OK, sooo....I joined up just so I could ask this here. This is one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever done, and I want to make it right somehow...
When my son was barely 1 year old, I left an abusive relationship (his father) to try to provide a safe household for both of us. It was incredibly hard...up until that point, my little boy and I had always coslept, and he nursed throughout the night. However now I found myself a single mother, working full time and alone with no family, friends, or other support. Without a place or way to pump, my milk supply went down drastically, and nursing became pretty much torture since it seemed like I never had enough milk for him...to add to that, cosleeping and nighttime nursing were proving to be too exhausting for me to continue and still be able to keep a roof over our heads (yes, times were that tough--so much so that I frequently ran out of food for myself, hurting my milk supply even more). I didn't know how to increase my supply through pumping like I do now, and even if I had, I don't know how I would have done it...long story short, I weaned my little buddy at 16 months, far earlier than I wanted.
Fast forward, and I am remarried to a wonderful man and in a much, much better situation...Mr. Z (my little guy) has a little sister, and I pump milk for him every day. But I miss nursing him so much, and I want to have that closeness with him, and maybe somehow make up for all the trauma he went through back then. He is obsessed with milk--he doesn't have a stuffed toy or blankie but he won't go to bed without his cup of milk. I still remember his poor little cries when I forced him to sleep alone, and still remember him begging to nurse, and it breaks my heart...I feel so guilty. Now he is a big, grownup 2.5 year old, and says nursing is for babies. Is there any way to get him to nurse again? Is it even a good idea? I just want to undo all that trauma--I feel like I forced my baby to grow up too fast and I might never get that back...
I'm trying not to cry. I feel like I did what I had to for us to survive, but I still want to make it right somehow...thanks in advance if anybody has any advice.
You sweet woman! What a touching post. You sound like a wonderful strong person, who did everything possible to give your family a better life.
I don't have any info about the nursing, but I do have an idea. Maybe he's past the point of wanting to nurse, and you want to nurse to make yourself feel better. That's how I would feel too. But, maybe, if he doesn't want to nurse, you could be close to him in other ways. Could you lie down with him at night, and just cuddle with him? Maybe hold him as you would to nurse, but hold the bottle for him? When I weaned my son, I would still lie with him every night with his bottle until he fell asleep. For a while, he couldn't fall asleep without me there. I don't know if that was good or bad, but he's almost 9 and is a wonderful, loving boy. Must have done something right, lol!
So, I do hope someone comes along with ideas to reestablish nursing. Good luck mama!
"This is the sickest species the world has ever known."
Dr.John Bergman, speaking about the human species.
Thanks so much for your reply. The more I've thought about it, the more I think you're right--he is past the point, and it's time for Mommy to let go and let the little guy grow up. I liked the idea of holding him while he eats, and he seems to love it. I really wanted to continue nursing him as a toddler, but maybe that was some preconceived notion I had, and it just wasn't in the cards for us. I just get so frustrated hearing people claim they couldn't breastfeed for one (usually trivial) reason or another, and I felt like I had to give it my all. Buuut....the whole point of this is to meet HIS needs, not pump up my ego or fulfill my child-raising wishes. Now I'm faced with the challenge of keeping him close as he grows up....but it was bound to happen eventually, wasn't it?
Anyways thank you for the kind words. It really meant a lot.
That sounds like a terrible situation, and that you've overcome a lot to offer him and his sister a stable, loving home. What an amazing mama!
My DD1 quit nursing when I was pregnant and started again when DD2 was born. It's been a challenging 6 months and now I have moments (many) when I wish I hadn't let her start again. Nursing 2 has been hard for me. Some of the things we did in those months when she wasn't nursing, that I plan to incorporate more as I look to weaning are: massages with oil, back-scratches, lying together and telling stories from my head in the dark that she adds to, tickling and cuddling.
Hope you find ways that satisfy your desire for closeness. And I think on some level he knows you are there for him 100% and will always keep him safe.