I have started the process of weaning Joy. We are taking it slow, just eliminating the mid-day feeding right now. But one of the steps I'm trying to take is to un-associate nursing and sleeping.
So this evening, I nursed Joy before her bath, then went to just put her to bed after her bath. She did not like that idea at all. She cried and screamed at me. I held her the whole time, because nursing is such a close bond, I didn't want her to feel like I was abandoning her by refusing to let her nurse. She kept crying and reaching her arms up at me. It was so heartbreaking, because I knew exactly what she wanted and how easy it would be to give it to her. But I just kept holding her, rocking her, and singing to her.
It felt like forever, but I guess it was just about 5 minutes before she finally calmed down. I layed her down in her crib and gently rubbed her back and kept humming until I saw her eyes beginning to drift shut; then I quietly left. I felt horrible and just wanted to sit down and cry.
5 minutes later, she started fussing again. I went in to check on her. She had rolled over onto her back, and when she saw me come in, she smiled at me. I walked over and rolled her back onto her tummy, and she looked back over her shoulder and smiled again, and just kind of squirmed around getting comfortable. I said good night, went back out, and she went to sleep.
I felt so much better. It was like she had called me back in to tell me that she forgave me, and she was sorry for acting the way she did. Now I feel like this whole weaning process is going to be ok. I know there will be many more hard moments like tonight, but we'll come out all right in the end, and I'll still have my special bond with my special girl.