We were really struggling with the nursing - it has never hurt before and it started hurting so much. He also just wasn't getting much milk, and was having a terrible time going to sleep, and was waking up really hungry in the middle of the night. It was ruining our cuddle time and we were both so frustrated. I finally made the decision to wean for both of our sakes. I knew I would enjoy cuddling with him much more than nursing, and that cuddling would be relaxing while nursing just kind of sucked (excuse the pun). We made a big production out of the cuddle/sippy cup sessions. His dad warms up the the milk and then we sing a song about the milk man coming, then I cuddle him and rock him and hold the sippy cup for him so he can still feel like the baby. It surprised me how well he took all of this - kind of like he has been waiting for me to make this move. I also can't believe how much milk he downs at nap time and bed time (going to make potty training interesting). He really must have been struggling with my unproductive breasts. On a side note, have any of you tasted your milk lately? The taste of mine had changed dramatically. No longer sweet, but very salty, almost like blood. I can't imagine he was enjoying it very much.
I make sure that I tell him every day even though there isn't any more milk in my breasts, that I will never ever run out of cuddles. I also let him touch my breasts while we rock - they aren't irritated any more so it doesn't bother me. He seems to be losing interest in touching them, though he still likes to touch them when we take a bath. We spent about a week tapering off (all the while explaining the lots of cuddles/not much milk thing), and then I went away for the weekend. When I came back, I explained to him that there wasn't any more milk in my breasts, but that I had lots of cuddles for him and would give him a milk sippy cup whenever he asked for it. We use both cows milk and soy, and he enjoys getting to choose what kind of milk he gets at nap and bed time.
I know that weaning is definitely not the answer for every one, but I needed to give some hope that it is possible if it is what you want or need. Like so many things in life, it was much easier than I anticipated. The key for us was consistancy. Once we made the decision, we stuck with it. He cried a few times, and I gave him a lot of love and comfort. We also tried to make it as positive as we could, and we didn't blame the new baby. For our guy, we just made it about him turning 2. Perhaps it isn't totally honest, but I told him that he had a wonderful 2nd birthday, and that when babies turn 2, the milk begins to leave mama's breasts and that he would need to have him milk from a sippy cup and that I would always cuddle him. He even repeats that now (baby, 2, no milk booboo, milk sippy cup). I also want to add that the week after we weaned, he got roseola and had a high fever for several days. It would have been very easy to start nursing again, but he was a champ and was fine with being rocked and cuddles and having his milk from a cup.
For some reason, I felt a lot of internal pressure to continue nursing once we conceived. But for me, it was ruining my cuddle time with my son and leading to a lot of frustration and irritability for both of us. I'm really glad I made this decision, even though it was a heartwrenching decision to make. I am happy to report that it hasn't changed our intimacy, but one thing has changed - he is becoming closer to his dad and really enjoys having daddy bring him his sippy cup. I've even been able to sleep in the last several mornings and let the two of them hang out - which was unheard of before.