Monday, March 3, 2014
The end of nursing
I wasn't able to nurse Olivia, so I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to nurse Axel either, mostly because formula is freaking expensive. But with a little help from a lactation consultant that took the time to figure what was going on, things were eventually going good. And then I got a little worried that he would never want to stop nursing.
Okay, obviously he would stop at some point, but even at 10 months he was nursing 6-7 times a day. I looked up weaning on the internet but almost everything I read had a tone of "doing this before 3 years old is really cruel and unusual". So I took it like I did when I got Olivia off bottles, just one feeding at a time. Which meant that we had to have regular feedings, because I'm kind of lazy I just let Axel nurse when ever he wanted instead of trying to engage him in other activities.
After we got it down to four feedings a day, the first one to go was the night feeding. That's kind of weird, I think, but it happened naturally during Christmas time. Since we were almost always with family during those two last weeks of December I would pack Axel's jammies and bottle. Before we left to come home I would jammie him and give him a bottle and put him in his car seat. By the time we walked in the door he was so asleep he didn't need to nurse.
Then we dropped mid morning feeding because it was just before lunch so it was easy to just give him lunch instead. If he woke up earlier than usual I would give him a bottle. I figured bottles were easier to take away than breastfeeding (I was right).
Next came the afternoon feeding. Again I just gave him a bottle. For a week or two, he was taking three bottles a day! I started to worry that I was just getting him hooked on bottles and soon I would be taking them away too. But one day he wouldn't take his bottle. I poured the milk into his sippy cup with a straw (this boy cannot figure out how to tip his cup back, so a straw is the only way he can make it work!) and he's been using that ever since.
I'm not sad to be done nursing, but I might be later. I wasn't sad to stop nursing Olivia (at 10 weeks) but I was sad later. Maybe it was because I didn't get much time, who knows. I'm ready to get my body back to myself completely.
Even as I typed this while Axel played so sweetly in his room he came over to me so I pulled him up on my lap and handed him his milk cup. He laughed and pushed it away and pulled at my shirt (his signal to nurse) It was really sweet. And then when I said no he made a really sad face for a second and then went back to playing.
Morning feedings were the last I gave up, and the hardest for me. Now instead of surfing blogs and twitter for 20 minutes while I nurse Axel, I've got to get right up and make oatmeal. Last Sunday I nursed him for the last time. I didn't cry.
Monday Adam was home from work for President's Day. Olivia and I went to the store during Axel's nap. While we were shopping I had a moment of panic that I needed to hurry in case Axel woke up. When I remembered that he didn't nurse anymore, I just felt joy. I love that boy so much, and I enjoyed nursing to an extent, but I am a person who needs to feel free.