....and we're movin' on, dn-dn-dn......movin' on..... (I'm hoping at least Gypsy Mama and Aramis can sing along.)
Movin' on. Last evening I moved the boob pillow out of the nursery into the basement. It was a hit with AJ in the new setting, as she has recently discovered the sensory pleasure of soft fluffy things.
I'm not totally ready to say she's weaned, but I haven't boob fed since last Monday and everything is good. No problems falling asleep. AJ hadn't been falling asleep at the boob in a long time anyway. The truth is, it was probably Mommy who most wanted that last snuggle and suckle of the day. I had no timeline for weaning her off the breast; I figured AJ would make it clear when she was ready and she has.
I find the best way to handle AJ's milestones is to not make a big deal out of them. Still the end of breastfeeding is a little harder to accept. It means letting go in a very tangible way of the things that made her an adored infant. At the same time my strongest emotion by far is gratitude for AJ's development and increasing skills. She ate successfully at the breast from the beginning. And then that she transitioned well to solid food. She can feed herself some foods with a spoon now. Everything has gone the way it is supposed to. It's been an easy transition, but still a transition, with many emotions. (It seems impossible to even write this paragraph without overusing the words "but" and "still.") I am still lactating, which makes me kind of sad; I wish the milk would just disappear so I don't have to think about it not being used. But so far at least I haven't been uncomfortable. I haven't read anything on how to go about this; I figure I'll let nature take its course. I hope that's not a dumb idea but I really don't want to prevaricate on it.
I've known since about November that AJ wasn't relying on the breast for eating. It was a comfort thing, but she's learned other ways to seek comfort (like biting her blanket before she goes to sleep). We still have lots of cuddles before bedtime, and I love when she goes to sleep in my arms. (I know, that's not how you're supposed to "sleep train," but generally AJ sleeps through the night and naps about 2 hours at home and daycare: I don't begrudge her the cuddles! On the other hand sometimes she doesn't want to be cuddled to sleep. She'd rather do this thing where she half gets up, and then flops down in the crib. And up, and flop. Until she's too tired and stays down. Also freaking adorable.)
Oh, and because there's always room for Rankin Family nostalgia on torthúil: here is the music video for "Movin' On" released in 1998. The Rankins were still in their 30s here. It was barely a year before Raylene retired from the band to spend more time with her infant son and only child (born after repeated miscarriages). Two years before John Morris died in a car accident, leaving two young children. Fourteen years before Raylene passed away from breast cancer. Yeah, I think a lot about death lately. I don't know if the remaining siblings will ever perform as a collective again, but on a more cheerful note: Jimmy (married and two kids) has a successful solo career; Heather is releasing her first album; John Morris's daughter is experiencing success with her indie rock band Alvvays; and I assume Cookie is happily married to her music producer husband (no kids).
Moving on can be sad, but as I like to say when I'm in a cheerful mood: The good times today have to come to an end so we can get to the good times in the future.