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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this in the breastfeeding forum too.<br><br>
I am not expecting much sympathy really but I gotta get it all out.<br><br>
I am in the process of weaning my 12 month old little girl. I am weaning for purely selfish reasons which makes it that much more difficult a process. Initially I had the goal to nurse to one year. Often throughout the year I've gone back and forth about when I would wean her. Lately, I've been so ready to get this over with. I weaned from the pump at about 10 months and had no problems whatsoever. I had about 250 ounces of frozen milk stashed so she got my milk during the day while I worked. Two weeks ago I introduced toddler formula b/c we had a trip to Italy planned for last week. I didn't want to introduce cow's milk b/c I didn't know what kind of milk I'd find in italy (with regards to processing and if I'd find organic or not) since different countries regulate differently. We got back from Italy on Sunday and now I have about 20 ounces of bm stashed. We started giving her WCM and she took to it fine. She really is an easygoing baby. In a typical day before this week, she would nurse once before going to bed at around 9:30 p and then maybe once or twice in the middle of the night, mostly for comfort but somewhat for nutrition. Last night, I went cold turkey on her. In retrospect, I should have done it more gradually, but since my weaning from the pump went so fast I figured we could do it. She went to sleep easily without nursing, I offering her a sippy cup of WCM and she did fine (great actually). She woke up three times in the middle of the night, wanting to nurse. I actually broke down once and let her b/c my boob was engorged. She did cry a few times but I just rocked her to sleep and whispered that I loved her and that I was so sorry. I hated depriving her but I didn't know what else to do. I know that my tactic wasn't ideal and I am going to fix that tonight. That isn't really whats getting to me though.<br><br>
I can't believe this is actually making me sad.<br><br>
I couldn't wait until she hit one and now I am sad about this milestone we've reached. My feelings are very conflicting right now and I know what you all are going to say...that I don't have to wean, she's too young, she's not ready...etc., but for my life, weaning is necessary. I am a WOHM, I am an adjunct professor one evening a week. I take business trips on a regular basis and I need my independance. I can't sleep anymore when she nurses. Sometimes throughout the month, I have an aversion to nursing (PMSing all the way through the AF) and I'd rather it just be over. Yes, very selfish, I know. Knowing that doesn't change what I know is necessary to do. What really hurts is knowing that what I am substituting isn't nearly as healthy for her. I find myself worrying that she'll get too much cow's milk and that I'll miss something in her nutrition.<br><br>
I really don't know where to go to vent all of this b/c here on MDC, you guys think I am crazy for weaning. If I tell my mom, or sister, or church members, they'll think I am crazy for thinking of NOT weaning. I am anticipating all the comments when others find out I've weaned "It's about time" and the like. If I led a different life, I think, no, I know I'd continue. I just can't keep this up. I just don't want dd to hate me. Will she adjust? Will she look at me one day and know that I deprived her of a fundamental right? If I ask my family and friends the answer they give is an easy no. They think I've done well. I actually need to believe that in order to continue this path I've set for myself. In my heart, I feel like I am dooming her to a lifetime of illness and like i am severing all ties to my baby. What's it like after you wean? Do they still love you? I am at my desk at work and I am fighting back tears. I have no idea if this post is going to make any sense at all.<br><br>
Please be nice. I don't know how much criticism I can take today. It's times like these that I resent the women's movement. I really should be at home taking care of my baby but someone convinced me that I could have it all.
 

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hugs, you really seem upset by this, and very conflicted. I am not going to say anything mean to you, and i dont blame you at all for your desion. You have nursed your baby for a year in a culture that isnt very supportive, and by the sounds of it you dont have much support from those close to you either. I know this must be hard, and i cant say that i would make the same choice, but i have support and more time at home with my baby. Is it possible to hold off for awhile? you seem so conficted it would be a shame to do anything rash, maybe you could just do one feed a day when you get home? as a way of bonding again once you are together again?<br><br>
It is important to remember that you have done well, all of that bonding and good wont be undone, she wont hate you. It is not ideal, and i wish you had support to continue, or even someone to give you a hug.
 

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Be gentle with yourself, mama! You're doing what you need to do to remain a sane and good mother. A year of nursing is a huge milestone in this culture.<br><br>
If you're having trouble with engorgement, try drinking some mint tea and/or sage tea. Both dry-up milk.
 

