As I’ve mentioned before I breastfed my son. The 1 year goal came, and went. I’m a breastmilk donor, and to daye I’ve donated close to 2,000 oz. I even had surgery in November and was able to keep my supply up while I wasn’t physically nursing him.
The last few weeks have been rough for me in the nursing my baby department. It was wearing on me mentally, and I felt that I wasn’t being the best mom I could be to both my children. I talked to my husband about stopping. He was 100% on board, and he knew that his role was going to change while this happened.
So I did some research and asked around. Found out the best way to wean him would be to ease our way in to it. Cutting out 1 nursing session a week. I sent my husband some articles. And we developed our plan. I was going to be gone for a weekend for my church’s women’s retreat, that would be a perfect time to drop a nursing session, when I got back we’d continue to skip that 4 am session.
Little did I know there was another plan in store. I forgot my breast pump when I packed up for my weekend. I texted my husband stating so (I wasn’t super far from home he could have brought it if that’s what he wanted to do). He responded by saying, “well it’s just as good a time as any to wean him.” So we went cold turkey. I was super engorged for the weekend. Saturday morning I self- expressed to relieve some pressure (didn’t help, it was like wringing out a forever soak wash cloth).
Sunday afternoon I got home. He was so happy to see me and when I first got home my son showed ZERO interest in my chest. I was excited (hey this may be easier than we anticipated!). I set him down to go pump my exploding breasts, and my excitement quickly faded. He screamed, and screamed. I picked him up and he immediately went into his nursing position. (Boom, hello guilt). There was no way I would have been able to nurse him I was so sore, and so full, it would have hurt me more than satisfy him. So my husband took the bullet, got some freezer milk and fed the not hungry baby while I went upstairs and pumped (10 minutes and 13 oz later I stopped). I only pumped a short time to not empty my breasts, but to just relieve the pressure. If I were to empty them, my body would continue to create as much milk. If I only “used a little milk” my body would get the signal and produce less.
I nursed him Friday morning, so Sunday was day 2 of the weaning experience. Monday was all me, since my husband worked. Went quite well considering. We actually didn’t hit any real hiccups until Wednesday, so day 5. He didn’t take his 2nd nap, and I worked that evening. So when I got home he was over tired, and only wanted to nurse. There was him crying, me crying, a bunch of bottle flying (him, not me or daddy). My husband took him and our son dove for his bed, put his head down, and went to sleep. So, we missed his signals, he wasn’t angry about not nursing, he was tired and we didn’t read his signals. We were so focused on the elephant in the room that we missed his signals.
The next morning was tough too. He kept going into his nursing position. Finally I got the milk to the right temperature and he was a happy camper.
Today is Friday again. He’s awake, happy, and full. He woke up earlier than I hoped, but that’s been going on all week. We’ve mixed his bottles part whole milk, part breastmilk, so he’s still benefitting from my milk.
I’ve really gone back and forth about posting this. Breastfeeding is such a sensitive issue. I did all of this while keeping his pediatrician in the loop, and my OB in case of clogged ducts. I’m lucky to have breastfed my son for as long as I have, so many people want to breastfeed and are unable too. I shared my milk with the mothers milk bank and on street eats, so my son has shared with plenty of other babies in need. When we have him on strait whole milk, not mixed, I plan on donating the rest of our freezer stash to the milk bank.