Weaning, a Shakespearean Sonnet(?!)

Who writes poetry these days? And who writes a flipping Shakespearean sonnet of all things? I don’t think I’ve thought about iambic pentameter since varsity days, but this week it all came flooding back to me, and out of me, in a poem dedicated to my baby girl, who is in the process of weaning. I’m finding it very emotional. It’s been such a special time with her, but all good things must come to an end and all that. Onwards and upwards to the next phase. Just not without a little grief, some choked-back tears, and a dose of nostalgia to see me through.

Weaning

Nine months I held you in my womb until
You washed into this world amidst the night
More months than that in my arms held you still
Your rosy lips around my nipple tight

Your milestones came and went with life’s effect
But even so you stayed close as you grew
While heart to heart our bodies intersect
You suckled life from me and I from you

But we’ve hung on too long my dear heart
Your body has outgrown my body’s need
There comes a time when mom and babe must part
But not tonight, just one more night, I plead

And while you nuzzle at my empty chest
I mourn the milky rhythm of the breast

Ten months

betwixt and bet-wean

04:34am: Wanna Play?

It’s amazing how different two kids from the same genetic pool can be. My eldest slept through the night from 3.5 months and was happy to chat to his toes until we were ready to come get him at 8am (yes, I know, I was very, VERY lucky!).

My second boy, now 4.5 months, still wakes for some midnight munchies around 1 or 2 am, and then wakes up for the day about 4:30 or 5:30 – AND WANTS TO PLAY!

Especially since I’ve gone back to work, I’ve been taking a bit of strain with this arrangement. I’ve been unfairly comparing him to his older brother and resenting being woken up at all hours of (what I still rightly feel is) the night. But this morning I had a bit of an epiphany. You know, with our second child I’ve been very, VERY lucky!

When I went back to work we started the weaning process, getting Yishai onto bottles during the day and starting him on baby porridge. So I’m seeing much less of him now, and the breastfeeding is slowing down too. So it’s actually a blessing that I still get to have those little midnight cuddles, and drift back to sleep with the soft scent of babyhead by my face. And I get a couple of hours in the morning – before the phone starts ringing, the computer starts dinging, and my eldest, husband and the house need a share of my attention – just to bond with my little boy.

I’m not saying I’m not looking forward to sleeping through the night again(!)

But it’s not all bad.

And the more I think about it, life’s like that. We’re always betwixt and betwean – weaning ourselves from one state or process to the next – especially once you have children. We’re never stagnant, and the challenge is to get as much joy out of each stage as we can. I suppose it’s a wean-wean situation.