Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Wean Me Gently


Photo: Alyssa G. and her baby boy - shared via Woman Uncensored


I know I look so big to you,

Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.

But no matter how big we get,

We still have needs that are important to us.

I know that our relationship is growing and changing,

But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness,

Especially at the end of the day

When we snuggle up in bed.

Please don't get too busy for us to nurse.

I know you think I can be patient,

Or find something to take the place of a nursing -

A book, a glass of something,

But nothing can take your place when I need you.

Sometimes just cuddling with you,

Having you near me is enough.

I guess I am growing and becoming independent,

But please be there.

This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,

Please don't break it abruptly.

Wean me gently,

Because I am your mother,

And my heart is tender.



~ Cathy Cardall


~~~~

This poem is available on a postcard to hang on your fridge or give to a friend.
Request one or several here.

Photograph © Danelle Frisbie

42 comments:

  1. Yes - totally brought tears to my eyes. How true.

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  2. i know, i well up at the last 2 lines, i've bookmarked it and everytime things get too much, i just read this, and i don't care if i sit doing nothing but feed ALL day, it's far too fleeting

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  3. Oh man, I totally agree with y'all... those last couple of lines come out of nowhere! I cry every time!

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  4. When I first began nursing, worrying about this and that, and wondering if I was doing it "right," my older and wiser sister influenced me greatly with these three words:

    "It's a relationship!"

    After that, everything changed.
    -E

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    Replies
    1. <3 your sister. Words of wisdom to be sure.

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  5. Awwwww....I love it!!!!!

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  6. This is beautiful. and so true. got me crying over here. My daughter is about to turn two, and I know we have a while, but I don't even wanna think about it yet! :)

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  7. Okay you got me. Tearing up over here, too.

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  8. might go and wake my babies for a cuddle now...

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  9. lactavist (retired from 'active' duty)March 03, 2011 2:46 AM

    :-)) and :-((( also - beautiful ....

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  10. Beautiful, had me in floods those last 2 lines. Especially as my baby is now 2 and another baby on the way. I know one day she will self wean

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  11. Thanks for making me cry! I needed this, though. My 25 month old likes to sit with me and nusre all day long it seems. It's usually several hours, for certain, though. My patience tends to get thin, though, especially when bits of me fall asleep because of our position. I'm glad he's not planning on weaning any time soon, but I never expected his nursing to not drop at all after starting solids at 8 months!

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  12. sob sob! the last lines!

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  13. I love it!!!! Esp those last lines.

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  14. I was really irritated that a lot of people were commenting on why I'm still nursing my 15 month old son. Well, this poem just reassured me that I've made the right decision for my son and so happy that we have a special relationship.
    Thanks for the post.

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    1. My baby girl is 19 months and I have had the same kind of comments from my husband, a pediatrician (!!) and a friend that means well but thinks she has to explain and apologize for me still nursing my daughter. Before nursing I really thought we would have been done by now. I thought it was normal for most babies to be done nursing by the time they were one... Oh how wrong I was! We hit the big 1and I just couldn't fathom MAKING my baby stop nursing! Why? What's the point? I am in no rush to force her to stop getting that nourishment and bonding that she so obviously craves and needs.

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  15. I blame the pregnancy hormones but I'm just bawling from reading this!

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  16. I wasn't expecting the ending. It brought tears to my eyes as well. I'm nursing a 16-month-old and I'm dreading the day he no longer wants to nurse. Wean me gently little one.

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  17. Just beautiful.....impossible to read without getting choked up.

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  18. I discovered your blog by way of another blogger (WholeSon is No Circumcision of "Our Homeschool Journey") who recently visited my blog (love the cipher that gets created).

    As I began reading this poem, my almost-two-year-old son crawled onto my lap to nurse. There are moments when I feel exhausted by the demands of nursing such an active toddler and wonder how soon he'll be ready to wean completely. But those are also the very moments when I seek reassurance from sources like this.

    I am always grateful to have my instincts about the value of nurturing my child through breastfeeding. Of course, it's especially helpful to find other mothers/families who share the same experience and wide range of emotions around nursing toddlers. So even when I feel I've reached my limit or that his requests come at inconvenient times, I trust that his need to feel connected to me is more important than any desire for immediate independence.

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  19. The Mysterious Universe always gives us what we need, right when we need it, or so it seems....as I try to finish up writing something and put off nursing my nearly 3 year old.... :-)

