Sunday, November 29, 2009


We weaned our Biggest Girl this weekend. After 18 months of exclusively nursing (the bottle was never a hit), I haven't nursed her since Wednesday night. What I had expected would be a soul-wrenching, tear-filled, booby-aching journey turned out to be quite the opposite. The Biggest Girl (did you already know this?) is a total rock star. With only the tiniest bit of strife, she has moved on to a life beyond the boobies. My guess is that it all went so well because we were both ready. I was ready. I was ready months ago. It just didn't seem like the right time, though, so I kept nursing. I had no idea if she was ready or not, but it really seemed like she was. She only nursed for a total of about ten minutes a day and it was purely for comfort (bedtimes).

Oddly, I think the whole weaning thing was far more difficult on me than her. I expected her to have such a tough time letting go, but she's totally chill. She's letting Mr. Mallard put her down for her naps now and hasn't made a single attempt to gnaw through my clothing to get to my boobs. I, on the other hand, am a bubbling vat of emotions--ranging from bliss to the deepest sorrow. It's the most depressing liberation ever.

Some things I learned:
1. If the time is right, weaning is a piece of cake.
2. Having a second body around is essential. I don't think this would have gone as smoothly if Mr. Mallard hadn't stepped in to put her to bed and stayed so cool while she told him exactly how she felt about his presence (at first).
3. If you are only nursing (or pumping) once or twice a day, the agony of engorgement can be almost entirely avoided.
4. Cabbage leaves are your boobs' best friends. Maybe it's because they're cold. Maybe it's because the leaves fit almost perfectly in the cup of your bra. I don't know what it is, but I tried the Cabbage Leaves in the Bra trick on the one evening my boobs were feeling a little hefty and the relief they provided was both instant and delightful. I actually sighed aloud and started wondering if any of the day spas have a Cabbage Wrap (Cabbage Roll?) Treatment. If, at any point, you find yourself in a state of boob-related discomfort, get a cabbage. Trust me. It's heavenly.
5. The Biggest Girl's appetite was nearly non-existent for the first two days of weaning, but she has more than made up for it in the two days since. She has also become more vocal about telling me she's hungry.
6. We ran and jumped and hiked and sang and just plain wore her out before we put her down and that made the job so much easier. She was too pooped to protest. Not entirely too pooped, but pretty close.
7. I married the most amazing man on the planet. I know a lot of you think you might have married the most amazing man on the planet, but you didn't. I did. And I've never been more proud of our little family than I have been over this holiday weekend.

I'm still waiting for all the milk to dissipate, so I have no idea what I'm going to be left with when this is all done. My poor boobies. Thankfully, I very rarely have the urge to go streaking these days.

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