Chloe & I

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David captured this moment while I was out one morning. I mentioned the bra thing here.

Chloe and I have been sick this past week, although our symptoms were different. I’ve had body aches and a sore throat while she’s had a perpetually runny nose and slightly swollen eyes. We’re both much better now, although not yet back to normal.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the winding down to Chloe’s nursing. She is fourteen-and-a-half months old. Over the past two months we’ve casually dropped a feeding here and there, and it has been practically effortless, but now I feel at a bit of a standstill.

Like many mothers, I have mixed feelings about the weaning process. On one hand, it will be nice to be finished. I’ve never been one of those mothers who gush about how they just love breastfeeding, how they feel so bonded to their child through that shared activity. Yes, I’m very glad I was able to breastfeed Chloe. It was rough at first, but we got used to it and it became a normal and healthy part of our routine. Chloe is very healthy, and before this week she’s never been sick. I do worry about her being underweight, though. I try to get her to eat when I can, and have continued to breastfeed her, knowing that every calorie counts. However, she is a normal, active toddler who knows what she likes and wants to feed herself. She also liberally uses the words “no” and “all done”, especially during mealtimes.

Anyway, it is just hard to know if I am doing the right thing. Will I regret not breastfeeding her longer? Probably not, since my original goal was at least 6 months, and then, one year. Is the media, society, my family or my husband pressuring me to stop? No. As a matter of fact, my husband suggests I wait awhile, especially because a big change in our daily routine is about to occur. But otherwise, I am truly free to make this decision on my own. Will Chloe be upset or put up resistance? This is unknown.

On reflection, I think the issue most affecting my decision is my own pre-breastfeeding and motherhood opinion. Before I became a mother, or really understood anything about breastfeeding, when I heard of someone breastfeeding for longer than a year or two I would think that was kind of odd. And when I heard of someone breastfeeding a three-year old or older? I would think that was downright weird (not that I would have said anything about it, ever). But what did I know then? Nothing. I wasn’t a breastfed baby and neither was my sister. Now, I would never pass judgement (although I am still strangely fascinated by this story).

In the back of my mind, I think this leads me to think that others will judge me, too. But why should I care? It is not like anyone will know by just looking at Chloe and I. This is an individual choice. I know that. It is just that these days, there aren’t any “norms” to follow, which is good, but a little confusing. So, I shall either decide to wait, or not, and continue to be thankful that my little girl is growing up so healthy and beautiful.

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13 thoughts on “Chloe & I

  1. My daughter was 15 months when I had to stop nursing for medical reasons. I found that she was very amenable to a snack and a cuddle. I’d hold her in my arms while she fed herself a graham cracker or a strawberry, and she’d even drift off to sleep just as if she had nursed. It turned out that she was ready for this all along! There was never a fuss! You might offer Chloe the choice and see what she wants–then be brave enough to follow her lead.!

  2. It really is an individual decision. With Gunnar, we gradually reduced nursing to once a day, and at about 20 months he just stopped. Annika stopped on her own at 14 months. If you’re unsure, you may want to cut one session out and see how it goes from there – she may still need the security of it and she may not. I know you’ll make a thoughtful decision that is right for both you and her.

  3. Weaning has been on my mind lately too. I have an 11 month old and while I have no immediate plans to wean at a year, I have been thinking about the changes we are going through as a nursing pair as my babe gradually adds more solid foods to her diet. It sounds as if you are so thoughtful in your ideas about breastfeeding in general and your nursing relationship with Chloe. I am sure that the two of you will find what is right.

  4. Wish I had any helpful thoughts on the subject. I unfortunately am a total product of my environment and culture and I’m one of those who crinkles their nose… but hey, I am not a momma. I think if you can pop out one of these things from our most intimate parts, what’s awkward about keeping ’em on the teat until…well grade school could get complicated.

    I too am fascinated with that video! It will definitely make for some good discussion around these parts. I really do wish you peace in YOUR family’s decision.

    …so big change coming, ‘eh? 🙂

  5. First of all I love that picture of Chloe how very perfect for this post!!! Like so many decisions of motherhood I think it is us who is more greatly affected. Chloe will most likely transition wonderfully us moms however tend to over think, worry and miss certain stages of babyhood causing decision making to be a cloudy endeavor. Whatever you decide will be the right choice.. smiles get better soon. We cannot wait to see you all!

  6. Hi Emily,
    I just wanted to apologize for using your picture without asking. I just noticed your comment on my blog. I’m glad you brought it up to my attention because I wasn’t even thinking. I just grabbed the pictures from searches in google, copied, and pasted… didn’t think anything of it. But you’re absolutely right, and I will rethink posting any pictures from now on and be sure to give the taker the credit. Sorry again!
    ~Emily

  7. I think you’ll know when the time is right. I have twin girls, now 20 months, whom I fed until they were 13 months. They were just ready and as hard as I found it to give up, knowing these would probably be the last babies I’d feed, I was ready too. I also have two older kids who both weaned themselves at around 12 months. Go with your instincts.

  8. I breastfed my first daughter for about 18 months. She weaned naturally, on her own around that time. I must admit, I missed it when we were done!!

    I al just a huge proponent of letting it happen naturally. If you don’t push breast feeding, or try to withdraw the breast, you both will transition smoothly.

  9. I aimed for 12 months and stopped at 13 but it was gradual, after introducing cow’s milk to my daughter. In fact, I was surprised at how easy a transition it was. Maybe because I was bracing myself for worse, as described here in my post, when we were close to the weaning stage: http://herewhereihavelanded.blogspot.com/2009/11/memory-foam.html

    It has been 2 months now and I still miss it. But like you said, she’s healthy and happy, and that’s all that matters.

  10. OMG! I just found your blog from oneprettything. I was looking around and saw this post and said YIPPIE… I am not the only mom with a daughter who does this. My daughter, who is 2, frequently gets my panties and wears them, puts them everywhere in the house (not fun when you don’t realize she has went on a raid and you have company come by!), and oh her favorite to hide them in her daddy’s side of the closet. That girl thinks it is so funny and cool to get them without me knowing… so thank you for making me feel normal:) BTW I am subscribing to the blog:)

  11. Emily,

    I was underweight most of my childhood years. I finally reached a decent weight in my late teens. Despite my unhealthy weight, I rarely got sick. I was healthier than the average kid. So maybe it is not so bad if Chloe is on the light side. Maybe it is the Asian gene? Health is more important than weight (under or over).

    -Charlotte

  12. I, too, have mixed feelings about weaning. On one hand, I’m thinking, as soon as we’re done I’m going to get my hair straightened! And go on a second honeymoon with hubs! But mostly I feel sad that this chapter of my life with my son is ending. I think I will definitely miss nursing him.

    Maybe, just let things happen gradually. Don’t pressure yourself to wean or not to wean. Just go with what you feel is right.

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