It's Official

It's been exactly a month since Little S nursed. It's official -- at 2 years and 6 months, Little S has been weaned from the breast.

It had been surprisingly easy. I had been expecting him to cry his lungs out or throw tantrums, and be unable to sleep at night without his organic pacifier. He did cry a bit the first night, but when I reminded him that mommy already took the medicine, and showed him the injection site on my tummy for good measure, he stopped crying and started to giggle instead, poking at my tummy for fun. And that was it.

I also wasn't expecting it to be easy for me. When I first realized that I would have to wean Little S, I felt this overwhelming sense of sadness that I started to cry. I felt like I was about to lose a special bond with my child. My eyes would well up with tears every time I thought about it. I went to the La Leche League forum and read other women's accounts on weaning. Those who were forced to wean (because of medication, or gruelling work hours, or because their child suddenly self-weaned) talked of having the same feelings. One woman whose child self-weaned described the feeling as being dumped by the love of her life, who refuses to get back with her -- which was exactly what I felt like when Little S had a nursing strike. So I was expecting more or less the same crushing feeling when I finally stopped nursing.

But, to my surprise, I don't feel anything at all. Yes, I do miss breastfeeding, I do miss the closeness and the special time we had together -- it's all just a memory now. But, it feels like nothing major happened. Like this was the way things have always been.

I think it helped that Little S had gradually been weaning himself over time. During the last few months he had been nursing only once at night, and only on one breast. So, the transition to not nursing at all wasn't that hard.

Also, since I knew the exact date when I would be getting the shot, I did a countdown with Little S. I would tell him, okay, this is day 1. When we reach day 15, mommy will take the medicine, and you cannot nurse anymore. You will have to say bye bye to dede. And during that period, I would sometimes skip nursing for a night, so he would only be nursing every other night. I think all that gradual transition made everything easy and relatively tear-free.

Little S still asks to nurse sometimes, but I think he only says it for fun. The other day, I did an experiment. I pretended to give in and offered him my breast. He mouthed it for a second, then giggled and pushed away.

"Noooo..." he said, "I don't want to dede."
"Come on," I said, "Didn't you say you wanted dede?"
"Nooo..." he said, shaking his head and laughing.
"Why not? Have you forgotten how to do it already?"

I repeated the experiment this morning, with the same result. I think my breast grosses him out now. He mouths it for a second and then his face goes, "Ewww..."

Still, I think he remembers nursing as something special, something that he loved, otherwise he wouldn't be asking for it, even though he doesn't really want it anymore.

And that's enough for me.


Two and a Half

My little one is now two and a half years old. He is the apple of everyone's eye, the center of attention. He never fails to brighten everyone's day. Here are his latest funny antics:

1. His dad bought him a set of books. One of the books is entitled, "When I Grow Up." My mom was telling me how nice the book was, describing it and saying, "When I grow up, I want to be a blank... when I grow up, I want to be a blank..." (What she meant to say was, in the book, there were a lot of things that the kids wanted to be when they grow up, such as an astronaut, a doctor, etc.) So I asked little S, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And he promptly replied, "A blank." God, I hope not!

2. Little S is such a night owl. He likes to sleep late and wake up late. So I told him, "You should start going to bed early and waking up early. Or else how will you cope when you start going to school?" He replied, "SS sleep in school na lang." (He will sleep in school instead.) I hope this doesn't mean I'll be called into the principal's office a lot!

3. Little S really loves Disney's Cars movie. His grandma bought him Lightning McQueen, Sarge and Fillmore toy cars, which made him really happy. One day he said to me, "Mommy, you want to buy Chick Hicks and The King." (What he meant was he wanted to buy them. You = I.) So I asked him, "Do you have any money?" And he said, "Yes." I asked, "Where?", not expecting a real answer. He said, "In Pat the Cat book."

A few days later, his grandma gifted him again with Chick Hicks. As I was opening the packaging, he quickly went to the bookshelf to get something. I was wondering why he was in such a hurry and why he wasn't hovering over his new Chick Hicks toy. Then I saw that he got his Pat the Cat book. He quickly opened it, got the money and paid his grandma. That was pretty funny! But I think I will need to teach him that money doesn't grow on trees -- or books!


Bad News

Well, this is no big surprise, but I didn't expect this to happen so soon.

My endometriosis is back. The cyst on my ovary is big enough to warrant medical intervention. And to think 3 months ago there was nothing, just a mild case of adenomyosis. I am now taking Primolut-N to try to control it before we take out the big guns. I will have to have Zoladex shots.

And I will have to wean Little S completely.

He now only nurses once at night when going to bed, on one side only. I would alternate sides each night. I have told him that mommy is sick and needs to take medicine. I explained to him that when I do, he cannot nurse anymore. Whenever I ask him, "What will happen when mommy starts to take the medicine?", he will say, "SS cannot dede anymore." I guess he understands, but I am not sure if he will really accept it when the day comes. I estimate I have less than a month before I will need to have the shots.

I'm sooo not looking forward to it.


Expanded Breastfeeding Act

Love her or hate her, there is now at least one thing that President Arroyo has done right: signing the "Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009".

The new law mandates all government and private institutions to provide lactation rooms where working mothers can comfortably pump or express milk. It requires the rooms to come fully equipped with a sink for hand-washing, a refrigerator for storing expressed milk, electrical outlets for pumps, a small table, and comfortable seats. Tax incentives will be given out to establishments that provide a lactation station.

Furthermore, the law requires employers to grant breaks to breastfeeding employees to pump their milk -- at least 40 minutes for every 8-hour working period. Hooray for working moms who breastfeed!

It also aims to promote breastfeeding by integrating it into relevant subjects in the school curriculum. What a neat way to raise awareness about breastfeeding to children who otherwise have never been exposed to it! I know this from personal experience -- it probably wasn't a conscious decision at that time, but back in high school, when we were studying about diseases and antibodies in science class, I read in my science book that breastmilk contains live antibodies, and that whatever the mother is immune to, she can pass the immunity to her child through her breastmilk. I thought that was really amazing, and I immediately asked my mother whether I was breastfed. I was disappointed to hear her say no (I don't blame her, formula was -- and actually still is -- the norm. It was automatic, no need to think about breastfeeding vs formula), so I thought to myself that if I ever had a child I would breastfeed.

But, based on some of the inane comments left on the article, we've still got a long way to go in raising breastfeeding awareness. But at least this is a step in the right direction. According to Senator Pia Cayetano, who authored the law, "this is the 14th Congress' gift to all Filipino mothers on women's month."


Fruit Loops

I have been trying to sing the song "Return to Pooh Corner" to Little S, but couldn't remember the lyrics. So I dug out my old Kenny Loggins Greatest Hits CD and played it for him. I let him listen to "Return to Pooh Corner" a few times, then I started playing the rest of the tracks. When "Footloose" came on, I started dancing, and little S danced and laughed with me. Then I heard him sing, "Loops... fruit loops... everybody fruit loops."