Friday, December 4, 2009

In the Home stretch...

Wow, there is lots of goodness going on in the blogisphere right now. I feel a bit behind in terms of getting the holiday cheer feeling emanating from here but I'll get it happening very soon. We are having a respite from the typical rain in this rain forest of ours and so I've been out and about and getting some much needed cleaning done around here before we leave.

While visions of sugarplums are dancing in my head I am also very aware that Kyan is almost two and that my breasts are feeling the burn. Yes everyone, this post is going to be about breastfeeding a toddler, a teething toddler, a toddler who really likes to nurse and is showing little sign of weaning anytime soon. At this point if I'm honestly counting he nurses about 6 or 7 times in a 24 hour period. My feelings about breastfeeding are jumbled. I love it, I resent it, I'm so happy that I've done it for almost two years, I love that it is a special bond that I have with Ky, but man my nipples are overworked and underpaid.

I had always had plenty of milk until this summer. My body has decided before Kyan has that it is done. It wants to stop but Ky is having none of it. It makes me sad when he cries for milk and I know there isn't any. I try to explain it to him and he is starting to understand that he is reaching "big boy" territory in which Mama no longer provides the milk. I have never read or heard much about other women going through this. As far as I know most Moms have weaned their children because they were done, or the child decides they are done. But not having the milk for the appetite? I'm sure someone out there has dealt with this but I feel a bit alone on this road at present.
Ky breastfeeds more when he is teething and his second year molars are in on the bottom and the top ones must not be close behind from his behaviour today. My goal before he was born was to be close to finished nursing by 2 years old. We are close....but at this point the pace is a bit much. After this nursing process began I began to see the benefit of letting a child decide when he or she is ready to stop. That being said I'm not going to nurse until he's four, or nurse through a second pregnancy whenever that may be. I need a break. Seriously. As rewarding as this is, as important for his health as it has been, the factory needs shutting down.
And then....I look down at him and it makes me sad. The emotional component of weaning is much more powerful than the rational side for me. All he has known for 2 years is that having milk from Mama is comfort, food, love, warmth, sleep........the list is infinite. The transition away from this is harder than I could have expected. He has never taken a bottle so I hesitate to try and introduce it as a go between. Perhaps I am making it into a bigger deal than he will. Perhaps after we return from our holidays and I begin the complete night-nursing weaning it will be way easier than I thought and he will be ready to let it go. After nighttime feeding is over he'll slowly loose interest more and more until he goes a whole day without mentioning it.
Part of me longs for that day, part of me is sad about it, and part of me is bewildered. Our Mama-son bond will change after that day. I am excited to see how that change will manifest but also sad that I will have proof that the baby time is over for him, never to return.


TMCPhoto said...

we went until one month before the Peanut hit two and at that point we had stopped all breast feeds except for one.

The peanut decided she was done well before I was ready to give it up. After dealing with two months of having the toddler try to practice yoga while latched on I gave up (there are probably a few things less comfortable than having a 30lb toddler go into downward dog while securely latched, I can't think of any right now)

I hope your transition with the little one goes smoothly, he'll probably find it easier than you will but on the plus side there will still be quiet snuggle times and bonding and moments.

Anonymous said...

I think it's up to you as the source and mama but I don't have experience going beyond 3 months with breastfeeding so I wouldn't be a good person to give advice. I know sippy cups (the Nuby ones Willow likes) with a soft tip might be good to offer. If he has a stuffed animal that he likes he could sip from the cup and cuddle that on your lap? Good luck!

Jen said...

Amy! So good to hear from you. I didn't know you had moved your blog and was wondering where you were. Thanks to you and Tami for the support.

Clandestiny said...

I hope I'm not too late with this comment but when I had any question at all I got in touch with La Leche League ( One day little Kyan (what a cutie!) will be weaned but you will always have a special bond with him! I've learned that a parent's job is to make their children ready to leave them. It's hard and sad to watch them start to move away from us towards independence but they always come running back from time to time. I like to think that and all the love and joy they give us makes it all worthwhile :)

Bridgett said...

I applaud you for breastfeeding as long as you have. That's amazing.

I breastfed my son for 6 months...and then my milk supply just slowed way down. Of course, I was working 12 hour days at the hospital, and didn't really have time to pump.

My poor daughter had a really tiny mouth. And I have really large nipples. So it didn't go well with her at all. My nipples were bleeding constantly and I even got mastitis. I still managed to go for 3 months, but I felt so horrible giving it up.

I wish the two of you well.