* This used to be my Weaning Progress Page, but now that weaning is complete, I figured it was better as a singular post. We really were done on the 14th. I thought that I may nurse until I get my period, but last night (07/15), I told B that I just have to bite the bullet and get the breast pain over with, and that Matthew was ready to be done. So I thawed out some breast milk and filled up a sippy cup for bedtime. It went fine – he didn’t fall asleep, but he hasn’t fallen asleep at bedtime in a long time with the exception of the final night of nursing. Matthew fussed for 20 minutes (like normal) before settling down. It was uneventful. He didn’t seem to miss it – but I did. However… I am fine!
We started weaning today (7/1). This was hard for me – there were some tears over it. We developed a plan with Matthew’s pediatrician who suggested dropping one nursing every 3-4 days. We started with Matthew’s morning nap and will continue to just not nurse for this one nap for three days before then dropping his afternoon nap nursing for three days, and so on. This should take a total of 12 days since he nurses 4 times a day (when he wakes up, morning nap, afternoon nap, bedtime). The reasons we’re doing it this way are that the doctor agrees with me that Matthew will likely be very stubborn so we should ease him into it, and, more importantly (per the doctor), Matthew nurses quite a bit and easing back will help me avoid mastitis.
07/01/2012 – dropped the nursing before the morning nap. I was a wreck over it, and Matthew clearly wanted to nurse, but he let me distract him by rocking him while standing up with him. He fell asleep but then did fuss when I put him in his crib. However, he was over it and asleep within a couple of minutes. My heart broke a little, but honestly, it was easier than I expected. I did not cry at all during or afterwards. He handled it well. I was so looking forward to our afternoon nap nursing that I let him sleep in my arms for 2 hours. I am clearly the one having a hard time with this 😉
07/02/2012 – morning nap went just fine. I’m almost sad about how easy this has been – my boy apparently doesn’t need me as much as I thought. 😉 HA! I put him down awake at 10:28 (after standing and rocking him for 10 minutes) and he whimpered some until 10:30 – no full-on crying. Unreal. We’re coming up on 1.75 hours of napping. I have his sippy cup all ready for him with 3.5 ounces of the oldest frozen breast milk we have in the house – it’s from September. It smells and tastes like metal (this happens with all of my milk once it’s frozen, it’s due to some extra enzyme – it’s perfectly safe), but he drinks it. He’s a good boy 😉 Update: Matthew’s nap today was 2.25 hours. What in the world? And he took his sippy cup very happily! Update #2: Nap 2 was spent in my arms. I enjoyed the snuggles too much, and he went down late and I didn’t want him to sleep past 5 – so there you have it. He actually was not happy about this as he got too hot and didn’t sleep well.
07/03/2012 – Well, this just keeps getting easier and easier. This is the last day of just one nursing being dropped. Tomorrow, we go for the next one, which will be the afternoon nap feeding. This means that I will not nurse tomorrow for over 12 hours, and that has me a bit nervous. We will nurse when Matthew wakes up (6:00-6:30) and then not again until bedtime around 8:00. Oh boy! Right now, I’m going 9 hours between feedings and I feel fine, so maybe 14 hours won’t be so bad? I don’t know. Anyway – this morning’s nap went well. We read 3 books (as usual before any sleep time!) and then I stood up and rocked Matthew over my shoulder. He didn’t even try to nurse. He was pretty playful at first, but then settled down and even fell asleep. I was so happy! When I put him in his crib, he opened his eyes and moaned for a second, and then drifted back to sleep. He’s been asleep for over an hour now. This is going too well.
07/04/2012 – We dropped the afternoon nap nursing. Matthew handled it just fine – he’s getting used to finishing his books, then being rocked to drowsiness on my shoulder. His morning nap was not as long as usual (only 1.5 hours today) because we let him go down earlier. The afternoon nap was then earlier and shorter as well. I like to stretch him 3.5-4 hours before a nap, but today, he wanted one after 3 hours. He does try to nurse here and there, but he’s easily distracted. The breast milk in the sippy cup is treating him really well. I’m not sure it’s going to last into September because he could definitely drink more of it if I’d let him. I am watching his dairy intake to ensure he only get 16-20 ounces a day – don’t want to over-do it. I am doing fine with the weaning, but I was ready to nurse him tonight. I wasn’t in pain, but I would have been if we’d gone much longer! We may do 4 days of this (2 nursings, 2 non-nursings) instead of 3 because I’m a bit scared of how I’m going to feel when we drop a third nursing. I have to believe that will be painful.
