Thursday, August 4, 2011

she's weaned- reflecting on breastfeeding

Pablo Picasso Motherhood
disclaimer: this is a the first in a series of posts about breastfeeding, specifically, my own story of breastfeeding.  I believe that men need to be informed and supportive of this subject . . . however if you happen to be my dad, or one of my brothers . . . look- there is something really funny on YouTube.

disclaimer #2: there is a deeper story here, one that tells the story of all women . . . I happened to discover it through breastfeeding, something that has been significant and meaningful for me, but it doesn't make me a better mother or more of a woman than any woman who has never breastfed or never had children.


She sleeps.  We sleep.  I can't believe it.  Finally, Josie has been sleeping so well.  Ever since she was weaned while I was gone, Josie has been sleeping better.

It was the thing I worried most about being away for a few days- Josie weaning.  I hadn't actually managed to do it, she still needed me to nurse at night, and I kept telling myself that I would wean her but then I just never did.  She is sixteen months.  I nursed the other two for one year, and I'd considered long-term nursing Josie, to nurse her long enough so that I could ask her why she likes it and she would tell me because it tastes like butter or rainbows or snickers chimichangas.  But then there was the possibility of this trip and I decided that she was ready, I was ready . . . the night before I almost decided to take her with me, but this time, my friends trumped my mommy guilt.  Josie would be fine.

I was leaving them in the best possible hands, and her to the only person on this earth who could possibly manage to wean my baby: my dad.

All of our girls when they were babies, and probably still, loved my dad more than us.  My dad is the baby whisperer.  He speaks their language.  He makes them laugh.  When they are with him he makes sure they never touch the ground.  Babies learn early that they only have to point and my dad will take them wherever they want to go.  When they are with him they forget all about me or mama's magical milk.

Eventually as they get older they learn that Nana is the one with cookies and ice cream, the one who will paint their nails and be their advocate, who makes everything a party.  The newest grandchild now assumes her rightful position on Papa's lap, and the others run off to sip Nana's latte or convince her to let them paint the house purple.

So just before I left for Colorado I nursed Josie for the last time, and I thought I would be sad and I suppose I was a little, but mostly I was just happy for the time that we've had and looking forward to the next season of life.

. . . now it has been two weeks and I am feeling a little deflated (ahem) and sentimental and reflecting on breastfeeding and what it has been for me . .. Part Two coming tomorrow.


Brandee Shafer said...

I am excited to read all the parts of this story! Like you, I don't think my breastfeeding makes me a better mother than anyone who hasn't breastfed. I do, however, think it's made me the best mommy I could PERSONALLY be, and it's one of my very proudest accomplishments, and I get all sentimental and weepy even in typing out this comment. My baby is 11 months. I plan to wean her at 14, just as I did both her brother and sister. BUT...I'm not trying to hijack your story, just super excited to read the rest of what you're going to say!

camilla said...

Looking forward to part 2.