn't going to get in the way of that.

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