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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 15:14 PM   1
Jokerette
Trying to conceive (TTC)
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 3,644

Jokerette's BFing journey ("Breastfeeding Kenny" - 19 months)


Originally titled: "I feel so tethered"

**I did not intend for this to become a breastfeeding journal, but that is sort of what it has become. I hope it can help others the way reading through posts used to help me! I have added my updates to this original post so you don't have to scroll through the whole thread.

Background: My son latched on right away at the hospital but I did not realize he was latched incorrectly. After days of incorrect painful latching and bleeding, cracked nipples I finally got some help from the Lactation Consultant at my hospital. It took a few weeks and a variety of treatments to heal my damaged nipples. We also had to experiment with different holds and positions to teach my son to latch on correctly. We ended up using the cross cradle hold for the first 3 weeks, then eventually we switched to the traditional cradle hold. I had an overactive letdown and my son gulped milk causing him to swallow air and become gassy, and colicky. He also had reflux and spitup a tremendous amount of breastmilk after every feed! I felt like it wasn't worth it... I was in pain, he was struggling and we were both so tired. Eventually, as my nipples healed the pain become to subside and I learned to actually enjoy the bonding experience of breastfeeding my son.


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ORIGINAL POST FEBRUARY 22, 2012-
Kenny is 10 days old and I feel like just saying, "ugh to hell with Breastfeeding". I'm just kind of jealous of DH and how he gets to just hold Kenny and stuff when he wants, and go to work, but I am so tethered. I feel like a milk machine. It would be so much easier to just bottle feed or do formula. I found myself counting saying ok ill do it for another month, but maybe not a year like I originally thought. But deep down I know WANT to breastfeed for Kenny. I want to give him the gift of breast milk I'm just so tired. I feel like I can't sleep, even when he is sleeping I'm so overtired my body won't relax. Anyone relate to how I'm feeling?

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UPDATE MARCH 16, 2012-
I wanted to give an update now that a few weeks have passed. I posted the original thread when LO was 10 days old... Now he is 33 days old. I am still breast feeding and it got so much easier. I am soooo glad I stuck with it.

I'd say around 2 1/2 weeks is when we start to turn the corner... LO started latching better, I tried to heal my nipples as much as possible with various ointments, letting them air dry, and also only doing one breast per feeding. At around 3 weeks old we really got the hang of it. At 3.5 weeks I started pumping in the evening and DH did a midnight bottle. I slept through that feeding. I was a little worried about my milk supply, and I woke up slightly engorged when I did this, but for me the extra sleep was priceless. We are not doing the midnight bottle every night, but we do do it sometimes. I still pump once or twice a day so DH can give a bottle and so I can start freezing milk. Anyone out there who wants to give up.... The first couple weeks are the hardest. Stick with it.

Looking back I realized I was suffering from PPD, probably also brought on by lack of sleep. I saw a counselor and told her everything. I told her how I sometimes thought I couldn't handle it all. I told her how sometimes I even worried I made made the wrong choice becoming a mom. I was just so tired I couldnt think straight. My family saw how much I was struggling and they were able to help. Sometimes someone would come over for just a few hours during the day to hold him so I could nap uninterrupted. I kept breastfeeding because I knew it was the best thing for my son, and I knew it would actually release hormones that would help combat the PPD.

My mother in law told me not to make any quick decisions about quitting. She recommended that decide every Sunday if I am going to breastfeeding the next week. THen no matter what happens I stick it out until the following Sunday where I make the decision for the next week. Giving myself small goals like this has helped me so much. My new goal is 6 months and if I hit that I will set a new bigger goal!!


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UPDATE JUNE 3, 2012-
Just an update... my son is now almost 4 months old.

He is still exclusively breastfed and I am SO PROUD. He's growing so well and nursing him has becoming a wonderful bonding experience. It is sooo convenient because I don't have to warm up bottles and I can feed him anywhere. At one point my milk supply dropped off a little bit due to my first period, and we had to dip into the supply of frozen milk, but its back up again and I am now adding lots of milk to the freezer supply in addition to nursing DS.

DS is getting a little distractable at the breast and sometimes I nurse him a quiet room if he can't focus. But its still going really well!

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UPDATE JULY 23, 2012-
5 1/2 months and we're still going strong!

Last week my son had Hand Foot & Mouth disease that made it very painful for him to feed. He pushed away and screamed when it was time to eat. but he was soooo hungry Poor little guy. We pushed through it and managed to exclusively breastfeed anyway! Even though his mouth was sore he liked his pacifier still, so i would have him suck his pacifier then quickly take it out and switch it for my breast. After a few tries I was able to get him to latch on even though the sores in his mouth were very painful for him.

I'm very proud of me and Kenny for pushing through it and continueing to EBF


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UPDATE SEPTEMBER 10, 2012-
Kenny is 7 months old and he is still Exclusively Breast Fed (plus solids)!!!!!!!! I can not believe we made it this far!!! I am back to work and pumping twice per day to supply breastmilk for him at daycare. So far its going really well

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UPDATE OCTOBER 2, 2012-
Now that Kenny's eating solids his nursing has been naturally spacing out.
He is really loving food. I originally tried Traditional Weaning but he was more a BLW type of guy and after a short time he started rejecting purees in favor of real food. Now he just loved digging into food and he eats lots of veggies and fruits. Its a mess but he is doing so well and loves his food! It's finally helping his reflux too, which is nice!

He is still waking up at least once in the middle of the night to nurse and he also nurses in the morning, around lunchtime, and before bed. This means i only need to pump once at work now, which is making it much more manageable and I know it will only help my goal of continue to breastfeed as long as possible. I think I might aim for 18+ months if Kenny wants to continue that long.

