It’s been a year since I weaned my baby.
He was 2 years and 3 months, and I was far from weaning him. I made a commitment in my heart that weaning would be his decision, not mine. But G’d had different plans for us.
Pretty soon I found out I was pregnant. It was a difficult pregnancy, with a high risk of miscarriage. My doctor stressed out and urged me to stop breastfeeding. I found myself in the horrible position of having to make a choice.
I did it. For many (including my doctor) it was an obvious decision. For me, it was so unfair to my child, and I felt completely devastated.
That night my husband put him to bed, for the first time. There was crying and screaming. I just stayed outside, crying by myself. For two nights, it was the same nightmare.
The third night my husband went out of town, so it was just me. I did the same routine; I read him a book and sang his favorite songs as every night. Then I hugged him tight, I told him how much I love him, and asked him to forgive me. I kept cuddling him until he fell asleep. There was no crying, no screaming that night.
I realized one thing, my son was not upset because we had taken the breast from him, he was mad because he thought we had taken his mommy away. He needed me more than anything else, and since that night I made sure he knew that I will be there for him no matter what.
We didn’t have the ideal weaning I dreamed of, and certainly it was far more difficult for me than for him, but I cherish every moment from our breastfeeding journey. We still have a strong connection, and breastfeeding was the building stone of that. I can’t explain it with words, but I know that it was the only reason he stopped crying that night. I know he understood that that moment was the end of a milestone, for good or for bad; but at the same time, he would be OK, and safe.
Weaning is a mourning process; it’s a feeling of loss of something you won’t ever have again. Every mother, every baby, deserves the right weaning for them. I wish for a society where weaning is not taken as bandage you must remove quickly before it gets stuck to your skin. And the pain of mothers and babies is ignored by the brutality of social misconceptions. In the meantime, mothers, you have each other.