Weaning week 4 went off without a hitch. Henry continued to nurse once in the morning for one week. I had no intention of weaning him until after the New Year. However, one particularly sleepy morning, Chris got him out of the crib, and Henry didn’t look for me. We let him play and have breakfast, and to my surprise he never cried for my milk. The next morning I got Henry out of his crib, avoided his rocker and the bed (two common nursing places), and again he didn’t cry for my milk. For 5 days, I felt full of milk and tender to any pressure on my milk udders. The 6th day, I felt only slight tenderness.
Week 5 was another story. I started feeling extreme tenderness anytime there was pressure against my chest. My breasts were slightly swollen and I had clogged milk ducts, which took me a few days to realize as I’d forgotten what it felt like. I remedied the plugged ducts by massaging the problem areas in the hot shower. For 3 days I massaged the problem areas in the shower squeezing out the excess milk. Finally the tenderness disappeared. I was relieved until I looked in the mirror after a shower. The words of my mother rang in my ears, “Why did you breastfeed for so long? Your hair is no longer shiny and your boobs are going to be saggy.” I laughed when she said it, as she is a proponent of natural food and natural beauty, but now I cringe at the truthfulness of her words. Things have shrunk, and I didn’t think they could get smaller. Things have also fallen … low … low … low. Perhaps it’s the drastic transformation from having porno boobs to back to normal boobs, but it doesn’t look or feel normal to me. I advise all pre-breastfeeding or pre-pregnant women to take a picture of yourself before your body endures the drastic changes that accompany motherhood. Or just take a mental picture, as you don’t want to be physically reminded of what you once were, as you’ll never get it back -- that is unless you’re willing to undergo some kind of scary procedure. After one day of feeling hideous, I’ve accepted that it doesn’t look that bad, and it was all worth it in the end. A changing body is part of motherhood and part of getting older, both of which I am determined to take on gracefully and skillfully.