At this point I don't even mind waking up in the middle of the night to nurse. I'm so used to it that it doesn't make me tired anymore, and also now that I'm back to work I dont mind the extra cuddles.


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UPDATE NOVEMBER 3, 2012- (almost 9 months old... struggles as solids take over)
Kenny is loving his solids so much that he is almost completely refusing to nurse during the day. Daycare also really struggles to get him to drink his breastmilk bottle and usually he only drinks about 2 or 3oz of breastmilk for the whole day at daycare. If I try to nurse him during the day on the weekends he might nurse for a few seconds then cry and push away. Or he will bite me!

I think its possible that he is teething and its causing him to bite and nurse less often... but it also seems a lot like early self weaning.

So now he is nursing morning and before bed, and occasionally in the middle of the night. I worry that is not enough for a baby his age. He is too young to start giving him cows milk I think, and I really don't want to supplement with formula either. So, I have been trying to ensure he gets his nutrition from other dairy or calcium rich food like yogurt, cheese, broccoli, etc. I am not really sure what to do. I really had hoped to breastfeed him until at least 12 months then start adding in cows milk but continue our morning nursing sessions for several more months.

I'm going to speak to his pediatrician about it in a couple weeks at his next appointment. Stay tuned. Any advice or anyone with personal experience? Anyone offer cows milk at this young age? Did anyone have a baby go on a nursing strike like this then come back to nursing during the day?

I'm considering stopping pumping at work too because hes barely drinking any frozen breastmilk anyway and I have 300oz saved up so that's more than enough to get him to 12 months.

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UPDATE NOVEMBER 9, 2012-(9 months... biting and distracted)
It turns out that Kenny was getting teeth and that might have been contributing to his biting and refusal of bottles/nursing. His teeth have not come through all the way yet, but I can see them and I hope they cut through soon.

He is still a bit distracted nursing so I take him into a dark room and I also wear a nursing necklace to keep him focused toward my chest. This seems to be helping a lot! If he refuses to nurse I don't force him, I just offer again later.

I have also been mentally timing his sessions and I think he is actually getting more milk than I originally realized so I am no longer concerned about his milk intake. I'm thinking he gets at least 20oz a day even with him only drinking 2-3oz at daycare. I have also reduced his solids and water just slightly to encourage extra breastmilk.

Since he only drinks a couple ounces at daycare, and because I have a huge freezer stash I have decided to stop pumping at work! It's liberating and freeing and I love being able to socialize more on my lunch break! I have more than enough breastmilk to supply Kenny with daycare bottles until his first birthday and I will continue nursing him morning and night for as long as he wants I am now 100% confident we will make it to my original goal of 12 months without supplementing with formula. I'm now thinking I'd like to continue nursing past 12 months if Kenny still wants to.


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UPDATE NOVEMBER 27, 2012-(9.5 months old... biting, and breastfeeding not as nice)
Today Kenny bit me the hardest he has ever done, and he DID NOT LET GO! Ugh, it was terrible! He has bit several times the last month but always lets go and I have been working on teaching him that that is not ok. I say to him in a calm but stern voice, "No. That hurt mommy. Don't bite." and then I usually end the nursing session. As long as I don't yell at him he's fine and doesn't get to upset. It seemed to be working, but OH MY GOD. The bite yesterday brought tears to my eyes and blood to my nipple. His top two teeth are totally through the skin so now when he bites it is between his top and bottom teeth. It hurt so much I was literally begging him to let go between tears and then I remembered to pull him into my breast so he can't breathe for a moment and he released.

I have to say, this past month breast feeding has not been as special or fun as it was before. I don't feel like we are bonding as much. It seems like during the day he is just so distracted and barely has an interest in nursing, he pulls on and off, reaches up and grabs my face, or kicks with his feet, or bites. The only calm nursing sessions are the occasional middle of the night wakeups when hes half asleep. But aside for a few blips he mostly has slept through the night for the past month.

I've come so far that I really want to make it to my goal of 12 months. At this point I feel like we can make it without introducing formula and I'd like to do that. I just would love him to cuddle with me during the day like he does in his middle of the night sessions. Anyone with experience in this?

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UPDATE DECEMBER 14, 2012- (10 months... nursing strike)
Kenny is 10 months old now and we have had some new breastfeeding struggles. Nursing a 10 month old is so different than nursing a little baby. He is just so distracted. He is also a lot more efficient which means he is on and off the breast pretty quickly and I still worry that he might not be getting enough.

We are 48 hours into a nursing strike right now, which was brought on by a stomach bug and diarrhea. The only times he has nursed in the past 48 has has been in the middle of the night half asleep. He has not nursed while awake. I'm really worried and I don't want this to lead to early weaning. He also refuses breastmilk in a bottle, so I think it truly is a stomach issue. I have been pumping at all his normal feeding times to maintain supply. We have made it this far, and I really hope we can make it another 2 months to get to his first birthday. Please keep us in your thoughts


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UPDATE DECEMBER 27, 2012- (10.5 months... we made it through the nursing strike!)
Phew! We made it through the nursing strike! It started with an ear infection, then he had a stomach bug and felt sick and didnt want anything to do with nursing. The strike lasted for about 5 days with him only reluctantly nursing in the middle of the night half asleep. During the day I had to pump at all his normal feeding times. He refused bottles. He drank water from a sippy cuppy but refused breastmilk. I'm so glad he's finally doing better and has come back to the breast.

