Today marks one month since I weaned my daughter. It doesn't feel like a month because it took a couple weeks for my milk to completely dry up and she still has her hands down my shirt more often than not. But I did it!
I thought I was going to wean my child around 14 months, the same age that I was taken off the boob. Alas, she was not ready and, truth be told, neither was I. The hurdle was in my mind. Every time I emotionally approached the topic of weaning, my heart jumped in and longed to pull my growing baby closer to me instead of letting her go. The prospect was worse than the reality.
The opportunity presented itself because I was scheduled to go to a conference in St. Louis. Unlike other business trips where I've been able to take my husband or my mother along, this time, I couldn't bring a care-taker. I would either have to give up a large portion of the conference to attend to my child, or travel alone. Honestly, up until the day before leaving, I considered bringing her because women in my life were warning that going away to ween was hugely scarring. I stuck with my instinct, though, knowing that my daughter had more than enough support between my husband and parents to carry her through the week without me.
My four nights away were glorious! I slept to my heart's content, biked around the city, and came home feeling like a real human for the first time since I gave birth. I did bring a breast pump along (great advice from my acupuncturist) so that I could ease the pressure and pain of a built up supply. Every night I talked with my daughter on the phone and made sure she knew I was coming home soon. Everyone from my parents to my husband to our First Born visitor said she did great. She even developed a bedtime routine with her Papa for the first time in her life.
We have since developed other ways of connecting. We cuddle (without milk), we have long hugs, and she still co-sleeps. It really wasn't as painful of a separation as I anticipated. I just needed to create a physical distance to overcome my (sometimes) weak willpower.