Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ecclesiastes 3:1

You probably know the Scripture without even realizing it...if you know the song that is.

I told you before at the beginning of the year I joined Beth Moore's Scripture Memory Team and committed to memorizing two Bible verses a month. Last month I didn't select my second one until later than I was "supposed to", but it's one that I gave a lot of thought to. I felt an urging from the Lord to ponder Seasons.

And Easter weekend it became apparent as to why.

That was the weekend the twins weaned themselves.

I hadn't really been ready to talk about it yet, mainly because I was (am) still processing it.

Saturday morning Abigail woke up around 4:40am. She's been doing this lately even though I've told her I'm not really a fan of it. She is not "ready" to be up - she's incredibly whiny and not easily pleasable - but yet not able to fall back asleep on her own or be put back to sleep. Anyways, David went and got her and went out to the couch with her. I thanked him (he's a good man) and rolled over and went back to sleep.

A little while later I rolled back over to look at the clock and saw it read 9:14am. What??? Why hadn't he come to get me to nurse the babies?

I got up and went out the living room to find David sitting alone. The twins were down for their morning nap. I asked him what had happened, and why he hadn't come to get me.

It turns out nothing had happened. Abbey never really settled back in. Luke woke up shortly after 6, and he had given them both (whole) milk. Then they played, ate breakfast, played some more, and went down for their nap...never once acting unreasonably fussy or signing to nurse.

"Are you mad I didn't come get you?" my husband asked me sincerely.

"No...." I wasn't mad. Just lost. For nearly 13 months the first thing I had done every single morning was nurse two infants.

I thought for sure when they awoke from their naps they would be desperate to nurse. Nope. Both were happy to see me and gave me kisses and hugs, and then we went about our day. Neither asked to nurse.

We went to the Easter Egg Hunt at our Church, came home for naps, and then that afternoon I started feeling really crummy.

We did our regular dinner, bath and bedtime routine, which included nursing. But neither baby really seemed interested. They nursed for just a few minutes, and then both just wanted to get up and play.

I told you before that Luke had been showing me he was ready to wean for awhile now. And that night I realized I needed to just let him. I couldn't chase him around the house like one of those women in the African villages in the documentary "Babies" any longer. But Abbey hadn't seemed anywhere close to ready to giving up nursing. And then suddenly she was. She just seemed to lose interest. I am sure my supply hadn't taken a hit (in fact, it hung around awhile after they both were weaned, which surprised me greatly, being that I had SO much trouble in the beginning with supply) and she wasn't cutting any teeth or ill or anything. She just simply was ready to be done.

That Saturday night I got really sick with a sore throat and congestion and a fever, so I was up most the night tossing and turning. Sunday morning -Easter- neither baby asked to nurse when I got up with them.
And just like that, we were done breastfeeding.

I kept them home with me while Dave went to Church, and then when he came home I went straight to bed and slept until he woke me for dinner. I hung out with the family for dinner, bath, and bedtime, and then took some medicine and went to sleep for the night.

At first, because I was sick, it felt liberating to be done breastfeeding. I could go into the bedroom and disappear into a sleeping stupor while I didn't feel well. I could take whatever medication I wanted. It was freeing to know I wasn't needed first thing in the morning Monday.

And then as the week went on, my cold got better, and it began to sink in how very sad I was to be done with that chapter of my life.

I have loved breastfeeding my babies.

I have missed it.

Luckily, David was ready for me to grieve this (I had warned him many times over the last year that I would be very sad when it was time to be done) and he has been SO supportive and thoughtful.

I'm sure I will still have sad moments to come as I process our special nursing time being over, but at this time I just feel grateful. I am so grateful we made it. I am so thankful my sweet little babies hung on with me in those early days, and we succeeded. I breastfed twins successfully for 13 months...and hey, that's more than super-mom Angelina Jolie can say =). I am also proud. It took a lot of endurance. A lot of sweat and a LOT of tears. And it was totally worth it. It's one of the best things I've ever done.


Lauren said...

It sounds like this is all said and done for you, but did you consider a nursing strike, or just temporary disinterest, which happens a lot with toddlers? This blog was hard for me to read because I would be devastated if Noah did this. But he is a total milk monkey, so hopefully we've got another year in us...

Linda Lee Brown Ayers said...

What you are feeling is SO totally normal. You are very fortunate not to have gotten a breast infection from stopping suddenly.'s been 32 years, 30 years; 24 years; 21 year; and 19 years since I stopped breastfeeding. You may find it reassuring that I can remember the last time with each of you!

It's a process. You have done an amazingly great thing for those babies and nurtured yourself in the process.
I love you,

Stephanie said...

While I haven't weaned a baby yet, my babies have hit developmental stages (particularly Asher) just like this - all at once, without any warning. It still surprises me every time it happens, and he's 4! He was weaned from a bottle in a very similar way, at about the same age. I remember thinking, I wish I had known that night was the last night I would give him a bottle. I would have paid a little more attention to it.

Glad you're handling the transition okay.

Julia said...

This made me tear up! My girls are weaning themselves. It's going much quicker than I imagined, and I'm not really sure how to feel about it. I think, if I'm honest, it makes me sad. I'll need to process it as well.

Way to go, Kendra. It is one of the hardest, best things you'll ever do. You're amazing!

Kendra said...

Hi Lauren - yes, I did consider both those things. We've seen - and fought- nursing strikes before around here, and this was different. They were both simply ready to be done. I pushed on for about a week after they BOTH started showing me signs, and then realized I needed to recognize what was really happening. They were ready. And when appropriate (and within reason), I really try and respect my children's cues.

The Writer Chic said...

So proud of you, momma, for the months you put in, and for respecting your babies enough to put their desires before your own. Love you, friend.

Aunt Carol said...

Huge cheers to David for being so supportive through the last 13 months and huge cheers to you for being able to stick with it during the hard times but being able to grant them their independence now even though YOU might not have been ready. How blessed those two children are.