I still nurse my baby, who isn’t really a baby anymore. In fact, she turned two in August. I always said I would stop when she was one, then it became when she was one and a half, then I SWORE I would have her weaned by the age of two. Yeah, well, that obviously hasn’t happened. Why? WHY hasn’t this happened yet?
I console myself saying that its only at night, its only so I can get her to sleep. Being a single parent, I only have night-time help one night a week. That one night a week is my coffee night and she is usually asleep by the time I get home. We sleep together though, especially now since she is too big for her pack n play at her dad’s, which is why I think he is staying over at my place instead of going to his mom’s on his overnight nights with his daughter. That and his mom is going to have back surgery soon and is in a lot of pain so he doesn’t want Rachel there bothering her….but either way, he is at my place on his overnight stays which I’m fine with since that means I get to snuggle with my daughter every night of the week.
The joy of having my baby 7 nights a week means that I cannot fall asleep until she is asleep. Like I said, my coffee nights aren’t a problem, but on the other six nights I am up until she is asleep, which needs to be early enough that I get enough sleep so I can get up and function the next day. If she isn’t out by 9pm at the absolute LATEST, I’m a grumpy Mommy. Hell, if she isn’t out by 8:30pm I’m starting to get grumpy. One of the ways I get her to fall asleep is by nursing her to sleep. By nursing her she is laying down, still, comfortable, and relaxed enough to drift off to sleep. Still, it takes about half an hour for her to fall asleep, but that is usually because she is jumping on the bed and wants to play. Once she is settled and having her “yummies,” she is usually out in 10 – 15 minutes.
I must say, its a little disconcerting when your two year old asks for “yummies,” and when I respond, “you want yummies?” she says “yes, please.” Go ahead, tell me that’s not weird. It certainly feels weird to me, but still I don’t want to stop nursing her. Why? I believe it goes much deeper than being able to have it as a sleep aid crutch at night. I am honestly starting to believe it goes back to me being adopted.
Yeah, I know, doesn’t everything come back to that with me? Hear me out, though.
When I was born I was given to my biological mother to nurse, which I did that one time. That one time was a bonding moment though. Then I was given to foster care for two months, and then given to my family. There is a picture of me not long after they got me, I was a little over two months old I think, where I am looking at them like, “Who the hell are you?” Yes, I know I have discussed this as a reason for my general distrust of women growing up, but I think this also impressed me another way. That picture made me wonder….was that the last time I ever felt truly safe? Was that the last time I felt truly secure, when I was being held by my biological mother?
So now I have a daughter of my own, whom I breast feed. I project feelings onto her, I think. When I nurse her, I am so filled with love. It really is a strong bonding moment when we are snuggled up in bed and she is nursing while safe and warm in my arms. I imagine that she enjoys nursing so much not because its yummy milk, but because its a security blanket. I imagine that when she is nursing she knows that everything is ok, that her Mommy is here so she is safe and protected. Likewise, when she nurses I know she is with me, and therefore safe and protected. Its not that act of nursing that I am attached too (haha, how punny of me), but the feelings and the security that come with it.
I don’t know how I am going to cope with having to separate that feeling from that act so that I can have her completely weaned before too long. My goal is to have her weaned by the time she is 30 months….but we’ll see what happens.