Let me start by saying that I am a big supporter of child-led weaning and I allowed my older children to set the pace for their weaning process (my oldest weaned at 2.5 years and my middle still asks to nurse at 4.5 years although she doesn't like the taste of milk and pops off as soon as there's letdown). Anyway, my beautiful baby boy is 9 months old and exclusively BFd at this point (around the clock) but with a heavy heart I think that I'm going to need to wean him very soon. I have recently been diagnosed with cancer and will be starting my radiation treatments in about a week. I will have surgery in March to remove a large tumor from my leg and will likely have significant rehabbing to do after that point.
I have been told that it is safe to continue nursing my son throughout radiation, but my gut keeps telling me that the best thing that I can do for my children right now is to pour my energy into getting their Mama healthy and staying cancer free. I know that if my son could talk that's what he would want most of all...I want to be able to get restful sleep at night, detox my body without concern that I'm dumping toxins into my milk, go to my daily radiation treatments without stressing that I have to rush back home to feed the baby or find a place to pump, and allow my hormone levels to regulate.
That said, I have NO IDEA how to wean a child and I am concerned about how stressful the experience will be on me and on him as well. I'm not sure if there's a gentle step down approach or if I should start by night weaning or what. I don't exactly have months to do this either. I don't even know what to wean him to....my other girls are sensitive to gluten and dairy and he seems sensitive to dairy through my milk so I'm not too keen on a cow milk formula but I don't want to give him soy either. I've looked into breast milk banks to a degree, but it seems unlikely that I would get the quantities that I need and I'm a little concerned about feeding milk from multiple unknown women to my little guy.
I appreciate any advice that you have to offer. I hope that this post doesn't violate any rules since I am asking about weaning....it's just so hard when my natural mama ideals and my physical limitations conflict.