Recently I got hit by a nasty bout of flu and it got so bad that I had to be put on very strong antibiotics. As a result, I had to stop nursing Claire for those few days that I was on medication. As I haven't had frozen reserves for the longest time, there was no choice but for Claire to be put on FM fulltime.
After I recovered, Claire appeared to be very impatient at the breast; the first night we went back to breastfeeding she rejected me after two or three minutes and cried for the bottle. Had no choice but to give her what she wanted but I felt quite upset.
The next day I told my mum what happened and she suggested that I stop breastfeeding. Well, that got me even MORE upset, because my mother had been so supportive of my breastfeeding journey all along. I wondered if perhaps it was really time to stop - after all my milk supply has been insufficient for the past few months largely due to work stress. But my thinking all along had been that I would still continue to give her what I had because I'm so convinced of the benefits of breastmilk. My intention had always been for Claire to self-wean when she wanted to.
Then this awful thought crossed my mind - is Claire self-weaning from the breast already? She had never been very attached to the breast, but I certainly didn't expect her to self-wean at the age of 18 months. Spent a couple of days waddling in misery over this. The few days when she was on full FM were indeed quite liberating in some sense - so convenient to just make some milk for her when she wants, and there was no need to worry if she was getting enough. But the thought of not nursing her again - well it just hurts! I think I've gotten more attached to the experience than Claire has! *rolls eyes* But still... if she no longer wanted to nurse, then I can't very well force her to stay attached, right? (hahaha... I think I need to be weaned more than she does)
So I decided to let things go their natural course - if she really decides to wean off, then I'll just let it be.
Verdict? After the failed "reattachment exercise", on the 2nd night, I made her milk instead of nursing her - out of 150ml, she drank 120ml, and went to sleep. The next night, I made her 120ml, she drank 40ml, then she rejected the bottle and started crying for "nai nai". I asked her if she wanted to drink mummy's milk. She nodded her head. From then on, it's back to total latch-on at night again. Wakkakakakakakkakakaka... ok, so I guess she does feel some bit of attachment to nursing after all. Now sometimes in the afternoon she will ask to be nursed instead of drinking from the bottle.
Though at the moment Claire is partially weaned off, we still enjoy the whole breastfeeding experience, so we'll still keep on with it for the moment when we can, because I still feel that it's one of the greatest gifts I can give her.