Our weaning journey is coming along smoothly with Mr 5. He has come from having 2 absolutely vitally necessary breastfeeds every morning and every night to one last night, one two nights before that, one that morning, and I’m not sure when the one was before that.
He never breastfeeds for more than 10 seconds, and he often jumps off after 3 or 4. He now unlatches and kisses me goodnight before snuggling down in my arms, and then casting me off him so he can lie on the other side of the bed.
A fortnight ago Miss 2 and I were sick with the flu, and he spent a day at a friend’s house. Mr 5 was picked up by my husband on his way home from work. When Mr 5 was asked how his day was he exclaimed “It was so good to be away from Penny, always whinging about milk!”. Not so long ago, it was he who was always “whinging” for milk.
Some nights he falls asleep while I read to him. We read a childhood favourite of mine – Truckers, by Terry Pratchett. Now we are reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. They are big books with no pictures, lots of chapters and is written in a language that’s difficult for a 5 year old to understand. I don’t explain what’s happening, but he seems to understand anyway. I also don’t explain to him that I feel “done” breastfeeding him, but he also seems to understand that too.
I really wish I could enjoy these last breastfeeds, but my body itches and stings and wishes he would stop putting his hands on me. I feel a small trace of guilt that I am not weaning as lovingly as I thought I would, but the conscious part of my mind reassures me that this guilt is a trick. Every breastfeed I have given him for the last 5 years was a reminder of my love for him. Instead of seeing the end of our journey as an ending to the way I show my love, I am choosing instead to see it in a different way. Instead, I will remember that every breastfeed I have given has prepared him for now – when he no longer need to be breastfed to feel loved. I choose to celebrate all of the ways he is now capable of not only feeling love, but also showing it back. And maybe part of the way he is showing me he loves me is by letting me finish breastfeeding.