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Our Birthday Weaning

Karen Urick
Lee's Summit MO USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 25 No. 4, 2008, pp. 25-26

Today is my 37th birthday and what a gift I got -- my son's last precious nursing! My son, Miles, and I decided weeks ago to say goodbye to mommy milk once he had his fourth birthday party. His birthday was five days ago.

Miles woke up super early today with a frown on his face. "Mommy, I don't want the milk to go away," he said with tears. Boy, did my heart break. The idea of complete weaning had been making him (and me) anxious for a few days now. He nursed for 45 minutes and I didn't watch TV or read, nor did I let my thoughts wander as I usually did. I wanted to keep that moment of time in my memory forever.

Mornings were really his favorite nursing times. We have been nursing only in the mornings for the past few weeks to help cut back. Later today is his birthday party so it really seems like he is four now. My husband and I have been telling Miles over and over again that we are so proud of him and that he will be able to do many things now that he is four.

I know Miles would have continued nursing longer if I hadn't gently pushed weaning. I have been a breastfeeding mother for years now and I am so proud of myself and of my body's ability to have nourished and nurtured both our sons this way. I hope this adjustment goes well for my body and my emotions. Mostly I hope that Miles isn't sad that we aren't nursing any more.

I hear many weaning stories and they are all different. Diane Bengson's book, How Weaning Happens, published by LLLI, was extremely helpful to me during this transition and I felt our strategy was the best for us. I am sad that this part of my life is over, that I will not have more children, and that these wonderful years have flown by. I am also extremely grateful to have found La League League, where I have learned to follow my instincts, and to my husband, who is my partner in this parenting journey.

I read once that most mothers would nurse their babies for years if only our culture and other people would not tell them it's unnatural to continue into and beyond toddlerhood. I completely agree with this. I am so glad that I listened to what my sons were telling me and not to what others were telling me, and that I followed their cues. Nursing has been one of the most simple and special times of motherhood for me, even though I never dreamed I would nurse for this long.

Miles, I love you so much! Even though we aren't nursing any more, I will still be your mommy and we can still cuddle any time!

I want to say thank you to LLL members and New Beginnings readers for all you have done to support me and other mothers over the years with your stories, your examples, and your understanding of this remarkable breastfeeding relationship. On to our next adventure!

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