Saturday, May 09, 2009

The milk factory is closed

Donovan and I are no longer breastfeeding. We actually stopped a good month or so ago. I've been meaning to write about it but kept forgetting, which kinda shows just how low-key of a process it has been.

It's so funny because when D turned 1 year, when we reached the nursing goal I'd set for myself and was facing weaning, I really didn't feel ready to totally stop. Breastfeeding had been such a huge part of our lives up to that point, that it just felt so WEIRD to think of NOT doing it. It's not much of an exageration to say that breastfeeding kinda took over my life for that whole first year since D's birth-- it dictated what I could wear (easy access!), what I could drink, where we could go when (I was not averse to nursing in public and often did--in fact I once nursed him sitting in as booth at Central Market in Texas while sitting across from my brother and dad without so much as a nursing cover-- but still had to plan when I thought he'd be hungry so we'd be in one spot and someplace that would be semi-comfortable for nursing). It had been a pain, but a fairly delightful one, and I didn't feel ready to be totally done with it. I was done with nursing bras, though, and having to hike my shirt up so many times a day, so over a period of a week or 2 we went from 5 feedings/day down to 3, and eventually to only 2-- when he first awoke in the morning, and then right before bed at night.

That continued for another couple of months, and I guess that's all the time I needed to be ok stopping. It stopped being such an essential part of our day and instead was almost an afterthought, and so one day I went to get him in the morning and I just... didn't nurse him. And he was ok with that (he made weaning very easy-- was happy to take the boob, but didn't seem to miss it if not offered). And thus ended our breastfeeding adventure.

I can't say I miss it.... not yet, anyway. He loves to snuggle so we still get plenty of cuddle time together. And I'm still relishing in the freedom of not nourishing another being through my body for the first time in nearly two years. I'm sure it'll come with time, though-- just as it's only been since D's birthday that I've started looking at pregnant women and newborns and thinking "wow, that'd be nice to do again..." something I couldn't fathom before that point.

So in total we nursed for about 14 months. D really deserves alot of the credit for that-- Lord knows we tried to get him on formula and bottles when he started dropping in the weight charts, but he'd have none of it. I'm still a bit torn on what we'd do if our next baby (which despite what I said earlier will not be happening for a while still) refuses bottles. Part of me thinks that, having been through this once, I'd do what it takes to get him/her to take bottles even if that means leaving him/her with dad or grandma or someone for a few hours (or days-- an idea I hated, which is why we didn't try it, but would have probably worked). The other part of me sees that D would have probably been weaned much earlier if he had taken bottles and maybe it wasn't such a bad thing after all. Who knows. Most likely whatever new baby we eventually have will come with a whole new set of problems and conundrums that we'll be wholly unprepared for. What's the fun of parenting otherwise, right? ; )


  1. This is great to read. Even though G is just barely 10 months, I've been thinking about this process lately and planned to go about it just like this. Hopefully our experience is just as good!

  2. That's about how long R nursed before she weaned. She decided to wean herself too, and just quit one day. It was a pretty nonchalant event.

  3. Thanks for sharing--I have to admit, I've been wondering how it's been going for you and almost emailed, as we are sort of starting the whole process now. And I so frequently look ahead the 4 months to how you two have done things. :) I think Conrad is going to be much the same--fine with giving it up. He takes it 3 times a day now, though it's always initiated by me, and is never clamoring for it himself. I was so schedule-oriented with it from the beginning, so after a few months it was always me presenting it to him, and he's just so independent anyway that he never did it for comfort. Fortunately, he was a great nurser from the beginning, but he's not super-attached to it. I think we'll both be ready (couldn't imagine saying that about myself several months ago)...him to get on with his "big boy" day and me to be done with all that you mentioned...nursing bras, covers, and wine monitoring. :)

  4. My best friend's daughter is starting to wean herslef at around 12 months sand she has has mixed emotions- but I told her it is probably better to have a baby wean then one who NEVER wants to stop. Congrats on nursing for 14 months- I think it is awesome. and yay to a smooth transition.

  5. I didn't realize you continued for so long. I remember reading awhile before that you'd planned to stop short of a year. Good for you and for D!

    As for taking bottles, well, A refused bottles for awhile. Except it wasn't an option - I went to work 8 hours a day and she was at daycare. Eventually she took the bare minimum and just nursed more at night. Over time she took more by bottle, but still preferred nursing. In any case, being able to take the bottle did nothing to get her weaning earlier. In fact, I think she'd still be nursing if I didn't stop her at 25 months (partly due to a m/c and just not being able to to do it anymore). And I don't miss it ;)



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