How have you all been? I know I have been away forever. My initial plan was to take a break for a month because I was shifting my house and wanted to take my time to settle in. But more things came up resulting in my delay from blogging. From some problems coming up in the place I shifted, to relatives visiting from India to weaning my baby – we had a handful of stuff to sort! Anyway, things are sorted for now and let’s pray it doesn’t go for the worst. Anyway life has to go on and as long as you are willing to completely trust God and fight on, no one can bring you down. Alhamdulilah for everything!
Admist the problems, I tried to stay positive. My cousins were visiting from India, we took them around Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain. Alhamdulilah my son turned two on March and we all celebrated it together.
I decided to wean him off breastfeeding and it was not all that easy. It got to a point that whenever I am near him, all he wants to do is feed. No other activities he would want to do with me. Since he sleeps in with us, he was getting used to sleeping off feeding. Most of the time I would be so tired and dose off in between feeding only to get up with terrible neck and back aches. And Masha Allah, he is growing up and moving a lot so it is not easy like before to feed when I am out and have to feed sitting.
Starting off I tried to reduce feeding times to a few times a day but it was not helping. If I wanted him not to feed I had to stay away from him. I tried to applying coffee but he drank it all up without the slightest hesitation. I felt it harsh but next I tried applying bittergourd juice, he instantly pushed away and showed that disgusted reaction (he says ‘chee chee’ for things he feels disgusted on)! Most women I consulted said, just once I have to apply and they would wean off but that was not really the case. I remember being confused on how they would just let go off a habit they are used to from birth. Nobody really gives you full information and instructions to prep you up. They would have 1000s of unnecessary advises & suggestions you didn’t ask for but when you ask for something, they just say you will learn when you get there or only give you half the info!
My son would ask to feed again and refused to take bottle from me until finally I had to let him spent 2 nights with my mom and sister. Since my cousins were there, he did not miss me and spend his time playing with them, eating with them and sleeping off after drinking from the bottle. When he saw me at daytime he would ask to feed again but my sister and cousins would help distract him by playing and taking him out.
Third night I expected him not to ask for feeding and took him to sleep with us but I was so wrong. In middle of the night he got up and when he saw me offering him bottle, he had a meltdown. When he understood I was stern on not feeding him, he turned his back on me crying and wouldn’t let me hold him. It was so emotional and getting me all teary. Finally he was so sleepy to fight anymore that he accepted the bottle and slept off.
Fourth and fifth day it got much better with him sleeping through the night. He would try his luck now and then but wouldn’t insist or have a meltdown. I would just say it is ‘chee chee’ but try this delicious bottle instead and he would oblige. It’s the second week now and he still hasn’t stopped asking, especially if he is sleepy or sees me after long time (eg. after work). In Sha All, he will soon forget about it.
In between all this I also had to go through the pain of weaning. Ladies who breastfeed would understand the pain when the milk is not emptied and gets all full and hard. It gets really painful that you can’t hold anything close to you. Some ladies I heard even have fever during the weaning period and have to take medications. Alhamdulilah! It was not that bad for me. First 2 days I had to extract some milk off manually so that I would feel relieved. Care should be taken not to use pumping machines as the sucking action would induce the body to produce more milk! Subhanallah! The creations of God is so perfect!
After 2 days, the pain and hard feeling was still there but it got better. Alhamdulilah! by the end of the week I was all okay! Though it was emotional to let go of a bond like that, what I like now is that he does more activities with me now. I get to play, eat with him,carry him and take him out without fearing he will meltdown any moment for feeding.
I chose to share my experience here because I know how much I craved to hear out somebody’s experience to prepare myself for weaning! Remember that each pregnancy, each child, each experience is different and unique – so my post is only a way to make you prepare mentally for what might happen. For some women weaning goes very easy and for some it would be even harder than mine. I could only find very little instructions and most women just forget the experience! I don’t blame them because I know mommy brain is a real thing! So before I would forget I wanted to jot down my experience for mom’s in need.
Alhamdulilah! I am happy I could feed him for complete 2 years like I prayed and wished for. There are many women who can’t do this so I am really grateful to God! I have heard many lectures and read articles on the various benefits of breastfeeding so this is what I chose for myself and my son. If you are blessed with the ability to breastfeed I would higly recommend you to continue with it as there is nothing better than it for your child and yourself.
From sore breasts, cracked nipples, sleeplessness, fatigue, no time for yourself, neckaches, backaches to searching frantically for a private area to feed in public, it is not easy at all. But 2 things that kept me going was knowing I was giving the best for my child and the following hadith
Narrated from Imām as-Sādiq (as):
“Every time a woman becomes pregnant, during the whole period of pregnancy she has the status of one who fasts, one who worships during the night, and one who fights for Allah with her life and possessions. And when she is giving birth, Allah grants her so much reward that nobody knows its limit because of its greatness. And when she is giving milk to her child, for every suck of the child, Allah gives her the reward of freeing a slave from the children of Ismā’īl, and when the period of breastfeeding the child is finished, one of the great angels of Allah taps her side and says: “Start your deeds afresh, for Allah has forgiven all your minor sins.” [al-Kāfī, vol. 5, pg. 496]
That said, I know there are ladies who cannot breastfeed because of health issues. Please know that this does not make you any less important than a breastfeeding mother. Know that whatever God has given you is for the best of your child and yourself. Please do not feel guilty for what is not in your hand. You could be even better than a breastfeeding mom in every other fields. Conceiving and breastfeeding along does not make you a mother. Do the best of what you can and leave rest to the All Mighty!
God bless you all!
♥ Abidha ♥