Wednesday, February 17, 2010


*Just a disclaimer - this post is talks about breastfeeding and other womanly issues. Also, it alludes to the fact that we are total hippies in some of our parenting choices. If either things gross you out, feel free to skip it.

I am weaning Ollie. He is just shy of 18 months old, which may seem ancient in breastfeeding months to a lot of you, but both of my other boys breastfed past 2 years, so part of me feels like I am short-changing him.

With breastfeeding past a year, my motto is "you do what works for you, and when it no longer works, you change it." I woke up on Monday morning to the realization that nursing Oliver was no longer working for many reasons. The cutting back that I had been attempting for months was not working. He is an all or nothing type of kid. You give him an inch and he takes a foot. I knew, in a flash, that he needed to go cold turkey.

That flash of intelligence has been questioned over and over again by my heart the last three days, but I just can't deny it. All of my past experience with this boy is telling me that it needs to happen and it needs to happen this way.

This is a change that has been building for awhile, but I can tell you that is was a very unpleasant shock to my baby. His world has changed dramatically, and he has had no say in it.

It has been a hard few days. I am physically in pain, but worse is the dark cloud that has been hovering over my little boy's head. I left Oliver with Sabina yesterday while I took Gabe to speech, and she said he was crying off and on the whole time. He needed to be near her at all times. He was screaming at the YMCA later on- two different workers told me how unlike himself he was acting. I know that in his own way he is coping with a loss of stability and comfort.

Today has been somewhat better, but he is so unsure of everything - screaming, wanting to be held at all times, not smiling as easily.

February has been a cold, somewhat bleak month for me. I am ready for it to be over. Besides the sickness I have talked about on here and on facebook, I experienced a chemical pregnancy, or very early miscarriage, at the beginning of the month.

Two pregnancy tests on January 21st and 22nd told me that I was pregnant. We were so excited, so ready for a new one. For a week and a half after, Chad and I planned for a late September baby. We talked about when and how we would tell everyone our news, and speculated about whether it could possibly be a girl.

I woke on Sunday the 31st, happy to be snowed in with my family, without even church to go to. I soon saw blood. I called my midwife. It was no longer a magical snow day. The blood got heavier, and Chad, who was supposed to be flying out the next day, changed his travel plans so that he could be with me at my appointment on Monday.

After way too long with the midwife that day, it was confirmed that I wouldn't be having a baby in nine months after all.

Just like that, our year looked completely different.

I have never had any kind of miscarriage, but I can tell you that I am sure a later miscarriage would have been much more painful. This felt like I lost a pregnancy, not a baby. I lost an idea, and plans, not a person.

I spent a week bleeding, taking care of my kids as usual, cleaning as usual, catching a cold, taking care of a sick Ollie....all as usual, but with a tired heart.

I found myself laying in bed at night, coughing and blowing my nose, but plotting my garden in my head, smelling the warm sun on the soil, breathing in the earthy scents of spring. I am talking hours and hours of dreaming of flowers and warmth.

I was okay. I was comforted. I knew that my hopes were not going to be fulfilled right now, but in the future. I knew that it was part of a greater plan.

Spring would come, no matter how cold it was right now.

I wish Oliver could understand that.

I guess it is something you can only learn for yourself.


Merf said...

oh my dear ingleside...dear katie...i have experienced what you have...a couple of times...and it hurts...the loss of what might have been...hold on to ollie---hug your boys...let chad grieve with you...i'm sorry.

Olivia Carter said...

OH Katie. This was such a great blog post. Rough because it's rough for you. But so true. I haven't experienced a miscarriage but I'm so grateful people talk about it more often now days. Now i'll know who I can talk to if I do ever go through it.

Good luck with Ollie. That lil guys reminds me of my BertoBear. Wish we lived closer so we could celebrate & commiserate.

Sending good spring thoughts your way!

Audra said...

You know how I feel and I am so sorry you had to go through this. I do not wish it on anyone. No matter what it is hard!

As far as the weaning thing. I had to do the same for Callie. Cold Turkey and I hated it, but she would accept no cut backs. And the first week was full of a clingy, needy, desperate Callie, but she got better. I feel your cold turkey momma pain though... that stuff hurts!

Glad you shared! It will help people! Sometimes we keep things like that to ourselves and it is nice to know other people go through the same things.

Kari said...

Katie, I'm so very sorry. Sending love and prayers your way.

Ashley said...

Poor Ollie - such a big world out there that he has to start understanding. He's lucky that you are so in tune with his needs and know to be patient while he figures this out. You are such a good mama.

I really, really need spring to be here. There's nothing like spending the day outside that just makes all your other problems go away.

Linda, Mom and Granny said...

Oh, Katie, my sweet Katie...I love you!

lindsey said...

i'm so sorry you are going through this... I hope Ollie gives you a little break today.

Jones Family said...

Katie- I am so sorry to hear that you are having to go through all of this right now! It is not easy to lose a baby. I know it was the hardest thing for me. I love you and I will be praying for you and your family.

Christie said...

Hugs. So sorry to hear about the chemical. I had a very similar experience weaning Amelia at 16 months. It just wasn't working and she wouldn't cut back.

Autumn Wilkins said...

Once again you are an example of strength to me. You always have been. I can't even imagine going through this. I choke up just reading about it. How you handle everything so well I will never know. You are a beautiful soul Katie.

jes and scott said...

I've always disliked February. I am sorry for the difficult things you are going through right now. What great perspective you have.
P.S. I love the way you write.