**Warning: Images of Breastfeeding Babies Ahead!!**
I am no longer a nursing mother.
It feels so weird to say that. I've been either pregnant or nursing for going on 6 years. My children have relied on my own body for their nourishment longer than I ever thought was possible.
You might can say that I am having a bit of regret about weaning Jayce completely. I thought I was ready, but maybe I wasn't. Just look at my pro and con list:
-no more night nursing!!!
-no more nursing bras!!!
-no more having a toddler paw at my shirt!!!
-no more having to watch my diet and be paranoid that he's getting something that he has an allergy or intolerance to!
-no more nursing conversations like "Nurse?" "Do you need to nurse now, Jayce?" "Need nurse!" "Let's go cuddle and nurse then" "OKAY!" and later adding "mmmm" "Is mommy's milk good, Jayce?"
-no more ways to get a 2 year old back to sleep fast. Cause we've nightweaned three times before and its never put a stop to the nightwakings.
-no more nursing after a hurt boo-boo or to quell a tantrum.
-no more confidence that Jayce is getting proper nutrition in his diet.
-no more nursing on the couch in the morning while watching The Wiggles on Playhouse Disney.
I'm definitely going to miss it. So, you ask... why on earth did I wean him again? Especially when I believe whole-heartedly in child-led weaning?
I don't know. I was feeling "done". Maybe because I nursed Jaina until she was 26 months as well and I wanted to keep things fair? Naw, that's not a really good reason to do anything. Each child is its own individual and has individual needs.
I had very concrete reasons for weaning Jaina. She asked every 5 minutes and wanted to stay attached for the better part of an hour. I was getting thrush again and couldn't deal with that nightmare. We were leaving for our Weddingmoon shortly and were going to be gone a week, but I didn't want her to associate not nursing with Mommy and Daddy getting married. We wanted to try to have another baby and I pretty much knew that my ovulation would not be regular enough to chart if we had nursing still in the mix. And although I think that tandem nursing can be an awesome continuation of a nursing relationship, I didn't have a desire to try it myself.
None of those reasons apply to Jayce. No kidless vacation this year. No new baby to try for (maybe next summer!).
Weaning has been in my mind for a few months now. I wondered if Jayce would eat better if he didn't nurse so much. I wondered if my diet was effecting him in some way through my breastmilk. I wondered if sleeping through the night would actually come if we weaned completely. (um, its been 6 nights and I'm still waiting on that one!)
The whole weaning process started on Tuesday, June 26th. I got soooo sick that day. I am not sure if it was food poisoning, a virus, or just my temperamental intestinal condition, but whatever it was, it knocked me for a loop. I couldn't keep anything down and just the thought of drinking would make me gag. And for some reason, my milk supply just goes belly up when I get dehydrated. It had happened once before and poor Jayce was so upset trying to nurse on an near-empty breast. So, I didn't nurse him at all on Tuesday, but it wasn't from lack of trying. He'd latch on and then then give up soon after and just ask for juice. On Wednesday, since it had already been almost 24 hours since nursing, I just decided that the opportunity had presented its self and that we were done.
As far as Jayce is concerned, he is handling it pretty well. I mean, he's not jumping for joy or anything, but he's accepted it with few tantrums. During the day he's fine when I tell him "Mommy's milk is all gone!" but its the middle of the night that's really hurting him. He's tired, upset, and just wants to nurse. When I say, "No nurse, Jayce... let's cuddle" he just freaks out. He doesn't want me to hold him, he doesn't want me to sing to him or comfort him in any other way. I just have to put him back in his crib, turn his Wiggles lullaby cd on for him and walk out the door. He calms down by himself in a few minutes and then sleeps the rest of the night.
But its hard. Its so hard. He has a need in the middle of the night that I am refusing to supply. But I also know that breastfeeding a child is a give and take relationship that both parties have to be 100% happy with. Even if I had not taken the plunge and stopped our nursing sessions, there was no way in the world that I would have continued to nurse him at night. Its just too exhausting and overwhelming. I've been doing it for 26 months and that is way long enough, in my opinion.
I feel like "what's done is done" and I just need to move on now. Hopefully we will look back on this time with good memories and not feelings of regret.