Friday, July 29, 2011

breast malfunction

I've always imagined myself nursing my now three-year-old daughter for at least two or three years to come. -- Sort of like moms in Mongolia, where "there’s an oft-quoted saying that the best wrestlers are breastfed for at least six years – a serious endorsement in a country where wrestling is the national sport."

Breastfeeding in Mongolia (Mothering Magazine).
But after one week of sleeping in her own bed at night, Lilly told me one evening that the right boob didn't work anymore. A week later, she told me the left one didn't work either.

She's seemed a little sad, but frankly, I think it's' been harder for me to let go. I've asked her a few times when lying down for nap or at night, if she'd like to see if maybe the milk's come back, to which she just shakes her head.

I used to worry about how I'd help her fall asleep without the power of the boob, but that hasn't been much of an issue. For nap, I just lie there with her till she's asleep like I used to do before. And at night, she's gotten used to going asleep by herself after a song and some snuggling.

True, there have been times where I've not been absolutely crazy about our nursing relationship, but mostly I've just enjoyed so much the comfort I've been able to provide her with that way, and the closeness. On that note, she might have gotten even more (if possible) snuggly and mama lovey lately, perhaps making up for the no longer nurturing breasts.

Lilly and I in Iceland on our way back from Norway.

A friend of mine who's been slowly cutting down on the nursing of her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, suggested a ceremony of some sorts to mark the end of the nursing relationship; to attain sense of closure. She'd done that with her daughter: a blessing and a transference of the boob's power onto a favorite snuggly object that her daughter now takes to bed with her.

I like that idea; I think it'll be good for me and meaningful to the both of us. Because while I can't help also blame the in-other-ways-upsetting trip to my family in Norway in June for this too--where naps were missed and nursing times interrupted, skipped, or forgotten--I realize it might just be time. -- Lilly has been gradually cutting down on her requests for the boob for months.

But sometimes, letting go is harder than holding on.


  1. Ja dette er jo en del av løsrivelsesprosessen som nok kan være verst for mor. I mange tilfeller tenker jeg dette kanskje gir en fin øvelse i å lære seg til at barna nå mer og mer har egne meninger og behov, og at de mer og mer trenger annet og andre enn bare oss. :) Ofte kan det være vel så vanskelig å gi frihet som å gi nærhet. ;)

  2. Everyone who allows self-weaning experiences this at some point or another. We can't control the exact time or age. When they're done, they're done! Genevieve self-weaned at 19 months. I was sad --esp. since she's my last baby-- because I didn't know the last nursing would be the last. It just happened. She had lost interest for some time and then caught a cold and was too stuffed up to nurse (couldn't breathe). Good luck and much joy in your next mothering stage.

  3. Ja, så sant, så sant, Hege! Takk for gode ord.

  4. Thank you, Shannon! I do hope I get to experience this again at some point.

  5. When my little guy weaned me at 14 months it broke my heart. On the other hand, I had a lot more physical energy after that and even at almost 4 he still gets the comfort and closeness from me without the nursing. I still have the magical soothing Mama Touch, just from being me. Which is nice. Nice to know the magic is all me, not just the vending machine part.


  6. Thanks for that point about the magic of mama touch in general; now I just want to get that energy back you speak of too! ;)


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