I nursed Leni for the very last time on Monday. That might sound like a random day of the week to plan a life-changing event, but it was all very strategic. Jose and I were going to a concert and I wanted to make sure bedtime went smoothly for Jose’s mum (“Baba”), who was babysitting. I also wanted the babe to have plenty of time to adjust before her night alone with Baba at the end of the month. Even though I nursed her, Leni still woke up at 11pm and was ready to party when we got home (shows how much power we actually have over her sleep).
Anyway, the plan was to have Jose take over bedtime for a few nights, the same way he took over breakfast when I stopped the morning feed. It was a bit of a strange day. We were both a little knackered from the night out, Canada had just elected a new Prime Minister (it’s a big deal, you guys), we received some difficult financial news that was stressing us both out, and I was feeling all kinds of mixed emotions about weaning. By bedtime the house was filled with some seriously intense energy. Still, we decided to stay on course.
Leni cried and screamed after Jose put her down, as expected. I have been putting her to bed exclusively since she was born, barring a few nights here and there when she still took a bottle, so why wouldn’t she be upset? As I listened to her cries though, I had this really powerful feeling that I should go to her. When I picked her up, she didn’t even try to nurse (not that I was offering), she just sucked her fingers as I held her. She still cried when I put her down again, but she settled shortly after.
Thank goodness I followed my instincts to check on her. If I hadn’t, I may not have learned that she was also ready to stop breastfeeding. All along this process of weaning, my one hope has been to do it as gently as possible. I can honestly say I feel that I’ve achieved that. It’s a huge weight off. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, but once in a while I’d pick up on her subtle cues and let them guide me. Thanks peanut.
Last night I decided to put her to bed again, sans breastfeeding of course. I figured maybe it would help ease the transition for her and probably for me too. Either way, I didn’t want to force too much change all at once and this just felt right. And you know what? She didn’t even try to nurse and went straight to sleep when I put her in bed. Ditto, tonight. Even though it’s gone shockingly well, my stomach is still tied in knots, but I know we’ll both be ok.
There are many things I’ll miss about nursing and a few I won’t, but I realize now that we will continue to have quiet moments together that belong only to us. And that’s really all that matters.