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  20. I cried. I went through extremes to nurse my babies, well my second one atleast. Some days I feel I was too selfish and responsible for the dropping weight, this battle with oral thrush a second time which restricts her diet and keeps her from gaining weight. I wonder if I was serving my own need to nurse and bond and oh I love it so.. Now my baby wants to nurse through the night. Is on thrush meds, month two and I am one tired working mom that has little for older son and husband. My husband wonders if it is fair to the family... In any case, this poem hit the spot. Women who can nurse without any health issues all the way till their baby is ready to wean are blessed and so are their babies!

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    1. Have you tried any natural remedies for the thrush?? We battled it too, a few times, and honestly and truly natural remedies work better for thrush than nystatin does. They fill nystatin full of sugar so it will be palatable to babies... The problem with the sugar is that yeast (thrush) FEEDS on sugar! Gentian Violet and GSE (grapefruit seed extract) can be a much easier and more effective cure! Look up KellyMom.com. They have links to a bunch of fact based resources to help with thrush and other common nursing issues.

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  21. Have you tried gentian violet for the thrush? My babe had it for three months with the meds from the dr. Three months! It cleared up OVERNIGHT with the gentian violet

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  22. Don't know if any of you ladies are familiar with La Leche League's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, it is so much more than just nursing advice. Not only do they give advice for things like thrush but they also talk about child-led weaning and some parenting issues. I found it wonderful in supporting me 26 years ago when I was nursing a toddler. Everyone was asking when she would wean and she was only 5 months old. My answer finally shut everyone up: "Well, I would expect at least by the time she starts college!" :D Enjoy these times, they go by in the blink of an eye!

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  23. I just nursed my 8 month old...now that she is asleep...I read this, and the tears just came. I wasn't even prepared for a cry. After that last line, I couldn't hold back.
    I was thinking I would try to wean her around a year old, but after reading this...maybe I'm not ready. (Tear, tear)

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  24. I have an almost 3 week old and an 18 month old that I am nursing. Everyone expected me to wean her before I had my lil boy but I didn't have the heart. She nurses more now than when I was pregnant. I think I might print this for people to see so they will stop asking me to wean her. I am not ready to give up our time where we just stare into each other's eyes and I hold her hand and even for that short time it's just me and her like it was when she was little.

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  25. I didn't expect the reaction I had to this. Didn't think it would have me in tears! Great job with the poem!

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  26. Wow! I'm having a hard enough time accepting that my son doesn't want to nurse anymore...this is more than I could take!

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    1. Anon - how old is your baby? Is it a nursing strike? http://www.drmomma.org/2010/09/is-your-baby-on-nursing-strike.html

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  27. The picture is of me and my now 5 year old son. Thank you for the reminder that they grow so fast while I nurse his second sister.

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  28. Oh, man. This came at the perfect time. I am slowly and VERY gently weaning my daughter and was just telling my husband that she seems to be losing interest on her own. Now I'm the one being weaned. Thanks for posting. Made me cry, but that's ok. ;)

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  29. I needed to read this today. Our baby #4 was a complete surprise and miracle, after being "done" having kids for almost 8 yrs. This first year with him has been so amazing - I have such a different perspective because I know how fleeting this stage is. I've treasured every single step with him. We're getting close to weaning, and it just makes me so sad. Mostly because I know he's not going to be a baby much longer. *sigh* Thanks for this!

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  30. so beautiful, brought tears to my eyes. I am mommy of 2, younger 3 yrs old and still breastfeeding. We're getting close to weaning, and it makes me sad, especially since these are probably the last weeks/months of breastfeeding in my life, in general. My babies grew up too fast. I will remember these times as the best times of my life.

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  31. It brought a tear to my eyes too. I am not ready to quit breastfeeding but I have to due to lack of production. It's really sad for me.

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  32. Dang it.... So beautiful... :'( My baby is 2 months old and just the thought of having to wean our special bond is just heart-wrenching :( My husband just doesn't understand..... :(

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  33. My daughter is five years, three and a half months. Just a week or so ago, I was saying, "Is this child every going to wean? I'm fine with it, and I want her to do it in her own time, but when is that time going to be?" because although, of course, she was nursing much less than when she was younger - bedtime, wake up and hit-or-miss during the day - she was still showing no signs of being done. If I asked "How old do you think you'll be when you're big enough you don't need 'goody' anymore?" she would tell me, "Never!"

    I'm writing this on a Wednesday evening. Since Saturday afternoon, she's nursed four times - twice for maybe a minute (just long enough for me to start letting down, thanks kid), one relatively short nurse-to-sleep and one early morning back-to-sleep - and not at all since yesterday morning (about 40 hours, at this point).

    I'm still not sure that it's not some sort of fluke, but it certainly seems like she's getting close to being done. This poem has always gotten to me, but it's hitting on a whole different level tonight.

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