He is finally cuddling up and seeming to enjoy breastfeeding again. So much so that he has started waking up to nurse 2 or 3 times every night! It's nice having my little cuddly baby back and I'm so glad that he's getting so much breastmilk!

I am so thankful for everyone's support. I felt ready to quit because it seemed like Kenny was trying to wean. But I kept reminding myself that weaning before 1 is very rare so we stuck with it and now I'm so glad we did! Only 6 weeks to go until his 1st birthday and my big goal will be reached! We will continue breastfeeding at his pace and I will introduce some cows milk too as we approach his birthday.

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UPDATE JANUARY 7, 2013- (11 months... adding in 2oz of cows milk per day)
My son is just about 11 months old and hes still breastfeeding wonderfully. I'm so glad the cuddles are back! As we approach his 1st birthday we also are approaching the end of my freezer stash. Since I stopped pumping 2 months ago he will run out of breastmilk at daycare about 12.5 months old. I want to slowly get him used to having whole cows milk during the day with his meals. I hope to continue breastfeeding morning and nights as long as it is working for both of us.

I started a few days ago giving him a tiny bit of cows milk in his sippy cup with his dinner. He only drank about 1 oz but he seemed to like it. We're going to continue doing this and slowly add in a bit of milk to his lunchtime sippy cup also. The rest of the day we will give him water in his sippy cup, and breastmilk until the freezer stash runs dry.

I know you are supposed to wait until 1 year before doing cows milk, that is why we are starting very slow and just getting him used to the taste. He seems to really like it!

I guess this is technically the end of our "exclusively breastfeeding" reign, since we are technically supplementing with cows milk. I'm very very proud of us for never needing to use formula I still cannot believe we made it this far!


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UPDATE JANUARY 20, 2013- (11.5 months... weaning down to 1 or 2 feedings)
Well... my son is 11.5 months old and we are slowly starting the weaning process. I dont want to wean him completely, but I'd like to get us down to consistently just nursing morning and night with no middle of the night, or daytime nursing sessions or bottles around 12/13 months. Then we will play it by ear and maybe drop the bedtime nursing session next. I will leave the morning session as long as he wants it.

He has been losing interested in the before bed session and sometimes he barely nurses at all. But he still loves his 4am and 7am feeds.

I have a huge freezer stash so yesterday I gave him a pumped breastmilk bottle instead of nursing him. It was sooo weird. It was my first time ever giving my son a bottle myself. He gets them at daycare but never from me. It was bitter sweet.

I think my son is almost ready too... at daycare they can usually only get him to drink 3oz of pumped breastmilk. The rest of the day he drinks lots of water and he eats lots of solids. We also started 1-2 oz cows milk last week to get him used to the taste. So far he seems to really like it in his sippy cup.

It's a strange feeling... I want to continue breastfeeding as long as he wants, but I'd like to just get down to mornings so I have more freedom at night for babysitters etc without bringing my pump with me.


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UPDATE JANUARY 28, 2013- (11.5 months... night-weaned!)
I cant believe it! We have officially night-weaned! At 11.5 months I finally have a baby who sleeps 10-12 hours at night between feedings.

The great part is that after a few days of him not eating in the middle of the night his bedtime feeding actually increased. It's like he knows he has to fill up before bed. So this is just fantastic. I'm beyond happy!!! We are successfully weaned down to two full BFing sessions (morning/night), plus he gets a bottle of EBM during the day at daycare. He is also continuing to do very well on his cows milk and is now drinking about 4oz per day of cows milk. I'm so happy!

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HOW WE NIGHT WEANED AT 11.5 MONTHS
A couple of people have asked me how we night-weaned, either in PM or on other threads, so here it is:

I fed on demand all night long for a long time.... To be honest i do think it created a bit of a habit, but at that same time I didnt mind that habit. A lot of people told me to stop feeding him in the middle of the night after 6 months, then 9 months, but I didnt listen. I figured if he was waking and he ate readily then he obviously needed either the nourishment or the comfort and as his mom I gave him that. it only took 5-10 minutes then we were both back asleep.

Around 8 months old we did the delayed response, never letting him cry totally, just gave him a bit of time to fuss, and that ended up having him drop down to only one night feed. we didnt let him cry hysterically, i just didnt run to him and scoop him up to feed him the instant he made a tiny noise. I just followed my gut and reminded myself that breastfeeding is also about comfort

Eventually when we decided to totally night wean my son was 11.5 months old. I didnt really mind getting up and feeding him once around 3am, but my husband really encouraged my to night wean saying a full nights sleep for both me and my son was important. Eventually I realized he was right. So, we waited for a night that he did a really long stretch on his own, then the NEXT night we started the night weaning / sleep training. We used the delayed response method. We decided to give him 10-12 mins of crying/fussing on his own before going in to soothe him. We have a video monitor so we watched closely. We have tried straight CIO and it was just too hard for us, we also tried the no-cry solutions but that didnt work either, and the feber style seemed to confuse my son more by having constant checkins. So we sort of did something in between. I tried very hard to listen to my sons fussing and if he got hysterical my husband went in right away and soothed him without feeding or picking him up. But for the most part we tried to let him fuss on his own. I was not comfortable letting him cry hysterically to the point of choking/gagging for breath, but I was okay with trying a bit of light whining for a couple nights. We planned on having my husband go in to soothe if needed so that he wouldn't look for milk.

I was amazed. The first night he woke around 2:30am he cried/fussed for maybe 10 mins, then stopped for a few, then cried again, then stopped. the whole thing lasted maybe 45 mins off and on. My husband planned on going in to check on him if he got too upset or if he cried for too long but it never got to that. I honestly think he was ready. The next night around 3:00am we did the same thing and he cried off and on for maybe 10mins. After that night he has slept through until usually 6am most mornings!

