Monday, July 24, 2006

Wean Me Gently

Well, I wasn't sure I'd ever see the day. But here I am. Nursing NO ONE. No little people are currently nursing!

I nursed my oldest daughter (my third child) for 4.5 years. This included nursing through my fourth pregnancy and tandem nursing for a while. I then nursed my fourth child through my fifth pregnancy and tandem nursed for a while after. I then nursed my fifth child through my sixth pregnancy and tandem nursed for a while. Then I was down to one nursling. Now I have none.

This little peanut was 3 last November. The longest space between babies for me. A clue that I was pregnant should have been the painful nursing and irritation when she nursed. It's a little sad, a little relief, a little sweet. We had a weaning party. She had cupcakes and got a "My Pretty Pony" toy for becoming a big girl. She still asks once in a while, but I remind her that she had her weaning party. Tonight at dinner, she crawled in my lap and asked to nurse. I said, "You had your weaning party, remember?" She said, "When my party started I said 'no'" What a silly girl. It will be strange having my breasts be non-functional for the next 7.5 months.

One of my favorite poems when I was a La Leche League Leader was this:
Wean Me Gently
by Cathy Cardall

I know I look so big to you,
Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.
But no matter how big we get,
We still have needs that are important to us.
I know that our relationship is growing and changing,
But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness,
Especially at the end of the day
When we snuggle up in bed.
Please don't get too busy for us to nurse.
I know you think I can be patient,
Or find something to take the place of a nursing;
A book, a glass of something,
But nothing can take your place when I need you.
Sometimes just cuddling with you,
Having you near me is enough.
I guess I am growing and becoming independent,
But please be there.
This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,
Please don't break it abruptly.
Wean me gently,
Because I am your mother,
And my heart is tender.

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