Jackie’s Weaning Story: Mixed Feelings

March 2nd, 2015 by Dionna | Comments Off on Jackie’s Weaning Story: Mixed Feelings
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Compassionate Advocacy, Feed with Love and Respect, Guest Posts, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting

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I weaned my daughter off of breastmilk while we were on holiday. Months prior she had been showing less and less interest in her feedings, which made it clear that she was weaning herself off slowly. I made a decision to start on Tuesday the 4th of November. I knew she would be constantly distracted while we were there, so it would be the perfect opportunity to wean. As predicted, she didn’t ask for milk once our entire stay.

The side effects of weaning that have hit me the hardest are the mood swings from my fluctuating hormones, and some lower back pain. I broke down last night when my husband put her down to bed. For 21 months I supplied her with my milk. Now she doesn’t need it anymore. A part of me feels unnecessary. I realize that isn’t the case at all, yet it’s still hard to let go of my baby girl. She clearly isn’t a baby anymore and already speaks more Greek than I do! I take that back, she’ll always and forever be my baby.

I had mixed feelings about weaning. A part of me felt sad cutting that bond, while another part knew it was time to set her free from my body. I feel more than privileged to have experienced such a natural style of parenting.

It feels like my baby girl is now all grown up. She’s a separate entity that can partially exist without me. Since the split, she has already become much more independent. In only one week she has formed a stronger bond with her father. She goes to him more often for comfort and is speaking more of his language. It’s a remarkably big shift of her character in only one short week! Yet again these feelings of sadness (and at times, freedom) sweep over me. I can’t help but wonder how this is affecting both my body and my brain. The detachment must be similar to watching your child walk into school without you for the first time.

Many women, myself included, tend to lose a sense of identity once they become mothers. A mass amount of energy goes into raising a child, and everything else tends to get swept under the rug. Weaning is a chance to find myself again. This giant transition will give me the opportunity to explore new avenues as an individual. Being a mother is incredibly rewarding, yet the loss of self has been a blow to my overall well-being. I’m looking forward to focusing inward. It’s time to let go and feel ok about it. I just need to keep telling myself that this is all normal and the separation blues will heal with time.

I took my first dance class in 2 1/2 years. I left with a great weight lifted off my shoulders: liberated, light-hearted, reborn, and elated. I honestly have a completely new perspective on life, as if my brain is functioning differently since I weaned Bela. I wonder if she feels the same?

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Jackie Koury is a singer songwriter from Minneapolis, Minnesota currently living in England. You can check out her music on her website.
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