Saturday, January 12, 2013

Breastfeeding, 18 months in

I've been meaning to write this post for a while. Maybe not this exact post, as things change all the time, but something about the extended breastfeeding thing, because it certainly is a thing.

I'm so proud that we've made it this far. And I am SO ready to be done. But also not?

Nursing a toddler is such a different thing than when he was a baby. Firstly, he is demanding. He furiously will sign at me for milk, crawl into my lap, yank down my top. But he's also all over the place. It's never JUST nursing anymore. He's looking around, pointing, wiggling, trying to run away while still latched on, driving cars all over my chest, winking at me, demanding to play with my phone, putting his foot on my forehead, giving me a high five, playing peek-a-boo, wiggling, wiggling, WIGGLING.

It's not hard or bad by any means, but it's not exactly going as I imagined, either. Everything I'd heard and read suggested that he would gradually taper off, dropping this nursing session or that one, easy, without us having to work on it no big deal. No big deal, my ass. Tapering off? Ha! My kid loves the boobs. He asks to nurse, oh, all the time. All. The. Time. Typically, on a day I work (and am gone for 10+ hours, mind you) we nurse 5-6 times, on average. Once when he wakes up in the morning. Once, at Ashley's  before I leave for work, again at her house when I arrive to pick him up, once or twice in the evening, and once before bed. Days I'm home, I stopped counting. Add something mid-morning, before and after a nap, random afternoon time, oops I bonked my head, etc. All in all, WAY TOO MUCH.

So I'm weaning. I didn't want it to be something I specifically did, but clearly he's not going to initiate it, so I guess I have to. I don't know if I want to wean him entirely; I really did want to make it until age two, but I would also like to have another baby sometime in the relatively near future, and I don't know if I'm even ovulating yet. I don't know if it's because of nursing or my IUD, or some combination of the two, but I haven't had a period since October 2010, so I'm nervous about that. And should I get pregnant, I can't see myself having any energy left for breastfeeding. And tandem nursing? Totally awesome and inspiring when other people do it. Totally not for me. So. Weaning. Ish.

I've decided just to cold turkey drop us down to twice a day. Once in the morning when he gets up, and once after work/nap/before bed, whatever makes the most sense depending on that day's schedule. We're a couple days in, so far so good.

Kyle and I are going to Mexico without Tycho (!!!) next month, and I am, not entirely seriously, considering weaning him completely while we away for four days. I don't know, I bought a hand pump to help relieve engorgement (Yes, at 18 months I still get engorged. Sigh.), and to keep my supply up, I guess, if that's what I want to do, but I don't know if that's what I want to do. It seems really soon, and really kind of mean, since he loves it so much. And I do love it too, even though I'm tired of it. I suppose we'll see how things look when we get to that point.

1 comment:

  1. I feel you. Cam is still going strong at 21 months. Sometimes I can redirect him if I don't want to nurse but other times he gets upset, and that's hard. Nursing a toddler is such a personal thing and personal decision. The one thing I know that shouldn't be involved no matter what you do is guilt. Have fun in Mexico!!



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