12 November 2007

time for weaning

i've been wanting to write about weaning cosmo, but i also wanted to wait until i was out of the hormonal chaos that followed. i just looked back on a couple of journal entries i wrote in the midst of it, and decided that might be the best way to tell the story.

sept. 30 2007
sunday

it seems at though the time for weaning cosmo has arrived. i am having a lot of trouble letting go. i just don’t want to cross that bridge. it is so sad for me…sad in a way that i can’t quite articulate. it is not rational. i know he’s growing up, i know that the nursing relationship changed a long time ago, and i feel now that what little remains is holding him back. it is confusing and upsetting and unnecessary. the only reason we are still doing it is because of my fear of letting go. just now, when i thought of not nursing him for his nap tomorrow, i felt so sad, that today was our last nursing. i wanted to find another time to nurse him before that, so that could be our last time. i may do that, just to have one last time of looking into his eyes from that vantage point. a farewell. the end of an era. these kinds of transitions are always hard on me. i’ll get through it, but i need to honor my feelings, and spend some time reflecting.

later…

well i just spoke with christa about it. i called her. she was wonderful and perfect. i told her the story of when i stopped nursing cosmo at night. how he hugged me so tight for so long and we cried and laughed and he seemed to know what it meant. she suggested that i find some way to mark, and celebrate this moment. so, i was thinking that since i want to have one last farewell nursing, we could make it be something special and unusual. that way he won’t be confused, think we are going back to night nursing or something. maybe we could go out to lake griffy and take a walk in the woods, and i could just stop and sit down with him and nurse. i know i would love that, and i bet he would too. it would also probably be brief, since he’d be interested in other things.

oct.7, 2007
sunday

we went out to lake griffy that afternoon. after throwing rocks into the lake for a while, we headed into the woods, on one of the trails going up. when we got to the top of the hill, carl and i scouted for a nice place to sit. i chose a big tree to lean against. i sat down and invited cosmo over to nurse. he was surprised and enthusiastic. i held him across my lap and he had one eye looking up into my face. i remembered all those days and nights in the great green chair, when we were both new to all of this, and how overwhelmed i was with love for him. like nothing i’d ever known. this beautiful baby and me-- learning to trust each other, building this bond. the stillness…

i started crying--really all out bawling. carl was next to us, he was tearing up too. cosmo looked up into my face, i smiled at him, he smiled at me and then he reached up and touched my tears with his finger. he paused from nursing for a moment, and put his finger in his mouth, tasting my tears. then he giggled a little and latched back on. i laughed too, and cried a bunch more.

we were there under the tree for a good 20 minutes or so, then i got him interested in something else, and we easily transitioned out of our final nursing time together. i was so happy that we took the time to do this. i really needed it. i continued to be weepy about it all week, but cosmo seemed to be ok. he asked a few times, still asks occasionally, and i remind him of the time we took a walk in the woods, and nursed and i cried and he tasted my tears, and there were flickering leaves in the trees overhead that we both marveled at. he remembers, and he reenacts the scene. he does the sign for crying and says mama. he makes the sign for nursing and tears and then he puts his finger in his mouth to lick off the tears. it is so unbelievably sweet i wanna cry every time i think of it. he will sometimes just tell the story, spontaneously, other times, if he asks to nurse, i just say, “no, remember? we don’t do that anymore. remember our last time, in the woods?” and he’ll finish the story.

we hug a lot more now. i like that.
this picture was taken that day at the lake.

one of the most amazing changes since weaning has been how well cosmo sleeps, and how he falls asleep. he now falls asleep all on his own, in his own room, with the lights out, and the door closed. after his bath, we read stories and then he turns out his lights. he lays down and often says "night night mama." i kiss him goodnight and leave the room. we found that closing the door helps make it dark enough that he won't be distracted (it was actually his idea). at first he would walk up to the door and call for me a couple of times, i'd reassure him through the door, then he'd go lie back down. but after a week or so of that, he now just stays in bed and falls asleep. incredible. he has also slept for 12 solid hours for the past 2 nights, but i don't expect a trend like that to last.

6 comments:

Christa M. Forster said...

Dear, Dear, Cake. What you have written about, how you have written about it mends a huge hole that was unraveling in my heart, with the premonition of my own last nursing. Thank you, thank you for transcribing your journal here. I love you!

cake said...

full circle

ning said...

What a wonderful sad story. We are nowhere close to completely weaning although Carla has slowed down considerably. If she had her way though this would not be happening. When out time comes I will remember your story.

erin said...

this is absolutely my favorite nursing-related story ever. Emile is so little, and we are so far from weaning, but here I am still bawling over this gorgeous entry.

On an unrelated note, we've been playing a lot of Bjork in the car lately, and Idris told us that he thought the music was being sung by "The Princess of Love and Death." This perfect title blew my mind, and I thought you would appreciate it!

bethany said...

i cried. we dont even know each other and i cried. i nursed my son until he stopped at 14 months when i was pregnant again. he didnt want to stop then, but my body said it was time.

but its so true! you get many more hugs! sometimes i hold my baby boy (now 2.5y) on my lap for a big cuddle and tell him how mama is getting all she can now, because one day he'll be too big to fit on my lap!

thanks for your sweet sweet words.

ps.(i came here via cat power's blog, you posted a comment a long time ago, and ive been checking in on y'all once in a while since then.)

Anonymous said...

In looking for info on recycling a leaf blower I came across your blog about weaning.....a huge non-sequiteur, but a huge gift. I am in the process of contemplating weaning my last baby, my 2 1/2 year old, and didn't realize my own ambivalence about weaning until reading your blog. I realized this past Christmas eve will be my last nursing a baby, something I have done for the past 6 years! So thank you so much for sharing your story; what a beautiful way to pay tribute to what was as well as a practical method for moving forward and making this change recallable for a very young child.