We decided anytime after 5am I would feed him and that would be his morning feeding, but we always try to keep him in his crib until 7am. So, if he wakes to feed at 5am I feed him then put him back to sleep until he wakes up again around 7am. then I do NOT refeed him at 7am. I think this has worked really well too because my milk supply was getting very confused when some days i fed twice in the mornings sometimes once, so now he just gets the one feeding in the morning.

There have only been a few times since then that he has woken up crying in the middle of the night and now i usually know that it means something is wrong (ear infection, teething, etc). I will sometimes give him a minute to cry, or other times if hes hysterical i will go in and rub his back or rock him. But i no longer feed in the middle of the night and he no longer expects it.


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UPDATE FEBRUARY 4, 2013- (Almost 12 months.... No more bottles, donating my extra milk!)
No more bottles!!! No more bottle washing and nipple cleaning! Since my son has been really rejecting his daycare bottles of frozen breastmilk we decided to stop forcing it. I hate wasting all that frozen breasftmilk and it was heartbreaking sending him in with 5oz and having him only drink 1-2oz while fighting the whole way. That's not fair to anyone. So instead I am donating my remaining 150oz to 2 moms. One is a friend with low supply and the other is a mom who needs breastmilk for her son with spinal muscular atrophy. I'm so glad that my breastmilk will be going to such lovely homes.

As for Kenny and me, breastfeeding is going great! He may not like the bottles, but he still loves the breast. We are nursing morning and bedtime and he is still sleeping through the night completely. So we are down to those two nursing sessions plus his sippy cups of cows milk he gets during the day. I still have one week to go until his 1st birthday, but my new breastfeeding goal is 18 months unless he self weans earlier


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UPDATE FEBRUARY 10, 2013- (12 months!)
My sons 1st birthday is Tuesday and today was his birthday party and we're still Breastfeeding morning/night and going strong!! Woohoo! 12 months baby!! I can't believe we made it this far. Next goal = 18 months unless he self weans sooner thank you ladies for everything so far



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UPDATE FEBRUARY 25, 2013- (12.5 months... breastfeeding cuddles are back!)
Kenny is doing great with his breastfeeding morning and night and his cows milk during the day. (We have been offering water in a sippy cup since 5.5 months. At first never more than a couple oucnes to help "wash down" his solids. We would give him his water with every meal of solids in case he wanted it. As he got older he drank a little more. Then, around 11.5 months we offered water all day, but switched his dinner sippy cup to 2oz of milk to get him used to the taste. He liked it, but didnt drink much at first because he had to get used to the taste. At that point he was still drinking some EBM in a bottle at daycare also. When he turned 12 months we slowly upped it to offering it all meals.)

Now we offer him sippy cups of milk with his breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we offer sippy cups of water with his snacks and in between meals if he seems thirsty. He seems to really like cows milk and he drinks about 12 oz per day, plus he has his twice daily breastfeeding sessions. Those are an estimated 4 oz each so hes probably drinking about 20oz of milk per day.

Breastfeeding is going well. It has become an enjoyable cuddling experience once again, which is really nice! He has also become pretty flexible with his BFing times, which is great! On a normal night I will nurse him at 7:15pm before he goes to bed. But on a night when I have grad school I will BF him at 5:00pm before I leave for class and he will eat his solids dinner a little late on those nights and he goes to bed easily for my husband without needing to BF directly before bed! In the mornings I BF him between 5am-7am depending on when he wakes up, but I always put him back to sleep in his crib until about 7am. If he BF'd at 5am I do not refeed at 7am.

So, aside from those two nursing sessions each day thats pretty much it. We do have the occasional afternoon nursing session if he is really fussy, but its not common. He seems to be getting his bottom molars this week and that have been really bothering him. When he gets teeth sometimes he likes to BF more often. The past 2 nights he has also woken crying in the middle of the night, poor thing. I went in both nights and rocked him back to sleep without needing to nurse him, which is good because I dont want to get in that habit again. It's tough though because part of me would love to just BF him in the middle of the night to make him feel better, but I really really dont want to go back to feeding at night so I think I'm going to stick with just rocking him. He seems to like being rocked




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March 5, 2013- Looking back.... Advice for new (and tired) breastfeeding moms!
YOU CAN DO THIS! When exhaustion sets in it just makes everything so much worse. But you are doing an AMAZING job!

First of all, give yourself small goals... for example a goal of each week. Say, "On Sunday I will decide if I'm going to breastfeed for that week, then the following Sunday reevaluate". Then no matter what dont allow yourself to quit mid-week. This is what worked for me. Eventually one week I realized I had stopped counting the Sundays.

Do you have a OH who can help you? How about friends and family? You have to do all the work with the breastfeeding but AS SOON as your baby unlatches and its time to soothe them back to sleep pass the baby off to someone else for a diaper change and let them rock them back to sleep. You can use that time to rest as much as possible until the next feeding.

Try drinking some "Sleepytime" tea. Caffeine free and safe for breastfeeding it has scents that help to relax and might help you fall asleep more quickly.

I did not co-sleep, but many women swear by it for helping them get through the early days. What I did instead was have my DH get up and go to my sons room and bring him to me in bed so i woldnt have to get up.

Can you have anyone help you a few days a week. In some cultures all the aunt and grandmothers come to help a new mom take care of the baby. You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed.

And remember, your ONE JOB here is to take care of that baby and yourself. Don't even think about doing any housework, cleaning, etc until you feel more rested. All of that can wait!!

