23 December 2012

non-weaning, an update

First, thank you.

Thank you B and Sprogblogger. Thank you Emily Erin and Trece.  Thank you Michele and Jenn and Lori.

I so appreciate your stories and support.

I realized, re-realized really, that I am just not ready.
I'm just not.

I realized that I am, however, feeling more and more socially awkward about it, and while this sucks for every reason, it is still true. So, for now anyway, screw social awkwardness. I acknowledge it but am not willing to change my immediate choices to do anything about it.  I no longer nurse in public if I can help it, I did make that change already. But my little one is vocal and also clear with her signals, and we've had many conversations with strangers as a result.

The facts are these:  This is my one time through all of this, and while I hate some parts of it (to be detailed shortly), I love the closeness, the magical fact of it. Della is thriving. She is no where near ready to stop, so it may be a battle judging from how things are going as I try to cut back at key times.  See next point. I will need to be ready, or be ready to follow her lead. I will need to play this by ear.

Here's what I am missing:  Sleep.  So we will work on this. We will be continuing to transition Della out of our bed into her own, and hope that those stretches of time begin to lengthen. Right now it is intermittent success, with stretches of 1-3 hours.  I am hopeful and we will persist.

Here's what I hate:  I'm sore.  Sore sore sore.
I hate that Della needs (OCD needs) to play with the opposite side while she nurses. I am sure this started innocently, so innocently that I did not even notice. Now it is rough and irritating and annoying and painful and unfun and Persistent.  She *will not stop*.  We're working on it, talking about it, but at night when my own resilience is low, it really rots. I make her stop, or block her, and she has a flailing freak out. Our place is small folks, it's an apartment with neighbors. Even if I did not give in I would give in.

I also hate pumping, and if I need to go away (should I be so lucky as to have another business trip), I will need to very mindfully schedule travel and my time away to make room for really great pumping since last time I was both engorged and had a painful blocked duct. And yeah, those things sucked rocks. So did pumping at the airport in the bathroom stall.

So-- yes.  I am not done.
So weaning has time to begin on its own or wait for me to be ready.
I realized that following my own feelings on this one will be the way, as it almost always is.  It is just complicated by the social climate.


Elizabeth said...

We gave it up a little at a time ... first the night nursing, then I stopped during the day (relatively easy because I was working and pumping), and finally dropped morning and night when I got pregnant. I miss it almost every day. But it wasn't sad, probably because it felt so gradual.

alyssa ettinger said...

baby, i love you. i support all your decisions. so long as you don't end up like the mom i saw recently breast feeding her five years old in a public place, you're golden.
merry merry.

Queenie. . . said...

Good luck. It IS bittersweet, but you will find you way. Whenmy first weaned, it was a little at a time, bit by bit, and relatively painless. In fact, I don't remember the last nursing session, because I didn't know it would be the last. Work on the things you find hard, like her playing. leave the rest for later. Who cares about what people think. It's not like she's four. We weaned at 13 months, but I don't think a 2-ish nurser is odd. You are probably more self-conscious than people are uncomfortable. Try not to stress. Overall, Just take it slow, and you will get there.

amazingk8 said...

Lol, I could've written this post. My youngest is about the same as as Della and she nurses all night, plays with the other boob constantly and is very vocal about asking to nurse in public. I too get a little embarrassed when she asks in front of strangers (or worse, family/friends with no filter). I find that laughing (it isn't flippant sounding, I haven't managed to be flippant yet) and asking them why in the world they want to talk about my boobs helps move the conversation on to other topics. But the night weaning has to happen. I have an older daughter too and I have been cosleeping and night nursing for four years and I respectfully and gently admit to myself that I. AM. DONE. So right now (this week in fact) there is no more nursing after she goes to sleep until it is time to get up (7am). There are tears and it is all i have in me to be gentle and sweet with her when she screams at me at 3am (or 4 or 5). And I always nurse her with a hand clamped over my other boob. Maybe you can gift your neighbors some nice earplugs?

Emily Erin said...

Sweet Kate, have you considered a nursing necklace for Della? Really playing it up and seeing if you can find one that she'll think is pretty and will like to fiddle with (maybe something like the ones on the link on this page?: http://www.laughingstarfish.com/nursing.html

*Her shop is closed, but I feel sure that you can get someone to make something like this for you....

I also feel you on the public requests for "Mama Milk?!", and undressing me in public. Both of my girls have done this, and while it's awkward I haven't yet cut her off. I am sorry that you are dealing with 1-3 hours every night, but I know that you and Ms. Della will work things out. Hugs from here-- still watching as we feel our way forward on the same thing.