Avery Is Weaned - Personal Post
Well it happened. After 3.5 years of continuous nursing, I have officially weaned my second (and currently last) baby. It has been quite a journey. It’s has been a really beautiful journey. Thankfully, I never struggled with my milk supply and never really had anything worse than a plugged duct. I knew from before my children were born that my body was fully capable of providing fully for their needs and I trusted it fully to do so. She was splendid at it!
I love the memories I have though. I remember the first weeks of Annabelle’s life and just staring at her little fluffy perfect hands wrapped around my finger and thinking “wow. Just wow. You exist! You are part me, part Trace and just incredible!!!” And as afraid as I was of being pregnant and giving birth again with Avery, I can remember being excited to snuggle such a tiny person again. He still seems to see himself as an extension of me and wants to be with me more than anyone and it warms my heart. At night now as we lay down for sleep, instead of snuggling up to nurse, he turns his back to me and snuggles into my chest, right next to my heart as always and just wraps me around him, as if trying to replicate the womb again. I’m grateful to have my breasts to myself again but man, the imprint these children have left on me for our connection because of their use, it’s just amazing. I’m soaking up these moments to treasure because this season flew by and each day does too. I see them in this age but I miss them in this age now too because I know just how fast it all goes by.
Some things that have helped us in this transition:
Communication- I have been telling him that we were going to be done soon for several months now. Kids need repetition to really grasp a concept, especially with a change this big
Validation- Avery has had some big feelings about this change as it approached and when it officially took place. It is 100% understandable. I once knew what life was like without my boobs belonging to someone else, but he never had life where he didn’t own my boobs. We are deeply attached and he did not know if it would be ok to be without “nursies.”
Grace for both of us - I don’t necessarily expect that there won’t be anymore nursing sessions at all ever after the official “last session.” I “weaned” Annabelle like, 4 times before she really stopped nursing forever. I have been lactating and nursing for almost 4 years continuously now, even through a pregnancy, so I also have to have grace for myself in the feelings. At first, I felt like, “wow! I am really free!” and then it turned into, “I can’t believe he isn’t asking me to nurse anymore! Doesn’t my baby still need me?!” It’s a roller coaster.
Substitution - As I validate Avery’s big feelings about not nursing, I also offer alternatives. “Mommy can give you hugs and kisses and snuggles, but you have gotten too big for nursies now.” (side note: I don’t actually think 2 years old is “too big” to nurse, but I am done personally and emotionally and it makes him feel special to be “big enough” to move on) or, “I can give you water instead of nursies now and rock you while you fall asleep.” And this transitions to the last and most helpful thing in this transition-
SUPPORT! My husband is beyond words incredible. He is the most involved dad and partner, and I am so grateful for it. He is 100% an attached daddy so when Avery just can’t be with mommy without being super triggered about not nursing, daddy saves the day! I will say, “here buddy, get some snuggles with daddy, “ which may prompt a short series of wails, but he quickly calms down in the arms of someone he knows loves him so much, and falls asleep!
Hopefully those are some helpful ideas for you if you are coming close to weaning. In the meantime, please enjoy this beautiful series by the amazing Vanessa Mendez.