I know it might sounds crazy, but before you know it you will look back on the days of being glued to the sofa in BFing marathon and cluster feedings with fondness. I really do miss those days sometimes.


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UPDATE MARCH 7, 2013-My brother is creeped out that I'm still BFing
Just had a total breakdown. Tears streaming down my face.

My mom emailed me and told me that something I posted in a BFing group on Facebook showed up in all my friends newsfeeds and apparently my 27 year old brother called her and him and his girlfriend were creeped out by it. I didn't even say anything awkward! He thought it was weird that I am still BFing and I am just so shocked and disappointed in him. This same brother posts photos of his girlfriend in revealing tops with her boobs hanging out!!? I mean give me a break! Breasts are made for feeding! At first I was pissed, now I am upset and sad that he wasn't supportive.

I posted a status on FB that said:
"I heard a family member was creeped out by something that showed up in their news feed when I posted in a facebook BFing page. That's too bad because I thought family would support something healthy for a BABY who isn't even walking yet and still in the middle of cold and flu season. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until the age of 2 or until a baby self weans. That's what they are there for... not just for flaunting in bikinis. So disappointed "

....and the responses I got were amazing. Both men and women, friends and family, all stepping out saying they support me and that BFing is natural, and that I shouldn't listen to the person who made me feel bad. I am still pretty upset by this... but I have to remind myself that if I put it all out there I have to be prepared for not everyone to agree with my choices... and it will only become more difiicult as kenny gets older.

UPDATE- we talked a lot and he realized he had a lot to learn abou breastfeeding. He did not know all the benefits continued past one year and he said he is glad we talked!


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March 18, 2013-- Breastfeeding a walking toddler!!
Here I am nursing a walking toddler... Something DH and I said we would never do. But it just feel so natural and clearly Kenny is not ready to wean yet so we're going to continue. Did I mention he's WALKING!!?! yay so proud! Yet when he nurses he's still my baby. I cradle his head with one arm and with the other arm he likes go have one foot down and one foot on top sort of pressed against my bicep.... It's been his nursing position if choice for as long as I can remember. Oh.... And my baby is WALKING!


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UPDATE APRIL 5, 2013- update 14 months... do I continue, or wean?

I'm having sort of a stress moment... for a while it seemed like my son (14 months) was starting to slow down on his nursing. I thought okay great soon he wont even be interested and weaning will be easy and maybe I'll even have some "time off" before we get pregnant with #2 someday. Now, lately, he wants to nurse so badly before bed and at 5:00am to help him get through the night that I worry he'll never self wean! I worry if the time comes that I need or want to stop its going to be traumatic for him. I'm still on the fence of how long I hope to nurse... I think I always assumed he'd wean between 12-18 months... then I thought maybe 18-24 months but now I'm thinking it might be longer. Mom's who've been through it, when did you baby self-wean? Did you ever KNOW you were doing the right thing by continuing to nurse but sometimes secretly dream of the day when you would be done? I feel very torn. want to keep nursing him for the nutrients, the cuddles, and the bonding and security... but at the same time I sometimes wish i could have a little more freedom and feel a little less tethered (Isn't that interesting that I'm sometime back to feeling tethered again!) I also just can't get those last 5lbs of weight off and I don't think I'm going to be able to while breastfeeding


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April 12, 2013-- We're going to keep BFing!!

Okay I am feeling much better now.... turns out AF was coming and that was probably messing with my hormones and making me feel all weird. Now that AF is gone I feel a lot better about BFing and I am not longer feeling torn. I also realized that my feelings sort of popped up after I joined a FB group about extended breastfeeding. Some of the women on there are very intense and I felt sort of judged if I didnt continue to BF for like 7 years... which is past my personal comfort zone... and I think it needs to be a personal decision. So I realized I just need to take a step back and look at the present and not worry about the future. Right now BFing and working for us and I'm really enjoying the snuggles and I can tell Kenny is too. How can I stop when I see how much it comforts him at 5am.

Not to mention he really does seem quite smart for his age and I sometimes wonder if its because hes been breastfeeding for so long now So... we're gonna keep going!!!!!! No plans of weaning him anytime soon!!! I'm so glad I got past that moody funk and didnt make any rash decisions!


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UPDATE APRIL 23, 2013- update 14.5 months... BF after surgery today

When I had been debating about continueing breastfeeding one thing that kept me going was knowing my son was having surgery today. I knew I wanted to be able to provide him that comfort after surgery if he needed it. I am so glas I did! He woke up groggy and the nurse suggested we not pick him up and just let him be. She said he should give him a sippy cup of water. But i told her I wanted to breastfeed him saying it would help fill his tummy and also provide comfort. But, his nurse was discouraging breastfeeding saying I should give him water instead cause its easier mad if he vomited it would be better. (I totally disagree! What could be better than breastmilk if he got sick?!) Then I was like "ummm I don't think so, but if you really dont want me to I'll wait."

Then another nurse ran over when she walked away and said "lets go! Breastfeed him now!" And helped me get him out of the crib! It was SUCH a special moment. I picked him up and then once he latched on his body immediately relaxed and he snuggled right in. I held him and nursed him on and off for hours as the anesthesia wore off. So much better than having him lay alone in a stale hospital crib with a sippy cup of water.

I could clearly see the 1st nurse was not very comfortable with breastfeeding because she kept closing the curtain around me, even though I told her she could leave it open!

Nursing him after surgery photo:



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May 28, 2013-- 15.5 months: stopped taking domperidone = low milk supply
It has been a while since I posted an updates but recently we've had a few changes.

