Jack is 14 months old now. I knew I was going to breastfeed as long as I could, but I didn't know how or when it was going to come to an end. I thought I was going to be happy about it, given the fact that it has not been a pain-free experience for me. But I never thought I would finish nursing by going ‘cold turkey’.
We’ve been down to three nursing sessions for a few months now. One before bed, one sometime in the middle of the night or early morning, and another right before his one nap. It’s been going pretty well, except for the pain. A mysterious blood blister showed up one day, which had me Googling all over Kingdom Come to figure out what to do about it – to pop or not to pop, that was the question. (I popped) A few clogged milk ducts here and there, and always teeth marks or holes from teeth. I constantly try to work on Jack’s latch and position, but it usually just ends with me giving in to the pain.
It hasn’t been a completely painful adventure. A long time ago, I figured out that nursing is a great time for me to read a book! I can go through 2-4 novels in a month in no time flat with this added reading time. I found that it helps me to remain patient if my mind is engrossed in a book. I can spend as much time as Jack needs me to spend if I’m not thinking of everything that needs to be done around the house.
Back to weaning. When Jack got sick recently, he started throwing up after every feeding. I think it was because of the phlegm building up, which would make him cough until he would vomit. All. Over. Me. Poor little guy. Poor Mama! It was after our third change of clothes in one day that I finally decided to stop letting Jack nurse. It worked well for a day or two. No more vomit, and Jack didn’t seem to miss the nursing. I was a tad uncomfortable, so I did pump just enough to relieve some pressure. Things were going great! ‘Cold turkey’ was working.
But then my hormones decided to revolt. I started crying and sobbing about losing this precious part of my baby, and I just couldn’t do it! I missed it so much! I missed snuggling with him. I missed the bond we shared. I missed running my fingers through his baby-fine hair. I missed him falling asleep in my lap. I was shocked about these feelings, because I thought I was going to love being FREE and having my body back to myself. But BOY was I wrong!!
I immediately went back to three feedings, and haven’t looked back since. It helps us while Jack’s molars are coming in, and it helps him to fall asleep for his naps. I realized that, even though I’m reading a book while he nurses, I’m still connected to my baby in a way that I’ll never have again. I am not ready to give that up, and I’m okay with that. I won’t be nursing him when he goes off to preschool, so this will end eventually. But for now, I’m happy to have this quiet time to connect with my baby.