Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Weaning Story

I am silently weeping because I never imagined that I would be weaning Santi successfully from the breast (so soon!). Since he turned 2, I've been seriously thinking about how to do it. I can imagine that weaning would've been easier if I had introduced the bottle to Santi years ago, but he has never learned how to drink from a bottle. Yes, I purely breastfed him direct from me hence having him with me all the time. No regrets but I'm not sure if I would do the same if I ever have another child.

Many other mommy friends and clients have given me different kinds of advice, from putting soy sauce and tabasco on their breasts to leaving their babies for weeks or just letting them cry it out each time they wanted to nurse. All of these, I could not bare to do. Father Dennis once told me- A good parent is one who can see his or her child get hurt because THAT is the real world. You cannot be there for every little fall.

To me, Santi is a smart boy and I didn't want to fool him or do something against his logic. For years I have been breastfeeding him. That was his security and I didn't want to break his heart. So I think I softened the blow by talking to him a lot, telling him ,"You're such a big boy already, turning 3 so soon! No need for dodo anymore. We can just kiss and hug until you sleep. Mommy loves you the same."

There were several (failed) attempts to leave him for a night or 2 with my parents or in-laws' but he'd always come back to me remembering 'dodo'. Then it occurred to me to tape my nipples and see how he would react. Upon seeing them, he would shudder and say 'eewww' and not even put up a fight. He would take the 2nd best thing, which is to touch my mole on top of my right breast until he falls asleep. So then I would put on tape every other day just so that I wouldn't have engorgement and that would work out fine. If I forget to put on tape, then he would insist on breastfeeding.

It has been a week of me religiously having tape on all day and night. I'm starting to get a rash on my left chest but it's a little sacrifice to make. I need to have it on or else the mere sight of my nipples will trigger Santi into a feed. The past few days I've been feeling an ache though because breastfeeding was one of the things that we shared together, it was our bond. Now that it's almost over, I feel that slowly he is gaining his independence and one day he won't even need me for anything anymore.

Santi, you are a growing boy. Even if it hurts me, I'm starting to let you go bit by bit so you can be your own person, spread your wings and fly.

Breastfeeding 2 year old Santi in the airplane during our Jan 2009 trip to Boracay

1 year old Santi feeds at the Manansala poolside

Newborn Santi at my breast


Donna said...

the pics really clinched your story! it is sad when they wean but there will be other things to do together with santi to look forward to =).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'm also breastfeeding my 14month old baby and my hubby wants me to quit coz he thinks our baby is not getting the right amount of nutrients coz she is tiny. She really is tiny but her height is normal for her age. My heart breaks too whenever he says that because I really want to breastfeed her until she stops. I was also breastfed by my mom for until 5 years old and I can still remember that she put a bitter herb/leaf on her breast to make the milk stop. I was really crying out loud at that time and swore I'll never drink milk from her breasts again. I dont want my baby to drink from a bottle. Part of me hates the bottle. I dont know what to do. I tried buying her a formula and we ended up giving to her cousin coz she wont drink it. I want her to grow healthy but the problem is she's teething now so that means she eats less.

Jenny said...

hey monix! it's been an incredible journey and santi is a very lucky boy to have you as his mommy!

Anagutch said...

hit my heart bad. I love breastfeeding jose. My way of making up for the fact that he shares me with kuya jacob. but i know that there will come a time i will need to wean him bec its whats best for him. hay so hard. they always say sometimes its parents who have separation anxiety bad :) love to you and santi. you are a great mom

Anonymous said...

Hi! Just read ur weaning story. It is really sad for us mom to stop this one-of-a-kind bonding moment with our babies. I felt sad when we were in the process of weaning but have to since I saw the signs that my then 18 month old son was ready for the next big thing. And to satisfy his wanting to breastfeed those times, he would touch my breast with his hand until he falls asleep. Now, touching my tummy is his way going to dreamland. Kudos to moms who breastfeed!


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