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Motherhood Notes from a Kenyan Mom in the Diaspora: Weaning Lema after Exclusive Breastfeeding

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Nabubwaya Chambers was born and bred in Kenya, but she is today raising her family in Texas, USA where she has been living for the last three years. Nabubwaya shares her motherhood journey with us, as a mother riasing her family in the diaspora –with her Kenyan influences.

Her son Lema is eight months old. If you missed her last post, you can read it here where she talked of the pregnancy and her birth experience. Today, she tells us about weaning Lema.

Lema has never been on formula. It has been yet another adventure of pumping both at work and at home in order to keep up with the milk supply for our baby. Breastfeeding remains his favorite pastime activity. Lema is full of joy, energy, laughter, ambition, and curiosity. He is always trying to find out what he can do next while crawling, what he can play with while in his play pen, or what he can discover next while standing/walking with support of the couch. There is always something to tag on, or chase after for Lema. I am always a hawk around him in case he needs help from Mama. His adventure began as soon as he turned six months when he started crawling.

We introduced solids for the first time just a few days after he turned six months. I managed to do exclusive breastfeeding! :)

When Lema first tasted solids, he winced and then threw a very sharp and shocked look our way after he took his first bites of oatmeal and banana cereal. After we tried feeding him a few more scoops, he started warming up to the idea of nyonyo’s unrivaled competition. He has tried new meals since then and thankfully, isn’t allergic to any foods. I introduced a happy dance and song that I willingly perform after Lema successfully conquers his mountain of baby food. I bet I’m always singing out of tune even though my one baby audience gets a kick out of it. He coos and laughs, spreads his arms apart while kicking his feet in the air.

Eight months down the line, we remain grateful for this blessed assurance that we will be able to raise our baby Lema by the grace of God. We frequently look at his photos of the first days he discovered how to do something new. They elicit floodgates of beautiful memories for us. These moments tramp all the fatigue we are constantly battling: post work exhaustion, three hours only sleep days before an unforgiving night shift at work, and all the numerous things we have had to sacrifice don’t even come close to what we have found in raising a baby.

Following Lema’s birth, our outlook towards life has somewhat been positively transformed. We have learned to work well as a team. Surely nothing can replace the love parents have for their own flesh and blood. I used to wonder how it feels to have a baby and would ask mama’s how they manage to raise children with so much joy. Now I know how it feels and I am glad it feels that way.

The smiles, chuckles, touch, charming look, glance in my direction when my son hears my voice, all bring so much happiness. When he looks at me and says “Mama”, I instantly melt away. It’s no wonder that many parents will climb their own Mt. Everest to do anything for their child that makes them a better person. I know I am willing to put on those gimonstrous boots and back pack to surmount my own Mt. Everest, so that my baby will grow up loved and well nurtured.

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