And yet here I sit, with a 12.5 month old who still happily nurses 3-4 times a day, debating whether or not it is time to coax her to wean.
man, my girls and their baby blues
For the must part, Elsie and I have had a very easy nursing relationship. I have never had to supplement with formula, and she has gotten maybe a dozen bottles over the past year. I despised pumping and cleaning bottles and parts and crap so I pretty much always made sure that that I was around to nurse her. Of course that caused me to miss out on a heck of a lot of free time and date nights, but I don't look back on the past year with regret for any of that. But it was the most difficult part of our nursing relationship. Me feeling so chained to her.
So one would think I'd be jumping at the highly accepted 'appropriate time' to essentially cute her off, right? But I'm not. Why, I'm not 100% sure, but I didn't even attempt to drop a feeding until after her first birthday. As of yesterday I've cut the sessions that I offer to three, when she wakes, before nap and before bed. They are the most productive ones and the least annoying to do, sort of anyway. I've offered whole milk a handful of times, cold and warm (just in a sippy since she never drank out of bottles anyway) and every time she hurls the cup across the room and gives me a disgusted look. I know that it will just take time for her to warm up to it, but I don't see it happening any time soon.
I'm antsy for the freedom that weaning would bring me. I look forward to wearing real bras and not tailoring my clothing choices around nursing. I want to wake up in the morning and go for a run when I want, without having to worry about pumping or waiting for E to wake up. But are those reasons to force her to stop? Not that I'd cut her off cold turkey, it would definitely be a gradual approach, but should I play a part in it? Or completely follow her lead?
It isn't like I have any time away from the girls planned (though that would be nice! love you girls, but this mama has only been away for a night once in the last FOUR YEARS). I'm not hoping to be pregnant in the immediate future. Nursing isn't really hindering my life that much. I know the milk is still benefitting Elsie, especially since she has no interest in cows milk just yet. Plus there have been a few times that I thank God that I am nursing Elsie, such as when she completely breaks down at the doctor and nothing but boobs will console her. And it is no doubt the easiest way to get her to sleep.
But... it could be nice to be done. And it sure would be nice to take a few less heel kicks to the jaw throughout the day. Nursing seems to be somewhat of a contact sport in E's eyes. So what to do, what to do.
Elsie hasn't seemed to care too much about the nursing sessions I dropped. Both of which I replaced with snack, because they were when Ry was eating a snack and Elsie would rather eat food than nurse anyway. But she has become noticeably more clingy to me. Occasionally acting like she wanted to nurse, but never truly upset, just wanting to be attached to me somehow.
I suppose the best answer is to just keep at it for now, since I seem to be unsure about stopping. But I'd love to hear how you other mamas have approached the situation.