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hi mama... couldn't read and not post. i hear the pain in your voice and i am sad for you. please don't do anything that you may regret.... either way. your daughter will of course still love you. no doubt. however, as a mother who has weaned 2 children and currently nursing another, i know how much easier life is when an older toddler is still nursing. i know how beautiful a weaning on the child's time is. it's an experience that i wish every mother could have. nursing a 1 year old is tough because they really are just huge babies. their nursing needs change and usually become less strenous on the mama as they get older. consider that this is not an "all or nothing" issue. consider creating your own reality... construct your own relationship. find what works for you. don't listen to the well intentioned advice from me or anyone else around you. what is in your heart? if the nursing relationship is not working for whatever reason for either the mommy or child then do something to change it. sometimes that does mean weaning but other times you can make a less drastic change that you both are happy with.<br><br>
peace for your journey.....<br><br>
jen
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Inspired007</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12390660"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's times like these that I resent the women's movement. I really should be at home taking care of my baby but someone convinced me that I could have it all.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><br><br>
this is exactly how i feel on the 3 days a week that i leave my kids with their daddy and go to work... your words went straight to my heart.... don't want to change the topic but we could definitely have another thread on this one...<br><br>
peace<br><br>
jen
 

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As a fellow WOHM, I wanted to give you a little sympathy and to share a thought: Maybe it doesn't have to be all or nothing. My DD is 22 months, and we still nurse once or twice a day. If I am there, she wants it. If I am not around, she doesn't really care. I feel pretty confident that I could be away for travel for a few days and she wouldn't be too distraught about the missing na-nas.<br><br>
You can start weaning, but you'll want to do it more slowly, dropping one feeding at a time, then waiting a few weeks. You may also find that once you go down to one, you don't feel quite so put-upon by it. That's how I felt after we night-weaned DD, at about 18 months.
 

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I don't know what to say, but wanted to reply. Try not to be so hard on yourself. I know what that is like, I always beat myself up over every little decision (and every big decision).<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
If you're feeling that strongly about weaning, then it IS the best thing for you and your daughter. Bfing for 12 months is wonderful, and you need to not be so hard on yourself.<br><br>
If you're having a hard time with it, you don't have to totally wean even if you previously decided you wanted to. When I started weaning my 2nd dd (at 13 months...I was ready to be done), I got her down to before bed and once during the night for a while. Then down to just before bed, and then every other day for a while until she didn't need me anymore. There are no set rules. You have to do what feels right to <i>you</i>, whatever that may be.
 

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Big hugs.<br><br>
I'm trying so hard to phrase this: if your feelings are conflicting, please wait a while until they become clearer. Milk supplies can be unbelievably accommodating in toddlerhood, considering how hard they are to establish in the first place, the mother-child bond is constantly evolving and changing.<br><br>
For what it's worth, I'm the child of a working mother and she is 110% supportive of my choice of a different path for myself. It's hard- much harder in some ways than it was 30 years ago.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Oh, honey, I can just hear the pain in your post. I am so sorry you feel so conflicted over this.<br><br>
I can understand. I am looking at weaning Ellen too, sooner rather than later, and also for what I think are selfish reasons. I am just one of those women for whom breastfeeding hormones make me a little wacky. And not in a good way. When dd1 finally self-weaned at 19 months, it felt like a huge cloud had lifted. I could think clearly, my emotions weren't all over the place, I felt like a new woman. And when dd2 was born and started nursing, the old cloud came back on me. It is easier this time, because I know what it is, and I committed to nursing for a year, but honestly, I have been ready to be done for a couple of months now. Yes, I feel selfish for doing it, but honestly, I also think she deserves a sane mommy - both my kids do - and sometimes you have to strike a balance.<br><br>
In an optimal world, we would all nurse until the kids decide they are done. But we don't live in an optimal world, and we are not perfect people. All we can do is our best, and sometimes that means some hard choices.<br><br>
Like pps have mentioned, you don't HAVE to do it all or nothing unless that is what you need to do. You could try even every couple of days. But that is up to you.<br><br>
Fwiw, my mom's milk dried up when I was two months old, long before the days of meds to keep milk coming in, and I was weaned and switched to formula. My relationship with my mom has always been, and remains, very loving and attached. I honestly have never felt deprived of anything because I was weaned so early. There are a whole host of ways to be attached to and intimate with your child. Nursing is one of those, but not the only one, as any mom who has been unable to nurse can tell you. I don't think your baby will ever see you as depriving her of anything (well, until she's a teenager, anyway <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">). You are a wonderful, loving, attached mom, and would be even if you had never nursed.<br><br>
Of course the transition is sad. I think it would be if she were three and ready to be done. It is the end of an era in a way. I think it is normal to grieve that.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I hope that this decision gets easier on you as time goes on.
 

