Weaning as a Step to Mental Health

From the first time I thought about weaning Dylan, it’s been a complicated place in my mind. We’ve had several fits and starts. Just a few months ago I committed to night weaning him, and that has led to some better sleep for both of us. I haven’t been great at consistency, but Dylan was really able to roll with the changes. That’s a good indication that he’s “ready” to stop nursing, however much he still benefits from and enjoys it.

I started seeing a new therapist a week ago, and she was pretty emphatic that I need to be on medication. I already tried the breastfeeding-compatible options I was comfortable with and they didn’t work out for me. That means breastfeeding needs to end. I cried a lot as she and I talked about that.

It’s hard to let go of breastfeeding since it’s something that has been so good for so long. For all the things that went wrong with my birth, I was surprised and delighted at how everything with breastfeeding was completely smooth and easy and perfect. For all the doubts that come with motherhood, breastfeeding was one of those things I could count on being right.

But having a mother who is taking care of herself and her mental health is another thing that I can do that will nurture and sustain Dylan. The shift has come in the balance of priorities between breastfeeding and my ability to have medical treatment.

I have nursed Dylan for two and a half years. It’s been good. It’s been enough.

The day of that first appointment with the new therapist was the same day I was leaving for Scare-n-dipity, a little burn here in Tennessee. Dylan and I were going by ourselves, so I decided to make it our little honeymoon of sorts. I nursed him as much as he wanted and had a great weekend reveling in the particular closeness we have right now.

Once we got back, we moved to twice a day nursing – just once at night and once in the morning. Yesterday, I dropped the night nursing and now we’ll just do the one in the morning for a little while.

Dylan has been asking for the boob a lot, but he doesn’t get upset when I say no which reinforces for me that it’s the right time for this to happen.

I’m going to miss it, but now I’m looking forward to what will come in our lives next.