Ender has finally completely weaned. I was beginning to worry he would never wean and would just keep nursing one time a day for forever! One morning this past week, he decided he was done. It’s been a surprisingly easy adjustment. My body has reacted really well and so has Ender.
Within the first week after his birth, I began experiencing really bad anxiety and nursing aversion. I would get extremely nauseous, and my heart would race. I didn’t know until a few weeks later that it was anxiety. I pushed through, barely making it at times, but I kept nursing him. My desire to keep him healthy outweighed my physical uneasiness. I, and I alone, pushed myself. Nursing was so much easier than giving him a bottle. Besides, he wouldn’t drink out of a bottle anyway. I made it to the 6 month mark, started feeling like I was finding my footing. I had figured out the best and most comfortable clothes to wear to nurse in. I had settled into a routine and it was working. I was still dealing with anxiety but it was starting to fade just a little bit. I made it through the holidays. I made it through to finding out we had two weeks to move! We moved out here to Colorado, and all of a sudden nursing wasn’t so bad. I felt clean, free, like I could actually breathe. It was that feeling of breathing for the first time then realizing you really hadn’t been breathing before.
June was Ender’s first birthday. He had started spreading out his feedings, but still nursing about 4 times a day. This wasn’t including the night time feedings he would have if he woke up. June flowed into July which melted into August. August was when everything shifted. He cut back his feedings to only two times a day, then suddenly it was only one. As we neared the end of August my nursing aversion began coming back. I had to be done soon.
I feel an odd nostalgia not having those cuddle times with my little bubby. But he also isn’t the same baby I held close. He’s an extremely active, very aware almost 1 1/2 year old. He knows what he wants and we’re teaching him signs so he can tell us exactly what he wants. Ender is my little boy now not my baby. While I miss parts of his babyhood, I am absolutely adoring this newest stage. He is walking, practicing jumping and loves to hide behind our backs. He shrieks with laughter every time we look back at him.
As I watch him become more independent and less dependent on me, I know I’m growing right along with him. Being the oldest of nine and then a nanny for three years before I had him certainly prepared me well for motherhood. The practical side of mothering is something I could do in my sleep. I’m not kidding either. I can only think of three times where I felt unsure of what to do. But being a mom to my son and loving and caring for him has been purely instinctual. I didn’t have a good example of that while growing up. I didn’t know what it would look like to be a good mom. But being a good mom has been something I am good at. Maybe it’s because of Ender’s dependency on me, or maybe it’s because my heart is so willing to cover and protect him. My only thoughts when it comes to Ender is “is he happy? is he safe? is he comfortable? does he just need mommy time?” There are times, yes, when I need a break and I start to lose patience with him. This is why it is important to have “me-time.”
As I continue to pursue my dreams for my life, I can’t help but think of wanting to give Ender the opportunity to do the same. I want him to be able to see both of his parents pursuing our dreams. I want him to see us accomplish what we set out to do. I want Ender to have a mom who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she wants and push through the hard to get to the good.
Being a mother is an incredibly difficult and exhilarating part of my life. Being Ender’s mother is teaching me patience in letting him figure something out instead of me showing him. Being a mother is not like raising my siblings. There is so much more depth and so much more emotional need with being someone’s mother. Ender is a being with feelings, emotions, personality, and needs. I am responsible for him until he can be responsible for himself. That’s a huge deal and definitely something I don’t take lightly!
I love my little guy. He was long awaited and is making up for that every day. Looking forward at what the next year and a half brings, I am excited to see him grow into a talking toddler. I can’t wait to hear him express the thoughts I see pass over his face every day. And while part of me is sad he has weaned, another part of me is so excited to watch him grow up.