For the past couple of weeks, when I am sitting or lying down, you lift my shirt and place your cheek against my belly and lie down. We snuggle this way for a few seconds up to many minutes, depending what type of mood you’re in. We’ve gotten into the routine of doing this each morning after our walk, our ‘post-walk snuggle time’, I call it. I’ve been contemplating why you’re doing this, wondering if you can hear my heart and breathing and if that’s something you find comfort in. Or perhaps you’re cold, or trying to find my belly button, an activity that you used to be so amused by.
I mentioned this to nana yesterday and she immediately responded that you’re missing our closeness that resulted from all the time we spent cuddled together while nursing, virtually joined as one. Through the past couple of months I’ve transitioned from nursing you multiple times a day, slowing dropping one session at a time, down to just the one session that we’re doing now, at night. I’ve been reading about weaning, trying to understand the benefits and considerations of the timing of weaning you, and of how to do it. I’ve read that the benefits of nursing go behind just nutrition; they include comfort and security and bonding, for both of us. But despite all of this research, I failed to realize that as I’ve been slowly weaning you, you’ve been needing more closeness with me. I was looking for you to show signs that you were wanting to nurse, obviously reaching for or grabbing for me and attempting to do so. Since this has never happened, and since you seamlessly transitioned to drinking cow milk from a bottle, I assumed you were handling it well.
But when your nana shed light on what was going on, it hit me that of course, you were missing that connection. And then I started crying.
How could I have not realized this? Had I understood that this was going on, I would have weaned you even more slowly, I would’ve paid more attention to trying to get in more skin-to-skin time, I would’ve been more sensitive to the signs you were showing me. I’m not sure how to resolve this now, other than to try to provide as much snuggle time as I can and hope that it’s what you need.