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.