The Woes of Weaning

This week is difficult for me and my son. He's not even 16 months, but now that I'm in the second trimester with the baby (for my son is now the big brother!), I believe it's time to give my body a break and look after one babe only. If I weren't pregnant, I would still continue to nurse. It's such an amazing connection with my son, I'm very triste this week as I try to wean him. Not only do I miss the connection and also physically want to express, but it scalds my heart when he asks to nurse and I have to refuse. I must admit I have caved a few times.

In truth, I thought that this would be easier. I had to go fly back to New York for business and I would be away for four days, which I naively thought would be his "weaning" period and easier on both of us. I would be distracted by work and catching up with close friends and he would be distracted by daddy (and daddy certainly put on a great show, with the boys having grand adventures whilst I was away). I had never been away from my son even one night before the trip and was a nervous wreck when I left. I nearly missed my flight because I spent too long cuddling with him in bed, not being able to bring myself to leave. However, it wasn't as tough as I feared. In fact, while I missed my son (and my hubby), I had a blast seeing my friends and enjoyed not being woken up at night. It was rejuvenating to wake up after seven straight hours of sleep. On my last work day, I had a meeting in the day that was cancelled and even had time to go to the MOMA (the last time I was at an art gallery, was funnily enough, on another Friday at the MOMA - the Friday before I gave birth to my son, ha) and even walk through snow dappled central park (where on admiring a gaggle I saw a portly member of a plague run past) - and it felt so good, I felt terrible. I called my husband and confessed I was terrible mother who didn't have the urge to cut my trip early and run to my son.

I also expected my son to fare worse, to constantly be crying for me. My fear was not realized. I was relieved that he seemed very happy. On the one hand, this made my trip easier, because I knew he was doing great and it eased my fears of abandonment. On the other, I wondered whether I was not being a good mother because he seemed to not miss me as much as he should. Oh, the paranoia of motherhood!

As soon as I arrived home, after he was already in bed, I hoped I would accidentally knock something over, wake him and have to go into this room- I couldn't wait to see him the next morning. I knew he would be happy to see me, but I was not expecting that he would want to nurse, as I thought that he would have weaned the four days I was away. I crumbled.

I've been trying to stay strong this week and divert his attention when he wants to nurse, but it's a very difficult and emotionally taxing process. Soon I'll start all over again with baby 2...


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