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I'm really afraid this is too negative to post -- but when I was in the same situation, I wonder if a really honest discussion with my pro-bfing friends would have helped me make some better choices -- instead I think I was afraid to even consider weaning child 1. It just wasn't an option for me.

It's been 10 years since I faced this, but I remember how awful it was.

In hindsight, would it have been so awful if I'd just told the first child no? He was 2.5 when his sister was born, and he nursed till he was 4, and she had just a few months as an only-nurser when she self-weaned near her second birthday when I was pregnant with 3. I was so relieved to not face tandem nursing again, but so sad that dd got short-changed on both ends. I still remember how she looked up into my face and said "I drank it all up mama" and after that when she asked a few times to nurse, I said, "remember? you drank it all up!" I was petrified she would start up again.

So why couldn't I just wean him? I don't know. I was so miserable responding to his needs 90% of the time ( it felt like) while she lay there patiently. It really affected my bonding with her, which happily resolved itself when she was 6 or 7, and I suddenly realized I wasn't pretending anymore -- I really did love her as deeply as the others. But that's a long time to wait. And I think I became really angry at my son because he just couldn't move on, and I couldn't help him. It was a bitter feeling.

Now I wonder if I hadn't felt that nursing and parenting were exactly the same thing -- could I have found a way to be a little more light-hearted, make the issue less intense for him, defuse the situation and redirect him to other things besides nursing. Maybe paid more attention to handing him fluids before he asked...or getting him out of the house more, to playdates or even childcare/preschool. Instead, I just felt torn apart and unable to cope with his rage except to nurse him. Maybe it was just too soon for him to be an older brother -- but I couldn't change that. It's hard to be sure, but I think it wasn't good for him to continue to be the center of our world after child 2 came along -- he missed a life lesson somehow.

Amazingly, we got through that time. Eventually our family developed more balance -- partly because my spouse and I began to focus more on each other. My dd number two and I had a great nursing relationship for 3+ years, and ds number two is going strong at 3+ now -- but I never attempted tandem nursing again -- it was just too hard.
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