07/05/2012 – We hit a rough patch today. Matthew wasn’t too interested in nursing this morning when he woke up, so I went from 6:45 AM until 8:00 PM without nursing, and started that stretch with semi-full breasts. Ouch! By 8:00, I was desperate to nurse. I even pumped afterwards (2.25 ounces). Poor Matthew was desperate to nurse during the day today too. He was trying to nurse from my arm, my shoulder… from anywhere as I tried putting him down for his afternoon nap. He settled for a sippy cup of Mom’s milk. We both survived… but it was tough!
07/06/2012 – Today was going to be my last day of nursing 50% of the time, but we’re going to take an extra day (or two) before dropping it down to 25%. I need to give my body another day to adjust down – I’m a bit uncomfortable by about this time in the day (5:45 PM) after not nursing since 6:00 AM. Today was way better than yesterday – HOLY HELL I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO EXPLODE YESTERDAY! Matthew did rather well today but after waking up early from his nap (he napped in my arms – oh the sweetness!), he tried to nurse. Very quickly, we got the remaining 1.5 ounces out of the fridge and that seemed to do the trick. Whew! I am looking forward to nursing him tonight for different reasons than last night. Last night – I was ready to explode. Tonight, I’m ready to snuggle!
07/07/2012 – Today is going well – Matthew has had his cup of milk BEFORE his naps today and I think that’s working better. He only gnawed on my arm for a few seconds before going down for his AM nap. I am feeling pretty good. We’re doing 2 nursings today and tomorrow, I think. I just want to take it slow so that I am not in pain. I was miserable 2 days ago, and there’s no reason to push it. I’m really happy with how this is going! It’s going much better than I expected for both of us!
07/08/2012 – I messed up my schedule in my milk tracking spreadsheet, so I get an extra day (6th day) of 2 nursings a day – which means tomorrow is a gift! I would rather take an extra day to wean than update that spreadsheet again. I am pleased, I was struggling with which feeding to drop (first thing in the morning, or bedtime nursing). I think I’ll drop the morning feeding next. Today went just fine – and my milk supply is adjusted quite well to just morning and night feedings.
07/09/2012 – This day went fine – it was my bonus day of a 6th morning of nursing. I was supposed to drop down to just one feeding today (at bedtime), but I messed up my milk planning and added a day to the schedule. Fine by me! I truly enjoyed our final morning snuggle together!
07/10/2012 – It’s a rough day – I haven’t nursed since last night at 9:00 and it’s 5:00 PM now. Ugh. I’ll be OK, but this is not fun. Three more hours to go until I get some relief. On the bright side, Matthew is devouring his milk in his cups. He even yelled, “yeah!” when I showed him his afternoon nap sippy cup of milk 🙂 He’s napping great today (almost 2 hours this morning and going on an hour right now, with no end in sight) and he slept until 7:20 this morning. I should rephrase that – he woke up at 6:10 and since today was the first day of no morning nursing, I let him try to settle down and he did within 4 minutes. He woke up 20 minutes later and fussed for a couple minutes. He fussed one more time at 6:45 and then went back to sleep until 7:20. It was so nice to have the house ready before he woke up. His sippy cup was full and waiting for him, and the cats were all fed and shot up (we have a diabetic). We went to Target at 8:30. What a morning! I owe it all to not nursing this morning. I missed it, but it’s OK.
07/11/2012 – I’m always amazed how much better day 2 is after dropping a nursing. I was in terrible pain yesterday by pool time (1:00 PM) and today – I feel just fine at almost 5:00. Unreal! The body is truly amazing! Matthew wasn’t so keen on his milk today – he stretched 5 ounces across two nap feedings, leaving a 4.5 ounce bag in the freezer. This is just fine – he’s getting plenty of dairy between his cups, the one nursing, and his morning yogurt. I’m almost done nursing… 4 nights left. I’ll be OK.. I’ll be OK 😉
07/12/2012 – I cried a bit tonight as I nursed Matthew. It his me that I only had 3 more nights of nursing left before we’re all done. I cried through the entire first half of the nursing. Matthew seemed concerned by this. Besides that, the day has been uneventful in the weaning department. My supply has totally adjusted to just one nursing and I’m just amazed at how smart the human (FEMALE) body is!
