I’m currently obsessing over my weight while munching on a chocolate cupcake. Life is not fair hahaha. I know I should be losing weight already (my officemates and I “agreed” on wearing bikinis on our next trip – well, reluctantly agreed), so I shouldn’t be eating carbs and sugar anyway.
During times like this, I wish it was 2012 – mid 2014 all over again.
During those fabulous years, I was still largely breastfeeding then-little Yuri. Of course, he was eating solids before he was 1, but he still nursed several times during the day. In fact, even in 2014, when Yuri was already 2++ years old, he was still nursing several times during the day. So even if I had a big appetite, I was still burning a lot of calories without me having to leave my seat. I barely gained weight even though I ate like a horse.
I was looking through my Instagram feed and found some depressing pictures:
Never mind my armpit on the last picture. I just gave birth for crying out loud. Gimme a break 😛
(There’s also another reason why I love 2012; I didn’t have my period until a month before Yuri turned 1! Bwahaha)
But those lovely, fabulous days are over. Ever since I stopped nursing Yuri a month before he turned 3, I started gaining weight. Like crazy. As in, I’m not even this fat 6 months ago. I steadily and quickly gained weight each day. I am now 10 pounds overweight and almost 20 pounds from my desired weight. All because I weaned.
(And because I’m still a sugar addict, but let’s focus on weaning for now.)
Let’s talk about weaning.
First of all, I’d like to be upfront about it and tell you that Yuri didn’t stop nursing on his own. In fact, if he had his way, he would have been still breastfeeding now. I’m 101% sure about it.
However, I had to wean him off the breast for important reasons. First, I just got rid of our yaya, so I was his only primary carer now. When he had a yaya, he was almost always distracted from having to nurse because he had someone to “play” with. However, now that it’s almost always (there’s the phrase again) just the two of us, I am the distraction. He interprets 24/7 of togetherness to 24/7 nursing. That’s coming from a boy who is almost three. I know you’ll think I’m selfish, but I was just so tired of nursing, doing household chores, running after a toddler, and working.
Speaking of working, my second reason was work. I was working full-time. I’ve been working full-time since 2012, but then again, there was yaya to be my righthand. After I lost a yaya, I couldn’t anymore afford to type on the computer (I was an essay instructor then) while nursing a child. It was just too much for me.
Third, my joints and bones were becoming too brittle. I don’t know if it happened to you, too, fellow nursing mums, but ever since I started nursing (which was pretty much from Day 1 – almost, anyway), I suddenly had weak knees. This is the reason why I couldn’t run as much as I used to. Now that we’ve weaned, I’m still on the way to recovery. #chos
The fourth and my final reason is I knew Yuri was ready. As a mum, I just knew it. I wasn’t just guessing either. I knew it from the way he wouldn’t really nurse but just suck — for fun. He was using the breasts as other kids would use a pacifier or a blankie. As an almost 3-year old, he wasn’t relying on breast milk for nutrition at all because he was barely getting milk in the first place.
I showed Yuri that he doesn’t have to look for comfort in the breasts. I showed him that my hugs and kisses are always there, free and unlimited, whenever he feels scared or uncomfortable.
I know with all my heart how breastfeeding provides security and comfort, but I came to a point where, whenever he would ask to nurse, I would feel annoyed or burdened instead of relaxed and, you know, motherly. As a mother, I stopped finding comfort in breastfeeding and, in turn, I knew I wasn’t really providing Yuri the atmosphere that he deserved. Because nursing was already negative for me, and it was already costing me my sanity, I decided it was now time to wean.
And when we finally weaned, I knew it was the right decision. Yuri was not sad – not at all – not when I immediately gave him unlimited cuddles that made him feel secure. He didn’t have to nurse from mummy to find comfort; he realised he could just relax and snuggle in the crook of my arm. He didn’t even miss nursing.
Occasionally, just for fun, I would offer him the breastfeed, and he would just politely refuse. Okay, I’m kidding. He never politely refused. He would pretend to look disgusted and say “Yuck, disgusting!” Then he would smile and say “Joke!”
As for me, sometimes, I regret not being able to take a picture of our last breastfeeding session. I couldn’t even remember the date. I couldn’t remember any detail — at all. That’s because I didn’t know that was the last. I just told Yuri that he’s a big boy now and that mama wants to rest from breastfeeding na. He just understood it. Until now, he still says he’s a big boy now and that he wants me to rest from nursing. And he’s fine with it.
As long as there’s still unlimited hugs and cuddles.