The Baby Weaning Blues

Today I am sad and have only one thing on my mind.  It has nothing to do with running.  I hope other Mommy’s can help, or maybe feel better if they’ve felt the same way.

Braxton is weaned.

This should be said with enthusiasm and a giant yelp of “I AM FREE!!”

But it is not.  I am oddly very sad and weepy.  I’ll even miss that damn breast pump.

As of two days, b is not nursing at all.  I knew I had to do it sometime, so I just said, OK tonight I will put him to bed without it.  So I did.  To my alarm, he’s fine- he can infact survive without me.  Mommy is not so fine to discover this.

Brian and I were playing Rummikub last night and my brain wasn’t even there.  I longed for my boy (who was fast asleep without any milk aid from his Mama).  Wahhhh!  (I still won two games, though.  Just putting that out there).  Brian was trying to comfort my sadness, but how can he possibly understand it?  It’s a Mommy thing.

I pulled Brax from his crib and let him sleep on my chest for a while and listened to him breathe- because I needed to for some reason.

I am a very fast paced person- one of many character flaws is that I rarely let myself relax.  But I always dropped everything to nurse my baby.  Even the second I walked in the door for a run, I would sit down sweaty and panting if he needed me.  It was our time.  It was incredibly intimate and special.

My fear is that I am going to fill this special time with another load of laundry or a trip to the grocery store.  Life is going to fill in, whereas before, it stopped for those few precious moments.

The love for your child is something you truly cannot understand until you have it.  It’s made me understand my Mom so much more.  It’s something I can physically feel in my heart.  I can feel pain when he does, and I feel his sadness when he wants to nurse and I distract him with something else.

Brax literally sustained his first year of life from something I produced.  That’s huge; it’s amazing to me that I did that.  To have that gone is like a rug being pulled out- and I never felt prepared.  I didn’t knowingly cherish our last nursing session- I just decided it was time.

He doesn’t need me in that way anymore.  I can give him my shoulder, but so can anyone else.  They can also give him a sippy cup of milk.  I offered a comfort no one else could give him.

I know I’m being pretty dramatic about this; it’s affecting me deeper than I thought, but I can’t help it dammit!  For some reason, I am taking weaning like my child is moving away to freaking France without me!  Oy.

I googled this issue (obviously), and I found a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo about levels of this and that being gone so the Mom is depressed after weaning.  No.  That is not it.  It’s that I feel like my baby is growing up and that’s hard.  (Ok, it’s probably hormones, too).

I know Brax is going to need me for a long, long time- but not literally physically anymore.  He looked at that time as his comfort in this world, and I could see it in his eyes every time.  God, I am going to miss those eyes and that look.

I need to remember to stop what I am doing still, to offer him my complete attention.  I’ll build a kick ass Lego castle in place of nursing.  I will still be special in a way to him that no one else can be.  Afterall, I can build a mean Lego castle.

I don’t know how I am going to deal with Kindergarten, college, girlfriends- if I can’t deal with weaning.  Hello, girls- Warning you NOW- CRAZY Mother-in-Law over here!

I found this little blurb about it on the old ‘Net and it made me feel less batty.

“I snap at my husband when he tries to use a certain coffee cup. I grit my teeth at my kids when I hear them fighting with each other. I look at my baby drinking whole milk out of a sippy cup and I burst into tears. It is 6:40 a.m. on a Monday and it has been two days since I quit breastfeeding.

It was days away from my son’s first birthday and I began to wean him. I took plenty of time and started by just dropping one feeding a day. About three or four days later, I dropped another one. The transition was very smooth. It was easier to stop breastfeeding my son than I thought it would be. I wasn’t expecting that it would be worse for me than him.

It was sometime around when I started dropping feedings that I felt different. I was sad and I didn’t know why. I was irritable and seemed to have less patience than usual. I finally admitted to a close friend how I was feeling.

She told me that I was not alone and she had also experienced sadness shortly after her baby’s first birthday. After talking to her doctor, she found out that it was common for women to experience some depression after weaning due to a shift in hormone levels.

It feels like the worst PMS that I have ever experienced. Emotionally, I feel like I did right around the time when I became pregnant. As I researched this topic, I found that it was more common than I knew. Every entry, blog or question on this topic sounded just like what I was experiencing. It is helpful to know that I am not alone.

If you recently quit breastfeeding and seem to be experiencing feelings like this, TALK ABOUT IT. Remember to take care of yourself as well as your children.”

This a definitely a little more personal than I usually get, but it’s what I’m going through as part of this training.  I think now, on top friends and family, I will reach out to running to help me through this feeling I’m feeling.  See, it all ties in somewhere. 

Besides, running with b is pretty damn special, too.  I love you so much it’s nuts Braxy.  Onto our next chapter in life… Love, Your Sad and Crazy Mama.

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