Overly-emotional.

So, I'm not quite sure where this stems from (yet), but I have been very sensitive lately in the feelings department.  Particularly (and this may have no shock value to some of you) when it comes to the thought of weaning Presley from breastmilk, especially after reading this recent post from The Leaky Boob.
 I have mentioned plenty of times here lately that it will definitely be a bittersweet moment for us, but now I am downright distraught at the thought of it.  I've narrowed it down to a few things that really bums me out when I think about it:
  1. Missing out on the few times throughout the day when Presley and I can be quiet together, snuggle, and share those special moments just the two of us.  Will she still want to do that with me at all throughout the day once breastfeeding is out of the picture?  Another underlying (and somewhat irrational) fear here:  Is Presley actually bonded to me or the nourishment I provide her?  How will that bond change after she realizes I'm not specifically providing her nourishment anymore?
  2. When I think about the nutrition and immunity benefits that are associated with nursing, it scares me to think of taking that away from her.  Will the immunity benefits I've provided her the first year of her life stay will her even after we're done nursing?
  3. Breastfeeding is so SIMPLE once you get the hang of it.  I honestly don't have to measure anything or prepare milk/formula/etc. for Presley - and I can nurse Presley while napping!  My body has really been in control of providing for my daughter, will I be able to do as good of a job once it's just on my shoulders and my body is out of the picture?

The last one might seem silly, but honestly, it is one of the things I do worry about.  Yes, I've been supplementing Presley's breastmilk with solid meals and snacks for the past 6 months - but it has always been so calming and satisfying knowing that IF she's not getting what she needs out of her solid meals that she will (hopefully) get the rest from my breastmilk.

So there's two components here:  the concern if Presley will be okay after our breastfeeding ceases but then there is the second worry that I might not be okay after it's over!

A woman's ability to produce all of the nutrients that her child needs can provide her with a sense of confidence. Researchers have pointed out that the bond of a nursing mother and child is stronger than any other human contact. Holding the child to her breast provides most mothers with a more powerful psychological experience than carrying the fetus inside her uterus. The relationship between mother and child is rooted in the interactions of breastfeeding. This feeling sets the health and psychological foundation for years to come.


I realize to some people I must seem so mellow dramatic (fact: Presley and I will survive after all is said and done) and obsessed over this ("Why doesn't she get over this already and suck it up?").  Others may not see the "big deal" or dilemma here... and honestly, I can't particularly explain it any better than I've already tried to here.  And trust me, it is not something I thought I'd ever have a problem giving up!

I also realize that I can't shelter Presley from possible disease/injury/illness for the rest of her life (by always breastfeeding her).  The idea of nursing a five-year-old absolutely still freaks me out.  But where do I draw the line?  At what point does a child become too old for breastfeeding?

And, to further put things into perspective, I realize how fortunate I am.  My family is healthy.  I am sitting here worrying over these minute hurdles and thankfully not worried about bigger, more pressing issues.

I absolutely love this list of 12 Weaning "Ceremonies" - or rather, 12 ways to celebrate that part of your relationship instead of focusing on the void it will (potentially) leave.  Some of these are so fun!  I also love the unique idea of getting a pretty piece of jewelry custom made that actually somehow contains your actual breastmilk, though I know that - again - this isn't everyone's idea of "cool" by any means.  I am curious to hear other mother's opinions on the jewelry, no matter what you fed your children (breastmilk or formula) - so chime in and let me know if you think it's neat or not!  And I am anxious to hear how weaning went for other families, so if you feel apt to share, I would appreciate it very much.

Happy days are ahead and I have very much to look forward to and that's what I need to focus on, especially considering there is no need to wean anytime soon.


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Comments

  1. I do plan on weaning Forrest off boob milk once he turn one because we want to TTC for #2 in the spring of '14. I want to have a break from breastfeeding from Forrest being 1 until the second baby is born. However, just thinking about it makes me sad for some reason.

    Despite my struggles with breastfeeding in those past 6 months, I do cherish my relationship with Forrest, and I love those quiet moments with him. I love seeing him grow fat from what I give to him. I love knowing that he's safe, for most part, from all icky germs out there.

    To just stop doing that with him means he's a big boy, and no longer needs me on that level anymore makes me sad.

    So I don't think your feelings are strange at all!

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  2. I'm going to self wean Grant, and let him decide when he wants to wean off. I completely understand where you are coming from and you're not ridiculous! I have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. Some days it annoys me other days I would be sad at the thought of stopping it. I think now that I'm not pumping at work anymore, I don't mind breastfeeding Grant during the night and morning as much. I will be sad when Grant decides to quit breastfeeding to. It will feel weird when he doesn't want to do it anymore.

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  3. I can completely relate, and am even a little envious that you have been able to continue on long enough to develop such concerns (but please don't get me wrong- also totally, madly happy for you at the same time). My breastfeeding relationship was cut shorter than I intended with both of my current babies, due to pregnancy. I could not keep up my production for either of them once I fell pregnant with their sibling/sibling-to-be. I would love nothing more than to go for a year or longer with my third baby (who is due in the next month), and can totally see myself having the same conflicting emotions that you are now if I am finally given the gift of deciding when to help my child wean. I hope that you find peace with whatever you decide, and that it ends up being much easier than you fear it will be.

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  4. I beyond relate to this post. My baby turned 1 year old on Feb 28th and we have been breastfeeding since she was 6 weeks old. Now that she is 1, I am getting pressure from family and friends to wean her. While I miss having my body, I LOVE the special bonding time we share especially now that she's walking and constantly on the move. And like you, I have the nagging insecurity that she won't love me as much once we're done nursing. I know it's crazy. I also love the convenience of nursing. We recently both got the flu and it was awesome to be able to lay with my baby and have her get her nutrients from me as we both nap and recuperate. While I know we'll have to start weaning soon, I'm going to cherish our special bond for right now. Good luck to you and Presley!

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