I'm a little sad. I'm in the process of weaning my youngest son. Sniff.
I've breastfed each of my children and soon I'll be saying good-bye to breastfeeding forever. We don't plan on having any more children. Joseph is our last baby.
My husband is excited about this. He's been urging me to wean Joseph for the last couple months now. He says the boy is more than old enough. I've been dragging my feet.
Yes. Part of me is excited to have all body parts back to myself. Part of me is excited about the idea of sleeping through the night (All my children continued to wake in the middle of the night until they were completely weaned.). After all, it's been 8 years since we were expecting our first child. And, I've either been pregnant or nursing for most of those years.
Yet, it's bittersweet. This will officially signal the end to 'the baby years'. I will miss those cherished, quiet moments that I can share with my child while nursing. And, (on a more vain note) if I'm no longer considered a nursing mother, maybe that means I'm no longer young.
Breastfeeding hasn't always been easy. As a matter of fact it's been downright difficult at times. I seemed to have recurrent issues with mastitis (I was fortunate with Joseph and only had it once while nursing him. With the rest of the boys, it occurred multiple times). There were times when I had terribly sore, cracked (and even bleeding) nipples.
For some people, that would have been good enough reason to stop. But, it was so important to me to nurse my children, I kept going. Call me crazy. But, that's what I decided to do. And, I don't regret it.
So, how long have I nursed each child?
Wyatt - 14 month
Edison - 10 months (I had the most difficulty nursing him. And, I still have some guilt about stopping as early as I did with him. But, I was also dealing with some postpartum depression after his birth and something had to give.)
Charlie - 16 months
Joseph - By the time we are finished weaning he will be 15 months.
We're winding down. This week is supposed to be the final stage of weaning. It's time to move into a new stage of parenting. Ready or not. Here we come.