When I first got pregnant with Jess, I knew that I'd breastfeed. Of course, I'd breastfeed. Are you kidding? Fix it so that my baby would have to be fed by me and only me? Absolutely... I mean, sure, there's all the health benefits, but after almost 29 years of loving little babies that weren't mine, not being the mommy but being the favorite sitter, the best aunt... but not the mommy - I wasn't going to miss out on a second of what I thought was the epitome of motherhood. Jess was a nursing champ from the beginning - no trouble latching on, and it was really, really easy. Don't get me wrong - it hurt like hell in the beginning, and she never took a bottle, so all my pumped breastmilk went to waste (I used it for cereal when she started on solids), but it was a great experience. And she weaned on her own, with no stress or trauma - just gradually dropped a feeding or two after she was on solids, until she was done. At eight months.
I was disappointed, I wanted to go the full first year, but really felt like I had to honor her choice. I wasn't going to coax her back or fight her on it, she was just done, and had done it so gradually that my milk dried up quickly once she was finished. She still loved her 'fier' (pacifier) and continued to use that until she was four or five (I really can't remember now when she gave it up for good).
When Sam was born, I was of course going to nurse. And this time, I really, really wanted to get the full first year in. Like Jess, he latched on immediately and was great from the beginning. Sam had colic - which is just horrible, crying and crying and crying for no real reason, and the only thing that helped was nursing. He was also diagnosed with reflux, and again, the only thing that made that easier for him was nursing. He derived so much comfort from breastfeeding, much more than Jess did. A year came and went, with no sign of him stopping. Like Jess, he never took a bottle, but transitioned to solids no problem. He just never transitioned off nursing. He LOVES it. Really. I've never seen a kid love to nurse as much as he does. He's got a personal relationship with my breasts, sees them as separate and distinct from me. And now he's two and a half, two and three quarters, really, and I'm so ready for it to be done.
There's a lot of pressure to wean. My family thinks I'm out of my mind crazy, spoiling him, keeping him a baby, etc. I think even Marc thinks I'm slightly insane. But it's been so easy, such a quick easy cure for anything - if he's sick, hurt, unhappy - he falls asleep so easily nursing. I don't regret nursing as long as I have - but I am ready for it to stop. I would like another baby at some point, and the thought of tandem nursing freaks me out. I think I'd lose my mind with two babies on me - or worse, one tiny baby and one big boy. I'm in no rush to get pregnant, but I do feel as though I'd like a little time off between nursing and being pregnant.
So my new plan (implemented yesterday) is nursing ONLY for sleep. And we've already fought about it, he wanted to nurse last night before stories, and I refused. Kept repeating "only for sleep time, you aren't going to sleep, no nursing" and again this morning. I nursed a little bit, before either of us were awake, but once I woke all the way up, I refused. And he cried, we fought about it for about five minutes, but he adjusted easier than I would have predicted. Nursing is only for sleep. He's getting closer to giving up that afternoon nap, he's pretty much dropped it on the weekends already, so soon I'll be down to just nursing before bed and once he wakes up. And once we move... he'll have his own bedroom, and I'm hopeful that he'll be sleeping in there all night, and we'll be able to drop the morning session as well - and then gradually eliminate the night one.