07/13/2012 – I did not cry tonight. I’m ready to be done – but only because Matthew goes to sleep better when he’s rocked over my shoulder than when he nurses to sleep (drowsiness). The nights have been brutal at bedtime with him crying for 20-40 minutes, off and on, after nursing. I’m told it could be my let-down adjusting which may be upsetting him. I don’t know – but I do know that I LOVE rocking him before his naps with him draped over my shoulder and I will LOVE doing that at bedtime too. I realized today that I’m not giving up a bond – but the way we bond is changing slightly. And that’s OK. One night left… I think. Let’s see if I chicken out and keep nursing just at night for a little while longer.
07/14/2012 – I think we’re done. Sniff, sniff, sniff… sob, sob, sob! Seriously, the final night went well. I committed to letting him nurse until he fell asleep and fell off of me. Twenty-three minutes in, he was fast asleep but still nursing so I shifted just a smidgen and he fell off – and I rocked him for a minute and then put him to bed. I thanked my sweet boy for over a year of wonderful bonding and told him I loved him and walked out. He didn’t make a peep. And then I cried 😦
What a great run this has been! I never expected to make it this long. I originally planned to make it to 3 months, then 6 months, then a year. We made it to 1 year and 3 weeks, and only quit because it’s time to start trying to give Matthew a little brother or sister and we can’t do that until I’m done nursing (per the RE). We have enough frozen breast milk to get him to 15.5 months and maybe even longer – and we NEVER planned on that! So I am happy. I am proud. I am at peace.
Here are some of our more recent nursing photos – I will always smile when I look at these!
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July 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm
Oh my gosh – this seriously brought me to tears, especially the entry from the final night. I actually thought about you last night when I was nursing Stella to sleep (I keep trying to NOT do that, but I give in and do b/c it’s by far the easiest way to get her to sleep *sigh*). I was exhausted and just wanted her to lay down, but at the same point, I cannot imagine being done nursing either. Eek!! I’m glad the process went fairly smoothly for you – I will definitely be referencing this in the future.
July 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm
You nurse that baby to sleep as much as you want! I know they tell you not to, but if it works, it works. I LOVED nursing Matthew to sleep. And believe me – they start to fight the sleep eventually and then you’ll be putting her down awake anyway because she refuses to fall asleep while nursing. Take advantage of it while you can – it won’t last forever (unfortunately). 😦
I love that you’re still nursing Stella. I think it so interesting to read that so many of us are nursing for the long haul. Times have changed!
July 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm
Wow, can’t believe how well and how fast that went. I always assumed that weaning would take months. Love the snugly, milk coma baby photos 🙂
I’m sorry you are feeling sad. I teared up a little reading your entry. It made me thing about when I gave up nursing for pumping, and how I still miss nursing at times…even with all the bad stuff that came with it.
July 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm
Thank you! I’m doing really well with it now. It was soooo hard, but once we were done, we were done. I do love my new bedtime perspective. I now get to kiss his face while we rock, smell his freshly washed hair, and gaze into his little eyes. It is wonderful, even if he refuses to fall asleep at night time!
July 18, 2012 at 9:06 am
July 16, 2012 at 8:15 pm
And then I CRIED! Oh my goodness. I am nowhere near ready to be done. 😦
I can’t tell you how proud I am of you (and M!!!) for a job well done. And I can’t tell you how valuable this log and now this post will be to the mamas who are right behind you and need this encouragement. 🙂
July 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm
Thank you! I never expected to go this long. God help my last child because I may nurse that one forever. Oh, how my perspective has changed!
I kept the log for myself, but thought that it may be helpful to others. I had a hard time finding a weaning schedule. You know me – I’m all about schedules and organization 😉 I will go back to this when I’m weaning the next baby.
July 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm
I really think you and BJB will get along like GANGBUSTERS. B and I will just drink and nod our heads.
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December 31, 2012 at 5:25 pm
Just reread SRB’s weaning post today pointed out in her 2012 recap and now reading this. Tears!!! Thank you for keeping this journal and for sharing it! I am absolutely not ready to start weaning Alidia and luckily, neither is she, but I know that won’t last forever. The end will surely happen within the next 6 months or less and I don’t even like to think about it. Just re-reading your last paragraph from the last night and tears all over again. I just don’t know how I will deal with that very last time. But knowing how you did (and of course billions of other moms), I know I can… just not yet! 😉 Again, thank you for sharing this!!
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