April 8, 2013

Confessions of a Nursing Mom: Our Saga

Today is Day 2 in our first week of weaning.

Nursing wasn't something I thought too hard about. I knew I'd try and if it worked we'd stick with it. After Cole's initial latch was good, I set a goal of six months. As six months came and went, I decided that twelve months would be our next goal. Somehow, like six months, twelve months have come and gone. I've been nursing Cole for over a year now but the end is in sight. In May I have a weekend away with some ladies to celebrate a dear friend's bachelorette, so Cole will need to be weaned by them.  

Nursing Cole hasn't been especially hard, but it hasn't been easy either. I've dealt with over supply, two rounds of late mastitis, clogged ducts, a milk blister, and teeth. Cole got 8 teeth early on. And had 12 teeth by her first birthday. I had to teach her not to bite, which was a painful but very important lesson. Still, there are so many positive things to say about nursing. It's easy, convenient, good for the babe, good for the momma (especially aiding in weight loss post-pregnancy), and it provides structured time for daily skin to skin contact.

Despite our efforts, Cole's never taken a bottle (or breast milk in a sippy cup) or a pacifier.  And she doesn't have a lovey. The first habit she will have to break is nursing.  I know it's going to be hard for both of us because the girl loves to nurse. And as a result, I'll nurse pretty much anywhere. I nurse without a cover because Cole pulls them off anyway. I didn't set out to be any sort of breastfeeding advocate but I suppose that's where we've ended up. 

Now we've passed the year mark and I'm pregnant again. Somehow I thought my supply would decrease with the pregnancy and it still may. I know eventually my milk will change back to colostrum and that could turn Cole off entirely.  But with the upcoming Bachelorette weekend, we decided to attempt weaning in the next two weeks.  This week we're aiming to go from four feedings a day to two then next week from two to one. The last feeding we'll drop is the first one in the morning. Cole comes into our room and cuddles in the bed while she nurses first thing in the morning. It's a special time part of our daily routine for both of us so it's going to be tough. But it's also going to be okay, she already takes cow's milk from sippy.

(Some of you may think I should consider nursing Cole up to baby sister's arrival then nurse them both. I've actually thought about that at length and even researched the logistics of tandem nursing. But, that is not for us. My body needs a break and Cole is ready to move on. The girl guzzles cow's milk when it's provided so I know that won't be an issue.)

I realize once she's weaned I may long to nurse her. Particularly at times that I know it could provide comfort. Just the same, she's growing up. She's becoming more independent and vocal by the day. Recently she's taken to climbing into our laps with a book in hand, asking to read together. I choose to believe whatever points of connection we may lose with weening will be replaced with new ones. While our sweet, still infant may no long look up into my face while nursing, our active toddler will smile and laugh as we chase her around the room until we catch her for hug. I suppose it's all just a reminder that nearly everything changes and that's not all bad.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like you have really thought through all of this and are doing what is best for your family. You're right, that weaning will lead to new points of connection. :)