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I agree with Herausgeber. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. I WOH FT. I stopped pumping for DS when he was 14 months. He is still nursing. I never offered cows milk, so when he's not with me he has water. He nurses once during the night, and to go to sleep and in the morning. When I'm around, he might ask more.<br>
I'm currently pumping for DD, since she's only 8 mo old.<br>
You wouldn't have to pump during the day anymore-- you could likely just pump a few times when you're out of town.<br><br>
I understand a lot of your feelings. I feel frustration, too, that I am "trying to do it all" (note my location <--- ) and I never feel as if I do any of it well enough. This is partly why I take such pride in bfing my chidlren as long as I am, since it is something I CAN do for them, something traditionally mother-y, even though I'm gone 12 hours a day.<br><br>
I will add something else. You may not be able to sleep while nursing, but cutting out the nursing at night may not make a difference in her nightwakings. It didn't for DS, which is why I never successfully nightweaned him.<br><br>
I hope you realize you've done a wonderful thing. I also hope you make the right decision for you and your baby girl.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Inspired007</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12390660"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What's it like after you wean? Do they still love you? I am at my desk at work and I am fighting back tears. I have no idea if this post is going to make any sense at all.<br><br>
Please be nice. I don't know how much criticism I can take today. It's times like these that I resent the women's movement. I really should be at home taking care of my baby but someone convinced me that I could have it all.</div>
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Hugs, Mama! I want to first echo the posters who have reminded you to a) be gentle with yourself, b) remember it doesn't have to be all or nothing, and c) wait until you feel peace about your decision...that doesn't mean you won't have any regrets or misgivings, but you at least need to feel peace, KWIM?<br><br>
I also wanted to address the part I quoted, because it is something that I had to learn in a sort of difficult way.<br><br>
YES, your child will still love you after weaning, even if the weaning is difficult. But you need to be prepared for this transition, because it will more than likely have it's own special challenges, esp. if your dd is not wanting to wean. My dd1 was about 13 months when I got pg again...I was having horrible 1at trimester nursing aversions, but was trying to tough it out until the 2nd tri because I knew it would get better. Just as the horrible cloud was lifting, my milk started changing and she began losing interest!! It was a rough time for me, because I felt such guilt about the aversions, and such anger at her for not being interested when I'd tried so hard to make it through the rough spot! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
We were both conflicted, and our whole relationship was changing. We both had to figure out different ways to relate to each other, KWIM? She became a total Daddy's girl for awhile, and would have nothing to do with me....I felt so rejected, which just made me feel all the more guilty and angry. And just when I was about to completely lose it, I had a bit of a clouds-opening-sun-shining-through moment, which was purely a gift from God!<br><br>
Nursing fills the newborn's every need...need for food, for warmth, for comfort, for love. As the baby grows, other things also begin to fill those needs, but nursing still meets all of those needs, all in one. Nursing is the baby's first sensation of feeling loved. It is how she understands the nature of love...for her it IS love! Which is why transferring those feelings of love onto another activity that you can share with her will take some time.<br><br>
I mention this because the transition with my daughter was so uneasy and I want to share what I learned from it. It was almost like she had to break her love-bond with me in order to rebuild it in a new way that was not nursing-centered, if that makes any sense? And yet we were both so conflicted for a couple months....she wanted to feel love but not nurse, she wanted to show love but didn't know how.<br><br>
And that's when I had my epiphany (which may be more of a "well, duh!" to everyone else! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">): To a baby, nursing <i>is the same as</i> love. It is how they <i>feel</i> love, and it is how they <i>give</i> love! It always struck me that whenever I was at my most distraught/stressed/irritated/etc., that was the ONE moment that my babies just HAD TO NURSE RIGHT NOW!!!! NOW!!! NOW!!!! It felt like just one more demand, one more person needing me, pulling on me, tugging me away from my own needs. Finally I realized that nursing <i>means love</i> to babies, and they chose those moments because they could sense that I needed to be loved, and nursing was the only way they knew how to show it! Once I realized that, the "demands" of nursing became so much easier to bear, because I realized my LO was simply trying to give me love.<br><br>
My realization also made the early weaning of my daughter a bit easier, because I was able to understand that it would take us time to figure out a new way to communicate love with each other. And it made it easier for me to begin letting go of the guilt and anger....I still feel pangs of regret, and I can't seem to get rid of the niggling doubts that say "her chronic cough is because she weaned early" and "the reason she's always the one to get sick first and stay sick longest is because she weaned early." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"> I have to be honest with you--she's nearly five now and I still can't banish all those thoughts even though I know that they a) probably aren't true, and b) even if they are, fretting and obsessing about them isn't beneficial in the slightest. But even though they sneak up on me occasionally, I've found peace about it, which IMO, is the most important thing! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
I'm wishing you peace, too, and sending up prayers to that end! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> (and I am SO sorry this is so long and rambly, but I can't figure out how to edit it...I hope it offers you some comfort and encouragement!)
 

