Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The end of a beautiful experience?

I have finally started to wean my daughter. For the last couple of nights, possibly the first of such nights since she was born, my daughter has gone to sleep without nursing. It's a bittersweet feeling. It's been 25 and a half months now and our nursing experience has had it's own highs and lows. At times, it's made me feel incapable, furious, frustrated, peaceful, relaxed and so contented.

When she was born, I was very worried. I did not trust that my body would be able to sustain her and feared that it would let me down yet again. So my first target was to nurse for at least a month. Then we slowly revised this - I nursed her through 1 month, through six weeks, through 3 months and so on until today. I was so anxious that I would have to stop when I went back to work. But with the help of the Medela pump that i bought and a very understanding husband (who ferried me back and forth to home and work for lunch until she was around 8-9 months old, we sustained. It also helped that she had always been a great nursling - she was perfect with her latch right from the beginning and she was always very enthusiastic to feed. My mom was another source of huge support, she patiently listened to all that i said regarding bottle feeding my baby.. the numerous instructions I had on giving her only solids when I was away and avoiding formula. The silent support and non-criticism she offered when I was unable to express sufficient milk for a feed for my daughter and was still unwilling to give her formula...

My daughter starting talking really early and this slowly became a slight embarassment for me with respect to feeding. She would tell me clearly, let's go to the room, I want 'amma te paal'! Then I convinced her that this should be a secret between us and she started pointing to the room and speaking in a hushed whisper (stage whisper though!), saying 'Ragasiyam, yaar kitayum solla kudadhu, come, let's go!'.

The last couple of nights have been tough, especially so yesterday because she asked me why I wouldn't feed her. She kept telling me that the milk tasted very nice and she liked feeding and asked me why I wouldn't feed her. We managed to get through with a lot of cuddling and distraction and I hope that it's going to work. But at the same time, it makes me a little sad.


Lakshmi said...

well.. you don't have to feel frustrated or angry or embarassed for anything here. Whatever we do for our kids, we'll never be contented.
There have been hours, days, months, I've cried to myself that I wasn't able to feed my lil' one. Such an incapable mom, I couldn't give my daughter what she wanted most !
Itz ok now.. I try to give her whatever else I can and she is healthy and she adores me :) That is what we want isn't it !!!

muse said...

@Lakshmi: Yeah, i wonder why we are like that. We can never be contented about what we do, no matter what!