Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Now, Happy Forever

I've been struggling.  That's something I have a hard time admitting in real life.  But it's true.  Weaning Bean has stirred up a lot of emotions, and it took me awhile to figure it all out.  I'm sure that part of what I was feeling had to do with hormones that were out of whack in my body.  Some of it had to do with feelings that I wasn't entirely in control.  I felt like my choice to wean Bean, was only partially my choice.  If I wasn't infertile and I thought I could get pregnant again quickly and easily, would I have weaned Bean when I did?  Probably not.  I realized that I was feeling really angry toward infertility again.  Angry that it was somewhat controlling my life and my relationship with Bean.  I was angry that I had to take something away from her that made her happy.  Angry that I couldn't explain to her all the reasons why, and angry that the reason I weaned her, could end up not happening.  We could try to have another baby and fail.  And then will I regret my decision to wean before Bean seemed to be ready?  Potentially.  All of this was bouncing around in my head and heart.  I was sad, and mad, and kind of a mess.

Then I realized that I was facing the core decision that we make as parents everyday.  Do I help Bean be happy now, or do I make the tough choices to try and help her be happy forever?  It is easy, in certain ways, to give in to all the little things that make her happy, and at this age, that might not be so bad.  But as she gets older, there are going to be more and more things she wants, places she wants to go, friends she wants to have, and so on.  Not all of these things are going to be good for her, and I'm going to have to make the unpopular choices and put my foot down.  I'm going to have to take away a little of what she perceives as her happiness now, to try and ensure her happiness for the future.  And I'm okay with that. I know that's part of the parenthood gig, and both hubby and I have a very good appreciation of that from our own childhoods.  We are very happy now and attribute that, in part, to good decisions that the way our parents raised us influenced.

It took me a few days to realize that weaning Bean fit into this scenario.  She is happy when she nurses.  I still think about the last time she nursed and my heart almost breaks.  It brings tears to my eyes every time.  We had moved her bedtime feeding until before her bath, and Hubby was reading her books while she nursed.  She was laughing at something in the book and the look on her face was just of pure joy.  I was struggling so much with the feeling that I took that away from her.  Then I started thinking about why I did that.  Obviously, she was going to have to wean eventually, but I was hoping to wait for more cues from her that she was ready.  The hope though, is that by pushing her before she was ready, we'll be able to start the process of trying for another baby.  A sibling for her.  Which has a lot of question marks.  We might not be successful and Bean may be an only child.  Or we might be successful and she and her sibling may not have the kind of relationship we dream of.  Our hope though, our dream, is that Bean will have at least one sibling so that when we're gone, she'll still have family.  That they will have a strong relationship full of love.  That their lives will be strengthened and enhanced by each other.  That they will make each other happy forever.

So it's a bit of a gamble, but now that I can see it all in black and white, I don't feel so sad anymore.  I still miss nursing Bean and I can tell she misses it too.  That hurts me sometimes.  More so though, I'm focusing on the hope that we have laying ahead of us.  For the first time, I've had to take away something big that really makes Bean happy, but I have the opportunity to potentially give her something so much bigger.  I want the sun and the moon and the stars for her, and any other baby we might have.  I'm okay with taking away a few months more of her happiness for that.  For years, lifetimes of happiness.  Plus I'm already starting to see her settle in to our new routines and I'm finding new ways to make her feel safe and loved.  She makes me so very happy, and I hope that all the choices I make give that back to her.  She deserves all of that, and so much more.


  1. This post really moved me. I have never been where you are now, but your explanation of why weaning Bean early hurts/angers you makes so much sense. I'm glad you were able to get to the bottom of it, and that you're not feeling as sad now. I hope your plan for the future comes true soon!

  2. Oh, how well I know these mixed feelings... I just wish I felt one way or the other, honestly.
    I hope you're feelng better and that the new routines are all set in by now.