Monday, April 7, 2014

No Longer Nursing (the first 48 hours)

Whew. What an emotional couple of days.
We'd bee talking about weaning Adara for a while now, and she was already headed that way on her own. She absolutely loves going outside, and will chose that over nursing any time. We were down to nursing in the morning, at night and usually once or twice sometime in the day. This was a drastic decrease from even a few weeks ago, when she was sick and teething.

The problems started about a month ago when I finally got my "time of the month" back and nursing became more painful. At least, I assumed that's why. It probably was a contributing factor, but Adara isn't a gentle nurser-she would pinch and bite me. She wasn't being intentional as much as she just wasn't being careful. Nursing was no longer a relaxing, productive time for us. I loved my baby, but I was starting to resent her because of the pain involved.

A couple of days ago, we finally decided that she was done. She can eat plenty of food, will drink other drinks, and can go to sleep without nursing. At that time I'd only put her down for a nap without nursing, but hadn't gotten her to sleep at night without nursing her right before laying her down. That made me extremely nervous. Add that to all the hormones running through me (TOM plus no nursing) and Saturday was a really emotional day.

Then I backed into a friend's car in our driveway. Thank goodness for car insurance. How embarrassing. Seriously, if you're going to stop nursing a baby (very nearly) cold turkey, don't plan on doing much else.

That evening Alex volunteered to do Adara's bedtime routine to help. That was a mini disaster. Adara loves her daddy very much, but she is very used to me putting her to bed and she cried and cried and cried. I hid in the shower so I couldn't hear her. She finally went to sleep, and amazingly slept until 6:30 am. We'd prayed that she would sleep all through the night.

Sunday was much better. I woke up at 4:30 am and HAD to pump. So I did and went back to sleep. I gave Adara the pumped milk later in the morning, and she drank all of it. This happened a number of times throughout the day. I had time to pump, because Alex was home and played with her while I pumped only long enough to keep from being engorged. I have never experienced mastitis, and I'm going to try really hard to avoid it.

Sunday bed time was much better. We went to a birthday party for a friend of ours-they had a little girl about six months after we had Adara. Adra got to run around and get REALLY tired before we headed home. This time Alex got Adara ready for bed while I pumped. Then I rocked her while she drank her bottle. At first the asked for "ju ju" (we called nursing "mama juice" and so she says "ju ju" when she wants to nurse), but I kept offering her the bottle instead, and she took it. She sat the same way as when she nursed, and lay her head on my chest while she drank her bottle and I sang to her. She still cried when I lay her down and took the empty bottle, but this time she was saying "ba ba ba" because she wanted the bottle instead of me. To me, this is progress. I don't think babies are supposed to suck on an empty bottle. Plus, I don't want her to be hooked on a bottle-I just want to use it to help her transition. She fussed for only a couple minutes and then went to sleep. This is very similar to how she used to act when I first started putting her in her crib, and she adapted beautifully. She slept again until 6:30am.

Today I started mixing breastmilk with regular milk. I'm just using regular whole milk. I didn't have a chance to pump before her nap, so she just got a bottle with some cow's milk in it before her nap, and she drank the whole thing! Whole thing=2oz. That's about all she drinks at one time. I rushed over to pump after I put her down to nap(still crying, but fell asleep in about 5 minutes), and only pumped about 2 ounces. I'm hoping I don't have to do this longer than about a week. Pumping is super boring.

If I could re-do, I probably would have pumped more in the beginning and kept a stash for  this time, so that she could drink more pumped milk to help with the transition to no breast milk
at all. But she's already doing wonderful-if she asks to nurse, I usually read her a book and offer her an alternative drink, and she's fine.

This is one of the biggest milestones yet! I feel a little sad, a little guilt for not nursing her longer, and also relieved that we are done.

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