As I write this article, my 2-year-old daughter is already on her first week of her life’s journey without my milk. Weaning her seemed a daunting task but I finally did it, with the help of my husband of course. Here, I share this life changing experience with moms who are in similar situation like mine.
How It Started?
I already stopped breastfeeding her at night, a month ago. I started sleeping in a separate room while my little one slept with her dad and her elder sister. The first three days were very difficult as she cried continuously and I felt like leaving everything and rushing to her. I felt guilty for our decision to wean her but then it was for her good as her tooth started decaying. Then, from the fourth day, we started telling her various stories about tigers and lions during dinnertime. She came to know of a naughty tiger who need to be stopped from coming to our house by me (her mum) and for which I must go to the jungle at night! Somehow, she believed that story and her crying gradually decreased. We never expected this but it occurred – for the first time in her life she slept without her mom and her feed. Though she woke up several times but her demand for breast milk slowly stopped at night. I guess her innocent mind understood the importance of mom going out to meet the tiger! Phew!
I was torn between several emotions all playing together – I missed sleeping with her, to see her smile when she is in deep sleep, to cuddle her, to kiss her tiny hands, to breastfeed her. I terribly missed that special mother-daughter attachment that developed during the breastfeeding time. While my heart said to start feeding her again so that I can lie beside her, my brain said it is about time I wean her for good. I chose to listen to my brain with a heavy heart!
Time flew away and already a month went by. Though she stopped taking milk at night, she was hooked on breastfeeding all through the morning. I realised that the frequency increased too as though she wants to finish all the milk as she will not get at night. Then, I knew that it is about time to wean her completely. We planned to start doing that from the extended weekend that is approaching soon.
The Extended Weekend
It was 23rd May, Saturday. My day started with feeding her early morning and doing the usual chores. Little did I realise that was the last feed till today. When she demanded milk, I just declined. I told her that I have pain. She had a concerned look but her eyes said that she does not want to believe it. As lockdown is going on and I cannot go anywhere, I knew I must face her like this only. Honestly, I didn’t have to lie for long as I started experiencing engorgement soon after. Slowly, she understood that her mom is in real pain and she kissed me many times to release my pain. Her eyes wanted an assurance from me and I think she got it. She didn’t ask for milk anymore. I was happy and sad at the same time.
I always hated to lie to her and I am glad that it is over now.
The Feeling of Emptiness
It is one week now, and she is weaned completely. While it’s true that my partner helped me in the weaning journey, yet, I must say that there are certain feelings that I am going through alone as a mother. These are things that nobody can prepare you beforehand given their subjective nature.
An empty feeling has engulfed me now and I am trying hard to deal with it. I am feeling like the mother kangaroo whose pouch is fully empty and has nothing to give anymore.
I am also dealing with engorgement and I know it is here to stay for some days.
A New Beginning
While my baby is weaned now, she is ready to go solo on her myriad experiences of life. Every day, I am learning and unlearning so many things with her. A new beginning has just begun…
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