Weaning?

I don’t know what has come over me, but today I spent some time googling “weaning”, “what to feed kiddo after weaning”, and “the benefits of goat’s milk vs. cow’s milk for children”.

Am I ready to wean? I don’t know. Most of the time, I don’t think so. But lately I have had moments where “freedom” has been sounding more and more tempting, and it makes me do things like google “weaning”.

Lewis is just over a month away from being 1 year old. At that point, I wouldn’t necessarily have to purchase formula in the absence of breastmilk because we could start him on goat’s or cow’s milk, which feels like a significant milestone for me. For some reason, getting past that point makes weaning feel suddenly more… realistic?

Plus I watch Lewis every day getting more and more independent and grown up, and seeing him so grown up makes him seem more ready to wean in my mind – it kind of removes the guilt in a way. Like, if he is grown up in other ways, he can move on from breastfeeding too because he isn’t a baby anymore. I wanted to breastfeed my baby, and if he isn’t a baby, then we’re all good. It isn’t quitting because I never planned to breastfeed my toddler. I can’t really explain it.

This morning, for example, my little grownup practiced pushing up to standing and then letting go of support over and over. and over. and over. and over. And he was so delighted with himself. And he’s clearly getting better at it! Additionally, he doesn’t need me to feed him his “finger foods” anymore. He feeds himself cheerios and little finger foods by the fistful! Babies don’t do that! TODDLERS do that. And if he is a toddler, then maybe it’s okay with me that he doesn’t breastfeed anymore?

However, I’m having the hardest time imagining how to feed Lewis without my breasts’ involvement. For almost a year now, we’ve fed every 2-3 hours during the day, and when he wakes at night. Even with the introduction of solid foods at 6 months, his breastfeeding schedule has remained unchanged. (And – side note – even without the decrease in breastfeeding that I anticipated, he hasn’t really gained much weight! Bizarre!)

After breastfeeding that frequently for that long, removing breastfeeding from the equation will be a drastic change in our routine. The thought of it makes me feel like a brand new mom all over again! It is causing a lot of anxiety for me to feel like I’m on the verge of starting over.

I suppose I’ll have a lot of moments as a mother where I am dealing with something brand new and figuring it out from scratch… but feeding my child is so important and breastfeeding my baby has become so normal that it is nearly impossible to imagine a different way to feed him. With breastmilk, my magical body just figures it out and gives him what he needs. I know for sure that he is getting what he needs. Without breastmilk… how do I know?

Plus… Some other species’ milk in a cup?! Say WHAT?!

But the other side of my brain (I’m so conflicted) says… “solid foods and milk from a cup… what is so weird about that, Carolyn? That isn’t hard. And it hardly counts as starting over. That’s easy. Anyone can do that. ”

So am I totally ready for weaning? No. Obviously not. Am I starting to move that way? Yes, I think I might be.

My fever broke this morning! Hooray! My throat and ears still hurt, but I can handle that. Fevers are the pits. The aches are my least favorite thing about being sick. Glad that part is over with.

More good news:

Our nephew was born yesterday morning! A leap year baby! He was going to be special no matter what, but he decided to make sure he got everyone’s attention by coming on leap day. I’m too sick to meet him, but boy oh boy… I can’t wait until I get to snuggle that little monkey!

Kyle’s new car was delivered earlier today. Did I mention he had sold his car and bought something else? I can’t remember! His car is so important to him, so this has been a major part of our lives for the last month, and it is very exciting for him that the new car is finally here.

His old car was his “dream car”, but it had been draining our bank account and racking up the credit card bills since the day we bought it. It broke constantly. I’ve never seen a car that needed that much maintenance. We just couldn’t afford it.

The new car is only a couple years old, so it still has a warranty for a year. It is the same model as my car – just the “race car” version – so we feel like we know it is reliable. And Fords are generally not insane to maintain, pricing wise. Plus we were able to buy it cash, so there is no monthly payment to wrestle with.

It was a hard choice for Kyle to give up on his dream car, but he seems very excited about the replacement. And the best part (to me anyway) is that it feels like a really responsible financial decision to have stopped the bleeding with the crippling maintenance costs on the old car.