I am a survivor. Over 40 hours in labor? Check. Months of colic? You betcha. Nursing woes, complete with more blood, cracks and blisters than every runner of the New York Marathon combined? Uh-huh. Hormonal issues post-baby that left me weak, nauseous, and scary moody? Yessir. A baby who didn’t sleep through the night until she was 17 months old? Yeppers. I did it. I got through all of this crap, and survived with a smile on my face (at least most, OKAY, some of the time). But recently that smile has turned into a frown. A giant, ugly, pouty face frown. Why, you ask? Because I am trying to wean Baby 1.0, and it is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
Now it would be cute to think I’m struggling because of the special bond she and I share while I nourish her from me bosoms, her tiny body curled around mine, while we lovingly gaze into each others eyes. But that would be a lie, because nursing sessions in our house more closely resemble an Olympic Greco-Roman style wrestling match, complete with a lot of slapping (she slaps me, just to be clear), and clothing tugging. It’s ugly, but it gets the job done. But now, at the ripe old age of nearly two, it’s time to put the ladies into retirement. And that’s not going over well with Baby 1.0, who, if the decision was left up to her, would forgo all forms of “real” food and receive her nourishment exclusively in liquid form until she was able to drive.
Discussing this with my husband, who has a PhD in addiction studies, he is able to draw an easy parallel between Baby 1.0 and, say, a heroin addict. She’s addicted to the act of nursing, even though at this point whatever drops of milk I produce aren’t meeting her full nutritional needs. She is perpetually chasing the nursing Green Dragon, so to speak. He says things like “reward center” and waves his hands in front of my chest while labeling my lady bits “stimuli,” and suggests I stay strong and not give in. This is all well and good, and I agree with him. But it doesn’t help when all day, every day, Baby 1.0 chases me and my “stimuli” around the house yelling “MORE NUH!” (nuh being her word for nursing), while trying to rip my clothes off.
Our interactions tend to go something like this:
Me: “Good morning precious baby! How did you sleep?”
Baby 1.0: “More nuh.”
Me: “Okay, can I get you some cereal?”
Baby 1.0: “No cereal. More nuh.”
Me: “I’m sorry my love, but we need to eat food today. Can I get you a bar?”
Baby 1.0: “No bar. More nuh. More nuh. More nuh. Morenuhmorenuhmorenuh!”
Me: “No nuh, my dear. Eggs? Turkey? Orange? Banana? Milk? Yogurt? Cheese? Beans? Hummus? Packet? Park? Walk? Book? Color? Blocks? Shake it off song? ANYTHING other than nuh. Is there anything other than nuh in the whole entire world that Mommy can get you that will make you happy?”
Baby 1.0: “Eggs.”
Me: “EGGS!?! Of course! Let me make you eggs!”
Baby 1.0: “No eggs. More nuh.”
Upon being served a plate of eggs, the day rapidly dissolves until she is laying on the floor, like a dying vampire, moaning, rolling around and wailing for “more nuh.” I’m fairly certain our neighbors think we have another kid named Mona who Baby 1.0 is always looking for.
The intelligent part of me knows this is temporary, and in the grand scheme of things, weaning will only make up a very small part of our story. But the other part of me, the part that houses my ears, feels like if I hear “More nuh!” one more time, I might explode.
Got any weaning horror stories you’d like to share? I can’t be the only one going through this right now.
image credits: Kim K. ugly cry face, wrestling, crying Baby 1.0 belongs to HMDHM.
I had it easy with baby number one. I got pregnant when e was 2 yrs 4 months and the taste of my milk changed due to the pregnancy so he just stopped. Baby number two was a little more difficult but, it didn’t last long. I weaned her at the age of 2.5 and it was heartbreaking at times but, she eventually adjusted. Hang in there…it will get easier! Also I commend you for nursing so long. The worldwide average of weaning is 2.5 and a lot of moms don’t make it past the 4 month mark in the USA (i am NOT bashing, it’s a worldwide fact).
Feel good about that. She will eventually forget about it and start discovering the world around her. You are a good Mom!!
Hey, thanks! After writing this I discovered if I strip her naked (her preferred clothing choice right now), let her stand on her new special potty, and feed her dry cereal, she actually eats! Hooray! Small steps in the right direction!
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Lol….we couldn’t keep clothes on my daughter either!
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My older daughter loved nursing and I loved nursing her. It was hard to wean her, but she survived! Yeah, I survived too. 🙂
I hear of these nursing relationships where both parties enjoyed themselves… I’m happy you guys had that, and you survived it 🙂
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I didn’t have any trouble weaning my daughter since I barely ever made enough milk in the first place, but we’re having a heck of a time weening her (and ourselves) from her pacifier. She just turned three and she still needs it to fall asleep. I keep reminding myself that she won’t be in kindergarten dependent on a pacifier, but when you’re in the thick of it those kinds of reassurances don’t mean much. Stay strong! You’re doing good!
Excuse me while I fan-girl out here for a second, but holy hell, you read my blog?! You’re a pretty big inspiration to me, and I love your blog. Okay, now that THAT’S out of the way, THANKS! We somehow managed to dodge the paci, but not by anything we ever did intentionally. It was more that little Baby 1.0 was a stickler for the real thing, and we could never trick her into torturing the paci instead. We will survive, and in the mean time, I have plenty of material to draw inspiration from 🙂
I laughed at the wrestling pic – for my oldest, I actually had to spend the first few months nursing while standing up and walking around. She literally would not nurse any other way. To this day, I could not tell you:
1) How I figured this out; or
2) How we remedied the problem
Weaning that same child involved her headbutting my swollen, painful breasts, which was ever so enjoyable, as you can imagine.
Honestly, I’m not sure which part of weaning is worse – when the kid still wants to nurse and is SO ANGRY about it or just the awful, swollen, top-heavy feeling of engorged breasts.
I too am a big fan of that wrestling picture… and sadly, it’s really not that big of a stretch! Baby 1.0 is WILD when she’s nursing. I am glad BFing worked for us, but geez! I had no idea it would be so much work all the way up until the end!! Such lengths we go to to keep our littles happy and healthy, eh?
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Sounds fairly spectacular. We never learned to nurse so didn’t encounter this problem. I was worried he’d be annoyed when I started taking meds when he was 5 months and couldn’t give him expressed milk any more, but he didn’t even seem to notice the difference. Harumph.
I am still struggling to wean my almost 3 year old! I understand this battle all too well! haha
Oh no!! Well I will raise a glass to you tonight, my friend. Good luck!!
I cannot relate to the weaning. My babies wouldn’t latch on, so I pumped all day long. I do recognize the unwillingness for little ones to give up on what they want. My 2 year old will have tantrums about wanting candy, wanting my phone, wanting to go to work with me, etc. I feel for you, because at least he gets over it, eventually, and will move on to a new thing.
Brilliant and hilarious post! I do sympathise. In my experience, the only thing more difficult than trying to wean a toddler who doesn’t want to be weaned (my first child), is having a baby (my second) who decides to go completely cold-turkey overnight. To go from multiple feeds to none all at once… Oh the agony of boobs that feel like concrete!
All my kids got weaned at the age of two when I took a vacation without them. Hang in there. They really don’t nurse forever, it can just feel that way!