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If it's hurting you so much, just give in and nurse her when you're with her. You'll feel better.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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my mom and i have talked about this before. I am an extended nurser (nursed DD1 till 3 yo, still nursing DS at a little over 3). but my mom weaned me at 6 months and my brother at about 9 months.<br><br>
obviously i have no recollection of weaning, and 34 years later neither does she particularly. but all i can say is that she was, and still is, an awesome mom who fostered a wonderful attachment with both of us, and while i'm sure it would've been better for us to continue nursing longer, we were happy, healthy, well-adjusted and securely attached children.<br><br>
my only advice is to try and give her more of all the other positive attention you can through the process. you might feel like you want to distance yourself so she won't smell your milk or so you won't 'give in' to nursing her. but what she needs right now is more physical contact - more hugs, more tickles, more babywearing, more cuddly cosleeping - to help 'fill her up' if you will, where she used to be 'filled up' emotionally by nursing.
 

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Thanks for all of the encouraging words...they really helped.<br><br>
The funny thing is that I wasn't really able to dwell on the feelings side of things for much longer after I posted. I don't know WHAT I was thinking but as a result of trying to just STOP (overeager I suppose) I ended up engorged ALL DAY LONG. It was the most painful thing ever. I went home to pump at noon for lunch and got out 2 ounces. I used the manual pump which I have no patience for. I should have whipped out the Medela PIS but I thought I could still salvage the day as a wean day so I didn't. Later, I had to pump again at work (manually again) and got out 4 ounces. I had to teach last night so I didn't make it home until after 8pm. I was begging my daughter to nurse when I got home. Interesting change of intentions don't you think? Well, as the pro she is, she emptied my breasts right up and I was in heaven! I can't believe how much pain I brought upon myself! I think I am back to where I should be. For a while now, my boobs have gone back to pre-pregnancy size. I've not felt engorged in so long so I guess I thought I didn't really have much milk in there and that cold turkey would work. I dunno what I was thinking b/c it took me a week and a half to wean from the pump and it's an inanimate object. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="duh"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="duh"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="duh"><br><br>
My dh said that I did that b/c I had imposed this rule on myself that I was weaning as soon as we got back from italy so since we were back, now I'm weaning, giving no thought that it's actually a PROCESS. Dumb, da, dumb, dumb.<br><br>
Well, I feel great today...no guilty feeling this morning but we nursed all night. We'll see what happens. I think I am still going to wean her but I will be taking it slooooooooowwwwwwlllllllllly from now on.<br><br>
Thanks again ladies. I really felt the love.
 

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I'm glad you're feeling better. I had low, low supply and DS couldn't nurse, and I was still surprised at how much it hurt when I weaned from pumping.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Inspired007</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12390660"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's times like these that I resent the women's movement. I really should be at home taking care of my baby but someone convinced me that I could have it all.</div>
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I can't tell you how many times I feel the EXACT SAME WAY!!!! I don't have any answers for you, but I can tell you with a fair amount of certaintly that I KNOW I will be feeling the same way that you do my ds weans!!!!<br>
You are doing a great job. I work 40 hours and also go to school twice a week. It's not easy and I struggle with guilt a lot..and I have also had days where I feel like I can cry at the drop of a hat over the things I am missing with my son. We have to cut ourselves some slack!!! I definitely need to listen to my own advice here, but it is the truth...we should not beat ourselves up so much. Nursing for a year is terrific! It is more than a lot of women nurse for and you should feel proud that you gave your daughter that much of yourself.<br>
I am just sending you big hugs and letting you know that you are doing a great job and you have done a great job all this time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Hugs, hon. I'm glad you feel better. We are all so hard on ourselves. It's obvious how much you love your little one.<br><br>
Be good to yourself.
 
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