About 5 days ago I stopped taking domperidone (a medication that can help with milk supply). I originally started taking it after I got my first post-partum AF at 11 weeks because I would see huge dips in milk production every month, and I have continued taking it at a low dose of 20mg for several months now. I decided to stop taking it because I want my periods to become more regular so we can get ready to TTC #2 this fall. I'd like to keep nursing my son though up until that point or even through pregnancy if he wants.

In retrospect I realize I should have weaned off more slowly because the last 5 days my milk has been SO LOW! My son has been signing "more, more" and looking for more milk seeming confused about why there isn't much there. He is not mad or upset... just confused. I have been offering the breast a lot this weekend to try and stimulate more milk as much as possible... but its hard on work days. I worry I made a huge mistake and that this might lead to him weaning. I know he is 15.5 months and weaning at this age is totally fine, I just feel guilty if my cold-turkey medication change forces it.

On top of all this my son has been sick with a stomach bug the past 24 hours. He can barely keep any liquids down, but he does seem to keep the breastmilk down ok. Giving him cows milk just makes him throw up since he has a stomach virus. I wish i had more milk to offer him right now.

I don't know what the next few weeks will bring, but I think there may be some changes. Either my son will grow bored with the low milk supply and wean for breastfeeding, OR he will nurse more frequently and be able to bring my milk supply back up without the use of medications. As long as he does it peacefully and without being too upset then I guess I am okay with it.

On a positive note... I ovulated just a couple days after I stopped taking the domperidone so that is good!


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UPDATE JUNE 3, 2013- almost 16 months... son wants to BF 5-6 times per day!

It's been about a week since my last post. My milk supply is still pretty low, but my son has been nursing like crazy! He used to just nurse once in the morning and once before bed. This weekend he asked to nurse 6 times on Saturday and 5 times on Sunday. He has also been waking up a little earlier and wanting to nurse at like 3am instead of 5am too. So... I had thought since my milk was so low that it might be a good time to try and wean him but one attempt of trying to lay him in his crib without nursing him showed me he wasn't ready. He might not be getting a lot, but he still seems to really like the comfort. It's Monday today and I'm back to work so he will not be able to nurse as frequently as he did over the weekend. I'm hoping we can get back to what we had before with just morning and night nursing.

We also added in our own sign language so he can signal to me that he wants to nurse. He pats his own chest a few times. It has worked out great! To get him to learn I, everytime i nursed him i said "do you want to nurse?" and i patted my chest. After a week or so he started picking up on it. I think that helped a lot because now he can oat his chest and walk over to the glider to tell me when he wants to nurse.


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July 7, 2013-- Almost 17 months - Still nursing alot! Starting "Don't Offer Don't Refuse".

It has been a month since my last post and my son is still signing and asking to nurse several times per day. He asks when he is scared, hungry, thirsty, or just bored. I have started trying to distract him a little bit or offer food or water first, but if he still asks for it I sit down and nurse him and he looks up and me so happily and lovingly that it makes it all worth it. I decided that since he is making his desires and needs to well known I am going to start doing "don't offer, dont refuse".

I feel that he is more than capable now of telling me exactly when he wants to nurse so there is no need for me to look at the clock or assume that he needs to nurse at certain times. I started a couple days ago and each and every morning and night he still asked to nurse, but then tonight he didn't so I put him to bed in his crib without nursing him and he rolled over happily and went to sleep. Since he nursed 6 other times today I know he is nowhere close to weaning, but it was nice to leave the bedtime decision up to him. I know weaning is a very slow and gradual process and I think this will be the most gentle approach for us. We will hit the 17 month mark next week! I can't believe it!



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UPDATE JULY 25, 2013- 17.5 months... nursing update and photo!

Don't offer, don't refuse is going great! My son is happy, and so am I. He is now nursing about 4-5 times per day... I'd like to get it down to 3 or 4, but I'm happy with this too. He is learning lots of signs and he can easily ask for milk in a sippy cup or mommy's milk nursing, so I know exactly what he wants.

I'm really glad I am still nursing and am able to offer this form of comfort to my son in moments that he needs it. His canine teeth are almost poking through and I can tell nursing makes him feel better. He also asks to nurse sometimes in stressful or overwhelming situations. I think we're on the way to finding a good balance for both of us!

Only a few more months until I start TTC though... so hopefully I can while BFing!

I've been wanting to post a breastfeeding photo on facebook for a long time and I finally got the guts to do it Today we had a toddler photo session for my son Kenny and I asked the photographer if she would take a photo of us breast-feeding and she did an amazing job capturing the moment.




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August 16, 2013-- 18 months!
We made it to 18 months! Kenny is now nursing morning, night and one or two other times per day. We are only a couple months away from TTC so I don't want to make any more drastic changes that might effect my cycles so we will just stay the course for now.

However, I do want to try disassociating nursing with wakeup and bedtime so I'm going to start nursing him about 10 mins before bed in the living room... and then at wakeup I'm going to do the same thing by bringing him into the playroom or livingroom and trying to see if he will play for a few minutes before nursing. I'll also offer water/milk in a cup.

Kenny has been sick this week with a stomach bug so being able to nurse him and keep him hydrated has been a blessing once again!




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UPDATE SEPTEMBER 9, 2013- 19 months... Kenny is not ready to wean yet... but we are making slow progress!

