This past week was World Breastfeeding Week. I'm not really sure what that means, because if you're breastfeeding you can't exactly feed MORE during a specific week, and if you're not breastfeeding, you can't exactly start from nothing... it's not like a week devoted to yoga, where you could reasonably increase or begin your yoga activity. But I digress.
Given all the struggles I had feeding the little man, it's somewhat appropriate that I started weaning the little miss during a week that has been devoted to breastfeeding. She's nine and a half months old now and I am pretty happy that we've made it this far.
When I was pregnant with her I told myself that I would give feeding a try but wouldn't beat myself up if it didn't work. I had such a painful time last time that I wasn't going to go through that again. Well, the little champion started feeding while I was still in the labour bed at the hospital, and she hasn't really stopped since. I visited with a lactaction consultant once early on to make sure we were on the right track, but we haven't had any issues. I said I would go six months, then eight...now we're closing in on ten. It's become so routine and easy that recently while Mr. Awesome drove down the highway I climbed into the back seat of our van and fed her while we were both buckled in to our seats. Thank god for the sun shade that provided some privacy otherwise the drivers in the other lane might have had an eyeful. I don't want to be responsible for a multi-car pile-up, that's just not good road etiquette.
Although feeding has worked out so well, the time has come to wean her. It's the right time for many reasons, some practical and some emotional, and I'm happy with the decision.
It's going pretty well so far. She's eating a lot of solids, she takes a bottle, and we're down to early morning and late evening feedings only. The one thing I didn't expect to encounter during this process was being the only one doing it. With the little man Mr. Awesome took on half the feedings, sharing midnight wake-ups with me and everything. He was fantastic, never complaining, just jumping in as a full partner. This time around, not so much. He's gotten pretty used to me just grabbing her and feeding her wherever we are when she happens to need it. I think he'd be happy if breastfeeding went on forever, given how easy it is for HIM! He does give her the occasional bottle when I'm not home or if I've negotiated with him beforehand because I want to go to bed and I know she'll need one more feed around 11pm. Now that we're weaning I'm lucky that she will take a bottle from me without much complaint, otherwise there would be some Awesome battles underway.
We should be completely done within a couple of weeks. We're heading off on a kid-free trip to San Francisco early next month and the grandparents will be staying with the munchkins so that's kind of our deadline. That will also mean we're well and truly done when I return to work in October.
It's a bit bittersweet as I will miss the closeness and the simplicity of it all, but the little miss is a snuggle monkey anyway so I'll still get my cuddles. When the little man was born I never in a million years thought breastfeeding would be something I would miss.
It's amazing how two experiences and two children can be so very different. Does that mean she might not whine like he does?! Hey, I can dream...