I weaned my baby.

This post is almost four months late, but when I was still nursing Jesse five times a day in the middle of August, I wondered if I'd ever be celebrating such an event. Baby boy was not interested in weaning in the least bit.

Jesse turned one on the first of July, and we left that day for fat camp where we'd all be sleeping in our tent together. Weaning would have to wait until we got home. But Jesse had other plans. When we got home, he fought it hard. I tried dropping the pre-nap feedings first, and while he'd go down for naps without a fuss, he'd follow me around all day whining. It was pitiful. I've always gone with the "don't offer, don't refuse" weaning strategy, but it was definitely not working as well - or at all - with Jesse as it had with the girls.

My goal of weaning well before our family beach vacation in August was failing miserably, and once again, we'd all be sleeping in the same room. So weaning was postponed again. Then, we spent the next weekend in the tent together in the mountains. Finally, push came to shove because my weekend in Florida with the girls was happening at the end of September. Jesse absolutely needed to be weaned weeks before that for both Aaron's and Jesse's sake. So the two weeks between the mountains and the lake, we made a plan and a schedule, and Jesse finally weaned that last week of August before spending Labor Day weekend at the lake. Phew. Also, sobbing.

Aaron probably bore the most workload in this breastfeeding adventure with Jesse compared to the other girls. When Jesse wanted to nurse for twenty (or thirty or forty) minutes at bedtime, Aaron would come home to three little girls playing in a a large mess or parked on the couch as Daniel Tiger zombies while I hung out in a dark bedroom on a rocking chair. When it came to weaning (the two month journey weaning became), Aaron was my planner and cheerleader and encourager and comforter. Weaning is ridiculous hormonally, and he stayed the course with me, for better or for worse.

It's so bittersweet to wean a baby. On one hand, it's freeing to have my body back to being mine again. On the other hand, I am no longer mandated to sit and snuggle in the dark, and that too quickly evolves into me filling that time with silly tasks - tasks that are not snuggling. But every baby must wean, and I'm once again so grateful to have breastfed another baby for the first year of his life.

This was also the first time I ever weaned a baby while not being pregnant, and I am amazed at how much my appetite plummeted. I still love to eat, but I definitely do not need or want to eat nearly as much. It's still bizarre for me.

But I really think we should revive this whole feasting upon weaning celebration from Bible-times. Genesis 21:8: "And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned."

Any takers? =)

Here's Jesse back at that weekend at the lake over Labor Day - a newly weaned child. I think his face adequately captures the emotions of it all.