Kenny is just not ready to fully wean. I've been having my husband help with the bedtime routine and he reads Kenny a story and lets him pick out 2 stuffed animals to bring to bed with him and then he tucks him in. Kenny sometimes says "Mama, mama? nur! (nurse)" And my husband will say "No mama tonight, time for bed". And as long as Kenny goes to bed peacefully he lays him down and shuts the door. But if he keeps crying for me I go in and nurse him. I just really don't want it to be heartbreaking for Kenny. It's hard emotionally. But the last week he's done really well and he has only nursed to bed I think 2 nights out of 7. I still nurse him in the morning and he occasionally will ask during the day. I have been trying to distract him or offer milk BEFORE I think he will ask to try and predict when he might want to nurse.

I think we are doing good overall. I just kind of hope he keeps gradually weaning



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September 10, 2013-- 19 months... I HAVE DECIDED TO WEAN
10:00AM-
I had a heart to heart my husband last night and I have changed my mind.

I could use a little support and reassurance. I've made the extremely emotional decision that tonight will be my last nursing session with my 19 month old. We had such a wonderful experience with challenges at first, overcoming obstacles, and amazing bonding... but I am feeling the time has come for us to stop. As much as I love giving him this source of nutrition and comfort I am ready to be done. I have been doing gentle weaning for the last 3 months getting him down from 8 sessions to only 2 or 3. Then this past week we started eliminating the bedtime nursing session with help from my husband. It is the early morning sessions and the daycare pickup that will be the hardest I think. I know in my heart I am feeling drained and done, but I am feeling so guilty and I am close to tears just typing this. I feel so guilty because I know it will be hard for him. I worry I will miss it too. It's hard to believe tonight I will tell him that its our last time. I know even though I am ready to wean him i will look back and miss it

I know tonight will be bittersweet. I am looking forward to nursing him for our last nursing cuddles, but I'm also looking forward to the change it will bring to our relationship once we get past the tough transition of weaning.

I just read this and it made me feel better... I have this book:

"In MOTHERING YOUR NURSING TODDLER, Norma Jane Bumgarner suggests deciding to either be happy with weaning or happy with nursing. Leaving the land of ambivalence makes a big difference for many mothers. If you are feeling defensive, obstinate, powerless, or guilty about weaning, you're probably also feeling ambivalent. Once you believe in your heart weaning is positive for you and your child, weaning will most likely proceed smoothly. How do you get to a place where the decision feels right? Over time, when you are struggling, learning, and looking for answers, things slowly become clearer. "

UPDATE: 4:45PM
I nursed him after I picked him up and it was great... just how I imagined our last session would be. Happy, cuddly, and at the end he gave me a HUGE hug!!!!


UPDATE: 7:20PM
I did it I did it I did it!!! I put him to bed all by myself! No crying! He asked to nurse and I said "Remember nursing is all done" and he looked at me and said "Nurse?" like he wasn't sure he was understanding. So I said it again and then I said "do you want to rock with mama and your lovey? and he said "yeah". so we rocked for about 10 mins then i said are you ready for your crib? and he said "yeah" and now hes in there sleeping. no tears!!! oh my goodness!! I'll update tomorrow morning with how he does in the morning




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September 11, 2013-- He did awesome with milk in a cup!
Kenny did awesome this morning. He woke as usual at 5am, and he really wanted to nurse but I told him all done and he whined a bit but after a couple mins of asking and me rocking him he asked for the milk I brought in and drank most of it! Then went back to bed for 45 more mins


UPDATE: 11:30AM
I cant believe how full I feel. Not engorged but definitely quite full from missing two feedings. I had no idea he was still getting so much milk! I will probably hand express a little this afternoon if needed, just for comfort. I am also taking B6 200mg per day for 5 days, and I took some Sudafed this morning to help dry me up.



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September 12, 2013-- 2 DAYS WEANED
We had a very successful day today! This morning was Kenny's 2nd morning without nursing and I went into his room at 5am when he woke. I wore a hooded sweat shirt so he would smell my milk and I rocked him and offered a cup of milk. He didn't want it and he fussed a bit, asking to nurse. So I told him again that we were all done nursing. He was not crying, just asking. Instead of trying to get him to go back to sleep we went into the livingroom and cuddled and watched a cartoon. Then he played happily with his toys and ate breakfast, with milk in a cup!

Then for bedtime he did AWESOME! He actually did not even ask! He just let me rock him and read him a couple bedtime stories, and then when he was ready for bed he pointed to his crib and I tucked him in and kissed him goodnight.

As for me, I'm doing really well too. I'm enjoying the cuddles as they are and I think we really did pick the perfect timing for ending our nursing. I don't regret stopping because now I am enjoying these cuddles in a new way and I still can't believe we made it to 19 months!!!

Physically I'm feeling a little engorged. I'm surprised there's so much milk! I'm wearing a sports bra for support. Yesterday I hand pumped 1/4 oz total, and today I pumped about 1/4 oz total... just enough to release pressure. I also started with cabbage leaves in my bra this afternoon and I swear its helping! The cold leaves feel good initially, but also cabbage is supposed to help dry up milk. I;m also still taking B6 200mg per day and sudafed (because I happen to also have a cold). I'm hoping tomorrow I will be a little more comfortable than I was today.


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September 18, 2013-- 1 WEEK WEANED UPDATE!
It's been over a week since I last nursed Kenny and he's doing great! Better than great actually. LOL. Last night and this morning he asked to nurse with a sly smile, then he started laughing hysterically at his own joke!! too funny



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September 19, 2013-- ASKING PLEASE
Oh my gosh and today was the total opposite. He woke up this morning and when I picked him up out of his crib he said "Nurse please please please mama. please please nurse".. oh my gosh... that was so hard. I picked him up and wrapped him in a cozy blanket and rocked him and cuddled. I liked yesterdays joke better


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September 30, 2013 - 3 WEEKS WEANED
My son has only asked to nurse maybe 2 times in the past two weeks, and he was fine without it! I think that last time when he said "please please" was like his last ditch effort.

