It actually happened… After two years and twenty-five days of letting my little girl drift to sleep while happily nursing, last night she went to sleep without.
It almost broke my heart, but I had no choice. My body decided for me. I have absolutely no milk left.
For the last couple months my body has been warning me… slowly making less and less milk available for my once-little baby. But I’m pretty sure now it’s been over a week when there hasn’t been even a drop. Yet Julia has still clung to me at nap and bedtime, and soothed herself into dreamland with memories of her favorite drink.
But it couldn’t go on like that… I was dried up and very sore. And so we pushed through our final step of weaning.
I’ve been explaining to her for the last week that mommy’s milk is all gone now because Julia is a big two year-old and doesn’t need mommy’s milk anymore, but she still insisted on ‘nursey’.
So I took the advice of a friend. I put bandaids on and showed Julia, explaining that mommy has ‘owies’ and Julia can’t nurse anymore. I told her again that the milk is all gone because she’s a big girl now and doesn’t need it.
And guess what? It worked!
It’s amazing the power of a bandaid to a child. I had told Julia many times over the last couple weeks that mommy had ‘owies’ and she couldn’t ‘nursey’ anymore, but she just pushed past and latched on. But when she saw those bandaids, it was clear – Mommy has ‘owies’ and Julia can’t ‘nursey’.
But even though she understood, it didn’t make it easy. She cried and I had to sing, rub her back, tell her stories and finally resort to a little TV to finally get her to sleep. And then she woke in the night and again we had to work hard to get back to sleep without nursing.
But we succeeded and she went to sleep without nursing. And then again today naptime was rough… it involved a lot of back rubs and eventually a little rocking… but my little girl had her nap without nursing.
I expect tonight and then next several nights will still be difficult, but we’re on our way.
If I weren’t 20 weeks pregnant, I think weaning Julia would break my heart. But it’s amazing how a swollen belly and sore breasts that no longer make milk can change things.
I still can’t imagine that Julia won’t always be my one and only precious little baby, but my body seems to be moving forward anyway.