Elka loves to breastfeed, and up until recently, I have been happy to partake. From the moment she was born, she suckled vigorously. At first I was on one-hour-every-three-hour schedule, then I fed on demand, which was a lot of the time.
Where we live, breastfeeding is celebrated. You see three or four year olds feeding at the market, women push their trolleys in the supermarket whilst feeding, every cafe has a breastfeeding mother. If you had a thing against it, you would probably be in the minority if you live near Lismore.
The first time I felt self conscious about feeding was when I went down to Melbourne. Most people I knew had weaned at 12 months, and a number of people asked me until when I was planning to breastfeed. Up until that point, I hadn’t really made a plan. I figured I would just let things happen until my milk changed, or Elka got fed up, or I got fed up. But sitting on a tram, surrounded by men and women from different cultures, I suddenly felt very exposed, and somehow incorrect. How was Elka to know that Mummy was not comfortable breastfeeding in this particular context? She chucked a wobbly.
In the last month or so, I definitely got fed up with night feeds. You can see my earlier post about that. So I made my first plan since I had Elka. When uni break commenced, I would stop night feeds. Others had done it, so I knew it was possible. But I fed as normal during the day, so Elka had some continuity.
About a week later, I was fed up with day feeds too. Sometimes I felt like all the good I was to Elka was being a pair of boobs. And she was so damn insistent. We were on our way to a BBQ with my friend Maddy and I said to Greg, I said: “How am I ever going to wean Elka?” and Greg said: “Zanni, you are an excellent mother, but one area that could be improved is your ability to say no. I for instance don’t let her have the mobile phone, but you allow her to play with it, just because she makes a fuss if you don’t.” Elka, sitting in the back seat, must have had those little earlets tuned in, because the very next day I simply said, “No, Elki, let’s do something else”, and every association she had previously had with feeding broke, one by one, until, two days later, she didn’t ask at all. There was no fuss, no crying. I was amazed. It was so easy. And now, she wakes up in the morning and asks for an “uppa”, which means cuddle, and it is so terribly cute, and definitely something I will never get fed up with.
I still feed her to sleep at night…she is very attached to that one, and frankly, I don’t mind it at all. It’s a little moment to lie down in the dark with my angel, and let the day roll away behind us.