I sort of miss it, but most of the time I'm glad to be done and glad to move onto the new parts of mommy/son relationship. He still always wants me to rock him before bedtime and read him his bedtime story, even though his daddy used to do the bedtime stories. So he's filling his need for mommy cuddles in other ways.



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October 6, 2013-- Final update
Just a little update... We are doing great! Kenny loves cuddling with me at bedtime and reading stories. He does not ask to nurse anymore, and he even accidentally saw me getting out of the shower yesterday and did not ask! Before if he saw he would immediately ask. Things are great! I miss it sometimes but it's been kind of nice having a little me time for my body before we get pregnant.

Thanks for following along everyone. This will probably be my last update unless something drastic changes... Or maybe in a year or so I can update with baby #2's Breastfeeding journey

Best wishes to all and feel free to message me with any Breastfeeding questions!!



 
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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 15:22 PM   2
Casey3
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Yep, I know exactly how you feel.. it gets better though, I promise.

In the beginning I definitely felt like a milk machine (still do at times!) and it seemed like all I did was feed him. But as he gets older and we go out more I'm thankful that all I have to do is whip out a boob and I don't have to lug around bottles etc. and I'm thankful that in the night I don't have a screaming baby while I try to make a bottle in the dark.. there are still the odd night where he gets up more than usual and I'm jealous that my OH just gets to sleep while I'm up but in the end I know it's worth it... there's pros and cons but it does get better and I don't feel as tied down as I did the first few weeks We're 8 weeks in and I finally feel like it's getting easier.. I never thought this day would come, trust me.

Only you can decide what you want to do, but I will say for me anyways, it gets does get better.



 
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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 15:29 PM   3
punk_pig
 
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When the baby is that age YES YES YES I think it is totally normal to feel that way. You spend all your time positioning, repositioning, watching for swallowing, burping, your whole body is tense with the effort of getting it right - so tiring, I used to dread each feed coming round, and no-one could take the responsibility off me, not even for just one feed. It is so emotionally exhausting.

Oddly though now (13months in to breastfeeding!) I look back to when LO was about 2-3months old and we'd got the hang of it and I just fed her wherever and whenever she wanted it and think how free I was!! I never had to pack anything except nappies, all LO's needs for food and comfort I automatically carried around with e in my bra. Now I need a high chair, bibs, suitably low salt food, wipes - it is so much more bother than when I was exclusively breastfeeding that I hardly leave the house now compared to when LO was younger.

FF is not in my opinion easier once you get past the first month/six weeks. I can't imagine having to listen to my baby scream while I mixed and warmed etc. or having to take all the steralised stuff around with me if I wanted to leave the house. Another week or two and you can look at pumping a feed so OH can do it while you take a break.



 
Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 15:33 PM   4
RaspberryK
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n the beginning I felt exactly the same, and still do occasionally but I said to my DH just last night that I wouldn't give up BF right now for a million pounds!
x



 
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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 16:02 PM   5
Jokerette
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Thank you sooo much! It's good to just hear that it does get easier. We're finally getting better at latching and it's not really as painful anymore. I went ti a lactation support meeting yesterday and part of me wishes I could just fast forward to the day when I can breastfeed effortlessly but for now Im constantly checking eveytging and re-latching and burping



 
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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 16:27 PM   6
RaspberryK
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I really miss lo being a newborn but I know what you mean about wanting to get to the easy bit.if it was easy tho begin with then it wouldn't feel like such an achievement when you get over that first phase. There will always be challenges to overcome related to bf though just to keep us on our toes.
X



 
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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 17:13 PM   7
cupcakemomma
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Yes, oh YES it's fine to feel like that. I've only just recently gotten over that feeling myself. We have had a bit of a rough time (latching issues, cracking, clogged ducts, thrush), and it got to the point where I would cry every time it was time to feed her. But thankfully it's gotten better within the past week or so. So hang in there, it really does get better! I know I didn't believe it when people would tell me that, but it's really true!



 
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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 19:59 PM   8
Maxy1
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The first few weeks are exhausting and I think it is totally normal to feel like that. And maybe your goals are right. There is nothing wrong with saying you will do 2 - 3 months and then review how its going. Maybe at that time you will decide that you love it and won't stop til your LO wants to. Or maybe you will say then that you will do another 2-3 months and then review it (this is what I am doing now) or maybe you will decide to stop. They are all good.

But, as everyone has said, it does get better, and easier. And those night feeds are priceless - get up when LO is murmuring, sit down, pop LO on the breast, change nappy, other side, wind and back to bed. LO hardly wakes and is straight back to sleep. It is AWESOME. I am guessing (because I have not done a night bottle feed) it is way better than trying to cool or warm a bottle while the baby is crying and then have to spend time getting LO and yourself sleepy.

It is definitely a great incentive to keep going when I am struggling on tired days.

You're doing a great job. Take care



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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 22:37 PM   9
luz
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Keep going. I'm not too far in yet, but I remember feeling so exhausted and like all I did all day was feed feed feed! It gets better! At our 1 month checkup the dr said to only wake him every 4 hours to feed instead of 2 as we had been doing and that's when things got much easier. Somedays I miss the early times when all I did was sit and nurse



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Old Feb 23rd, 2012, 03:11 AM   10
Vesta
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I feel exactly the same. My sofa might as well be covered in super glue!



 
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