How Weaning Happens?

I”m pretty sure this one’s not in the book:

Last Thursday
I’m nursing Iris on the floor and Ingrid asks if she can nurse from the other side. This hasn’t happened in a while—mostly we’re down to just nursing before naps and bed—but I let her do it.

She nurses for about five seconds. Then she throws up.

Then she cries and says, I didn’t like the milk. I explain to her that the milk wasn’t what made her throw up, she is probably just sick right now and the milk will taste good again later when she’s well. When A arrives home, she runs to the door to greet him (in a brief between-pukes episode of feeling fine): I frew up on the carpet! I didn’t like the milk!

Friday
She’s exhausted from being up all night puking, and doesn’t eat or drink much of anything, and all of her napping takes place out of the blue on the couch, so we don’t even get close to our usual bedtime nursing ritual. No nursing.

Saturday
At naptime, we finish reading stories and she says, I don’t want to nurse. I don’t want to frow up. I explain again that it was just because she was sick, that if she wants to nurse now the milk will probably taste good again, and it won’t make her throw up. She nurses for about three seconds, then stops, cries, and says I don’t want to frow up. As I’m in the middle of reassuring her again, she coughs and I flinch, thinking she’s about to puke all over me. When I get her calmed down, she wants to go on to the “hugs and snuggles” part of the bedtime routine.

At bedtime that evening, she’s hesitant about nursing but still wants to do it. When A comes up to kiss her goodnight, she tells him I liked the milk!

Sunday
At naptime she nurses a little, but seems all urpy afterwards, and keeps saying I don’t want to frow up! through all my reassurances that if she still wants to nurse, she still can.

At bedtime she blows right over that part of the bedtime routine, going straight from books to hugs and snuggles.

And that’s what’s happened for all of the past six going-to-bed routines. No more nursing. I might be premature in saying this, but she seems pretty darn weaned.

I feel what I expect is the usual mix of emotions about the end of nursing her: lots of glad-that’s-finally-over, with strong sentimental twinges. She was ready: the nursing we were doing had started to seem sort of silly and cursory and extra. But it was a long and mostly sweet thing, that nursing connection, and I can’t help but be a little sad (and still in disbelief) that it’s gone.

And also: I nursed my daughter for almost 31 months, and she stops because she threw up my milk? It’s anticlimactic and sort of absurd. If this holds, I’ll be able to say that Ingrid doesn’t nurse for the same reason that A doesn’t eat turkey stuffing and I don’t drink tomato juice. I can’t wait to add this to the book of lovely “weaning stories” at the next La Leche League meeting.

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3 thoughts on “How Weaning Happens?

  1. That is kind of a funny way to go out. Other than that, congratulations on nursing her so long!

    The las few days my best friend’s kid was mysteriously throwing up. They discovered that it was his whole milk that was bad–even though it hadn’t expired. And he still kept drinking this bad milk for DAYS until they discovered it. Kids are weird.

  2. That is really funny.

    31 months plus tandem nursing is impressive indeed! I weaned A so I could try to get pregnant again (had no period until we totally quit) and I always thought I’d nurse my second much longer, but if Boo keeps up with his barracuda latch he’ll be lucky if he gets a year.

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