I may have baby fever.
(Don’t tell my husband.)
This happened to me last time I weaned a baby. Four months later I was pregnant with the second.
That will not be happening now.
Life is just starting to become easier. We’ve hit our stride and schedules are down and I’m not ready for all that to be upended again.
But my baby is no longer my baby. And that makes me sad.
Nursing a baby has always come easy to me. I’m not bragging, I’m just in awe of what our bodies can do. So from the moment I found out I was pregnant with the first I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I hoped that circumstances would cooperate and, if they weren’t, was prepared to freak out and consider myself an awful mother, probably the worst in the world.
Luckily I’m not quite as dramatic as I used to be. But, so far, that aspect of motherhood has worked out. I nursed both kids for 13 months, through the terrible, first-stage, let’s get used to this together cry-fests and immense pain, through teething, and thus biting and immense pain, and finally through disinterest, and immense, emotional pain.
I dealt with that last one more with Sebastian than Adele. He just lost interest. Since he was in daycare he mostly took bottles of pumped milk and nursed at night and on the weekends. Taking the bottles away was simple, and finally he was only nursing at night before he went to bed. And then he just didn’t want to anymore. I think part of it was he couldn't sit still long enough. I was sad, much more so than I thought I’d be. But I also wasn’t. My baby was growing up, but it felt so good to have my body back after almost two years of catering to someone else.
And then, as I said, four months later I was pregnant again.
With Adele I worried because I am home with her. I’ve nursed her far more than her brother and I felt like it would be more of an issue, more difficult to wean her. She seemed to rely on me more, to need me more.
I’d started months ago making sure she was going to bed awake, that she wasn’t using me to put her to sleep, but she was still nursing at least three times a day when she was a year old. And so gradually, I started to wean. I began by taking out the morning nap feeding. She also was transitioning to one nap a day at this point so I held on to the afternoon feeding a little longer, just to make things easier. But then it was gone, too.
And so we were down to one nursing session a day, at night before she went to sleep. I worried and fretted and stressed about ending this one. But I shouldn’t have.
One day, last Wednesday, I just decided that that was it. The last one. She would be fine. Thirteen months was good for her brother, and 13 months was good for her, too.
And so we are done. She’s growing up. She no longer relies on me, physically, for sustenance.
And I felt good the first day. Relieved, almost. It’s hard to not feel totally like yourself for two years, to constantly have to monitor what you eat and drink, to check medications before you take them to make sure they won’t affect your baby.
I loved nursing, and will most definitely nurse any other children I have. But I am happy to be finished.
And then there are those cravings.
The craving for another tiny little one curled up close. For the sweet, new-baby smell. For the tiny clothes and socks and swaddle blankets.
My chest hurts when I think about it.
I will not be having another baby soon. At least that’s the plan. I am not ready to give up this little bit of ease we’ve gained in the last few months, and I know my husband isn’t.
But still. Babies. I can’t wait to have another one.
(Don’t tell my husband.)