Wednesday, September 16, 2009

To Wean or Not to Wean

There is some VERY personal information on the subject of breastfeeding and boobs in this post. Read on at your own risk. There is a warning before the real personal part begins.

I have been struggling with this for maybe a month or more. I know I posted a while back about it but I feel my thoughts on the matter have changed so I need to update and get some input. Lily is 1 year now and still wants to nurse every chance she gets. I also nurse her before putting her to bed at nap time and night time. She nurses 5 or more times in a day along with eating 3 meals and 2 snacks. It is very much a comfort thing for her, not that she wants to nurse when she gets hurt or whatever but, that is just how she likes to spend her time with me.

I have a couple problems with this. The first is ever since she got her top teeth it hurts! Every time she gets a new tooth it hurts REALLY bad. She isn't biting (she only did that once), just sucking harder and it takes her some time almost a week to adjust to having the new tooth. Teething have been popping in non stop. She has 8 teeth now and they take FOREVER to grew in all the way. Even when she isn't get a new tooth it still hurts.

Here goes the personal part.

The second problem I have is when Lily is nursing she likes to squeeze and squish the other side with her hand. It drives me crazy. It doesn't hurt but there is something about her little hands doing that to my body that is hard for me to stand. I feel frustrated. I know it's her enjoyment and comfort but, it is really hard for me. So next for the sake of you readers fully understanding my problem with this, I have to admit that my husband is a boobs person. He is attracted to that area of my body. Maybe because that's the only semi-attractive part of it. But anyways it is hard for me to allow him or not make an icky, oh this is so uncomfortable face to him because Lily does the same thing. I feel that too much of my time is spent with having my boobs touched, squished, milked, bothered. I get that a man needs some sort of satisfaction in that kind of way. I try to be understanding to both him and Lily. But it does something to the inside of me that makes me feel icky. I can't let my daughter do the same thing my husband is doing to me. It doesn't feel good when either touch me. I know that it is two separate things to them but to me it is the same. Adam doesn't really get it and I don't expect him to, nor have I made a real effort to explain it to him because I have a hard time explaining it in a way that won't upset him or to pinpoint exactly how I feel at all other than I just don't like it.

So it was my intent to nurse until she is 2 just cut back on how often. Now I am feeling like I don't want to nurse at all. When I first had her and heard of mothers wanting to wean after a year because they wanted their body back I didn't get it. But boy do I ever get it now. The thing is though, I have absolutely no idea on how to wean. I don't want to upset her. But does that just have to happen in order for us to wean and just trust that over time she will get over it? I thought it would get easier once I started working but subbing has been REALLY slow. I just don't know what to do. Does anyone have any advice or similar situations? Does anyone even understand how I feel? Would a Le Leche League person be able to help with this? Do they cost money to talk to? I am beginning to sound a bit desperate here. Maybe I am!


Kim said...

I wish I had some good advice. But I've got nothing. Preston nursed until he was 21 months, not because I wanted to go that long but because I couldn't figure out how to get him to stop. My cut off date was always 18 months and when that day arrived I hadn't gotten any closer to weaning him. I ended up going out of town overnight with friends and when I came back and he'd survived not nursing for those 24 hours I stuck with it. I think the hardest part was just making it through those first 24 hours.

And I get the touches thing. After so long I didn't want anything but to have my body back to being just that, MY BODY! I didn't want to have to share it with Preston and then share it with Brad. Enough was enough, I needed a day where I was all mine. LOL, that sounds funny but that was how I felt!

Good luck! I hope knowing that you aren't alone helps!

Trippleaaa said...

Holly, I really do not have any advice (I was not ablt to breast feed) I would however like to offer some encouragement. Don't feel bad about weaning, you have done a good job taking it this far. If you feel like it's time t give it up, then it's time! As far as your hubby is concerned, maybe you need to keep his hands off of them until Lily is weaned and for a few weeks after. Let your mind adjust to them no longer being nourishment for your child. After you've made that disconnect, plan a "sexy" or "romantic" night for you and your hubby. A reintroduction of your boobs to your love life. Anyways, those are just my thoughts, I hope someone can help you with the weaning. You may try a lactation consultant at Sacred Heart or the Valley Hospital. They help with teaching breast feeding I don't see why they can't help with weaning!

mommaruth said...

You need to check out Rebecca's blog at Girl's Gone Child - she's got great stories and insight into weaning!!!

coco-ono said...

1. I dont know off the top of my head when/where LLL meets on the north side but its once a month, its free, and if you go to their website you should be able to look it up. When I was a member I went to South Hill meetings. There is also a group I am still part of on the South Hill that meets every Thursday on Bernard and 29th (Unity Church) at 10:30 and they have breastfeeding support.

2. Zeke did that grab the other side thing too. It drove me nuts and I had to put a stop to it because I would actually squirt everywhere when he did it! It was a huge mess. I would just hold his hand away and tell him "no we dont touch mommy like that" and if he got upset (which happened often) I would even put him down and take a break, trying to breastfeed again in a few minutes (repeat over and over until they get it). That's how I stopped his biting as well.

3. If you are unsure about weaning or just want to take it slow you can try cutting down feedings instead of eliminating. Like doing it at bedtime or her other favorites but when she randomly wants to feed during the day offering her other things like cuddles, a tippy cup, a game for the two of you to play. She WILL be upset at first but if you know that its just a comfort/attention thing and not hunger then its really just a matter of getting her to learn to be comforted in a new way. She will adjust, like Kim said the first day is the hardest.

4. While cold turkey weaning is the hardest way to do it on both of your, IMO, I just want to say I 100% support weaning (even cold turkey) if you are ready to stop. Too many moms ignore their own needs. Just think, you want to teach Lily to respect you, not to mention to respect her own body and limitations and that is just the example you are setting for her.

5. Good luck! My experience was, and I've heard a lot of mom's say the same thing, once I was definitely 100% on board with my new limits it happened rather quickly. It's when you are wishy washy about it that it takes forever and is hard, the kids can just tell.

Holly said...

Thank you so much for the input girls! I appreciate it SOOO much! Very helpful too.

I decided I will just keep doing what we are doing and that I was being a bit selfish. I would really like to let her nurse until she is ready to wean herself or until she is 2. I know it will cut back when I am back to work more regularly.

Thank you again for ALL the help!