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Warning: Loooong. Sorry.

DS turned three in December. He weaned a year ago. I'm still mourning my loss of our nursing relationship. Here's the background...

We had a rough start. Terrible thrush, and just when I got smart and used GV and it cleared up completely, I went back to work (he was 2 1/2 months). My double electric wasn't enough and I wasn't aware of ways to increase my output, or that I could rent a hospital grade pump. I felt I had to supplement (only while I was at work, he nursed 100% at home) and my supply suffered terribly and from that he developed nipple preference. I left my job (after only a little over a month of being back) and cut out bottles COMPLETELY. None ever again. It took a month for him to stop the horrible fighting over nursing and for my supply to go back up, and he even lost a little weight. But we did it, we succeeded! I had never been more proud of myself! Our drug-free labour and birth was a piece of cake compared to our early struggles, and we made it through things that I've seen even the most well-intentioned and loving mamas give up on.

In November of 2007, just before he turned two, I went on a trip without him for 9 days. I was back for another 4 or 5 then gone again for three. When I came back for the time in between, he went on a nursing strike. Didn't ask to nurse, wasn't too keen on it, and seemed to have "forgotten" how to nurse. I offered every chance I got and spent a lot of personal time with him. In 2 days we were back on track. When I left again for 3 days and came back, he tried to strike again a little but it wasn't hard to get him back on. Nor was it the first time after the 9 days, I was just afraid it would be so I was quite stressed. So, after this, he went back to being a normal nursing toddler...he loved to nurse, a lot. I was so thankful it was a strike and not just weaning because he was ready. I knew he was not ready and there was no nearing that in sight. Just to add, I'd just gone back to work since he was a baby for the first time in November (and he went to school, Montessori in the toddler class) and he did extremely well with the transission and work never had an impact on his nursing.

Then in February my parents kicked me out (long story, but if someone wants details just PM me). They kept my son and I was jumping from house to house (it was BAD, like utterly horrifying for me, not to know where I'd sleep the next night). At first he nursed more when I got to see him, but then it slowly declined. I became pregnant the last day in February but didn't find out till mid-March or so. However, I don't think the pregnancy did anything but speed up my milk decline slightly. He was clearly on a strike at this point because I so rarely saw him (once a week was good...but I went three weeks at one point without seeing him because of where I was staying and my parents made no effort to arrange for us to see each other...on the rare occasion I wasn't working when he was out of school, they were always out doing something and almost never made time for us). Over the next few months, once I started seeing him more (moved to a place down the street, but it was definitely NOT safe conditions for a child to live - it was merely a roof over my head while I saved up money for my own place) I would offer and he would decline half the time and the other half he would nurse for a few seconds and tell me he "can't do it." As in, he forgot.

I was heartbroken. And still am. I know in my heart, and just straight out using logic, that he was not ready. Whether we'd still be nursing now is another question, but he was far from ready then. I had so much stolen from me when that happened (trust, faith, a lot of my love, even my own safety - I also lost the baby I became pregnant with). After all we went through when he was little, I thought we were finally home free. Even the first nursing strike in November was hardly anything, and proved to me that we could succeed and CLW! But it was stolen from me. I worked so hard to get there, and lost it. Our relationship suffered drastically, and his strike-turned-weaning was a knife in my heart. It was the last thing that only I could provide...and that was ripped from me too. And the worst part is my parents, who put all this in action with their carelessness, STILL don't see how important that was to me or to him! My heart is still broken. Getting my son back and switching back to cloth diapers (which they refused to do after I left, even if I washed them) and putting him back on a vegetarian diet (another thing they threw out with me), etc., is one thing...but I have lost our nursing relationship and in such a heartless way. If he'd weaned on his own when he was ready, I know it would've hurt, but not like this...this was so senseless and careless and our relationship has been so damaged. And everyone treats me like the wacko nutjob for thinking it's THAT big of a deal, or at best they simply think I need to get over it and should have by now. But I don't think I ever will get over it.

Thanks for listening. I know this is the one place where I will be understood.
 

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What a heart rending story. You have every right to mourn.
 

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i understand your pain. but at this point it does no good to keep dwelling. as byron katie says, we all have our stories. you can either live in a depression over this story or you can change the story (because it is YOUR story!). and you can say how wonderful it was for him to have such a dedicated, wonderful mother who breastfed her son longer than 99.999% of mothers in america breastfeed their children. and a mama who is so dedicated to the health of her baby and who is now ensuring his nutrition in other ways and is ensuring his emotional needs in other ways. don't beat yourself up mama. you are great!
 

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Things will get better.... there are so many parts to your story that make me feel sadder than your son weaning. I hope you are able to get your life on track and bring your son home. Perhaps the grief and stress for all the other things in your life are making his weaning harder. I cannot imagine being without my 2 year old daughter for even a night.
 

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You know, I think you should read your post back to yourself, look at what you have been through over the last two years and then say well done to yourself, many many mothers wouldn't have been able to do half of what you have done and dedicated the time and understanding to your son, you need to accept how you feel and mourn the relationship you have lost and then build the relationship back up with one to one time setting that bond, take long walks together discover nature, do things that maybe your parents haven't done with him so that he can experience something that mama can give him, there is so much in your story that is exceptionally moving, you are a strong and good mama, mourn, build and continue. good luck, and keep posting for on-going support.
 
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