Update on Weaning
It’s been about a month since I weaned Léon. It really is all too true when they say it’s “bittersweet” when it comes to weaning. I personally miss the quiet moments I would get alone with him. Sometimes, nursing him was the only way to calm him down. I really did feel a special connection with him during those times. He would gaze up at me with his eyes wide open.. He was probably feeling secure in those moments and he would often giggle while nursing.. It was so endearing.
It’s unfortunate that his father won’t be able to experience or feel that same connection I felt during those times but I’m sure since they’re both the same species, they’ll connect another way.. someday soon.
My breastfeeding journey wasn’t an easy one. Some people would probably look at me and think, “you look like you had an easy time breast feeding!” And the same with pregnancy- people often looked at me and said, “You look like you’re enjoying your pregnancy!” or “You make it look effortless.” And I will take that as a compliment! But no, none of it was “easy”. Especially breastfeeding..
The first week, I didn’t lactate at all. Nothing. The doctors told me it was because I had a fever during my delivery (which indicates an infection) and my body was taking time to heal before it could produce milk. It was a stressful time and I was feeling ashamed, useless and completely blaming myself for not being able to provide for my baby.
You really can’t help but to blame yourself during those times. And well, it’s cause of my hormones. And when I say, my hormones were fucking bonkers.. That’s an understatement. You really don’t understand till you go through it and make it out. And wow, I made it out! I look back at my journey so far and it definitely has been eye opening.
This entire time, I didn’t know that I personally was suffering from postpartum depression. I didn’t think postpartum depression could happen to me and I didn’t know it could go on for THIS long. (14 months after giving birth?) Like, damn.
Now that I completely stopped breastfeeding, I’m finally feeling like myself again. Which, I didn’t know if I could ever feel that way again. Because honestly, it was such a forgotten part of me. I haven’t been or seen her since I’ve gotten pregnant. (Oh hey long time no see, old Alice from 2017???) I no longer get triggered easily from past traumas that I worked really hard for years to put behind me, my anxiety level is MUCH lower and I’m more willing to go outside alone with Léon. I’m overall just happier.
Not sure how I can say this without sounding selfish.. But I wish I stopped breastfeeding earlier. (Like, 4 months ago at least?) I wish I stopped when my mother told me I should start considering it. But I’m hardheaded and I always have to learn the hard way, I guess.
And maybe you’re here today because you too, have been in a similar situation as I. Or maybe you’re looking for tips how to wean- all I did was, cold turkey it. I thought about gradually weaning him off by just nursing him strictly at night only.. But I realized real quick that Léon is smart and he would form a habit of wanting to nurse every night till my nipples fell off.
Some might even say, “Why? How could I deprive him of nursing? Something that could comfort him??”
Well, you know that saying, “you can’t pour out of an empty cup”? I think that’s what it was.. Something inside of me, changed. I literally woke up one morning and I was like, “ENOUGH.” And that’s all it took.
I was looking forward to celebrating weaning, yet dreading the process of weaning.. But it was over before I knew it. I miss those quiet moments but also, I’m glad that it’s over.
For mamas and papas, that’s going through the same thing- Stay strong. You’re not alone.