For our WBW blog carnival on “Perspectives: Breastfeeding From Every Angle” we are pleased to host guest posts from various contributors. Today we are honored to share a beautiful poem from Alex and her memories looking back at her child-led weaning experience when her daughter was 3.5 years old.
Don’t Want to Forget
I don’t ever want to forget
That she called them Waa, and then MommaWaa, and then Yummies, and finally they were her Yums.
That she named them Jack and Jill, and she loved them.
That when I laid her down, the imprint of her ear would be pressed into my arm just below my elbow and I always wanted to be brave enough to get it tattooed there.
I don’t ever want to forget
Her sleep eating.
How angry I felt sometimes, and how I had to learn to listen to what both our bodies needed.
How I thought it would never end, and then it did.
A Child-led Weaning
It’s been happening slowly and organically, just the way I had always hoped. Less and less often with occasional bouts of tornado like nursing, reassuring herself, I think, that all was still good in her world.
The day before yesterday I thought it might be coming to an end, this amazing relationship, and I soaked up the warmth of her – the weight in my arms, her ear pressed into the bend of my elbow. The stillness that only belongs to that moment. Then today, when she nursed (due to the natural rules of demand based supply) there was nothing. And miracle beyond all miracles, she was ok!
I told her that her yummies say she is big enough now, she doesn’t need their milk anymore. And so she stood up to check how big she was and then asked if she could hug them outside their bra. Her smile was so happy and full that I had to take pictures. And so we were done.
We baked a cake last night, and Daddy grilled steaks. We put every candle we had on the cake, and we blew them out together, the three of us. It was a group effort all round, this breastfeeding thing.
I do feel as though I have lost one of my tools. What about her runny nose? What do I do next time she has the flu? Dehydration? I’ve never had to worry about that!
And I feel proud! Proud of her and me and us. I was scared from the get go that breastfeeding wouldn’t work for me. My body lets me down sometimes, and I feel like I don’t stick with things that are hard. But I did it, and it really is empowering. I feel as though I have birthed again. An end to one stage, one I cannot go back and revisit, but with it the sure knowledge that I have done a good thing and she is full.
Baby Belle Girl, I wish that all your transitions could be this good. That I could know that you have had your fill, are completely satisfied and are ready to go. I hope I can always let go and know that now I’ve done what I needed to do. Mama’s so proud of you.