Weaning

With my return to work date looming, one of the things I have to do is start weaning Savanna.  Ever since she quit drinking from the bottle at 3 months of age, she has been exclusively breastfed.  For the past 6 months, we’ve been in a very comfortable routine of nursing 4 times a day, while I take the maximum dosage of domperidone.

This week, I stopped taking domperidone, and reduced the feeding to 3 times a day. Later this week will be 2 times a day, then next week onward just keeping one feed a day. Savanna is a pretty good eater, so I’m not worried about her missing vital nutrients.  I can tell right away that my milk production has reduced greatly once I stopped the medication.  Thank goodness for the meds, or I would never be able to breastfeed exclusively!

This afternoon while I was nursing her, I had her cradled in my arm, with a warm fuzzy blanket covering both of us.  The afternoon sunlight was streaming in from our window, shining beautifully projected streaks on Savanna’s face.  She looked up at me with her bright eyes, while scratching my neck with one hand.  It made me a little sad to think that 10 days from now I’ll be sitting in my office, churning out tax work, rather than being with my baby.  I’ve had a much better experience with breastfeeding this time around, and I am really going to miss all this bonding time I’ve had with her.

A year is a long time, and a short time.  It’s long because you sleep little, you’re chasing after a toddler while trying to care for a baby, and you’re cranky because your toddler is growing a personality.  A year is short because your baby is still just a baby, barely taking a few steps, and barely saying a few words.

Weaning Savanna is harder for me than it is for her.  I feel like I need to be weaned off my attachment to her, and all the sweet and luxurious amount of time I got to spend with her.

I won and you lost!

With all the issues I’ve had with breastfeeding Joshua, our doctor and I both felt that weaning Joshua off at 3 or 4 months is good enough.  Then somehow I found the energy to continue with breastfeeding.  I figured, ok, I’ll stop at 6 months.  So when Joshua was 6 months old, I stopped taking domperidone.  But without the medication, I was still producing some milk, so I kept feeding Joshua twice a day.  It became a comfortable routine, and I didn’t really feel the need to stop.  This continued for the next 5 1/2 months.

Now I only have 2 weeks left of maternity leave, I definitely need to wean Joshua off before I go back to work.  I started skipping a feed each day last week, so now I only breastfeed him just before bed.  In a few more days I’ll start skipping the evening feed too.

I keep expecting this major emotional turmoil for me, but so far I’m feeling quite relaxed about the whole thing.  Maybe it’s because I know that I’ve already done the best I can, even exceeding our doctor’s expectations.

Actually, I’m quite proud of myself.  I remember how stressed out I was about producing one extra ounce of milk, and how desperate I felt for not being able to exclusively breastfeed.  Looking back at the battles I’ve fought in order to keep breastfeeding, I feel a sense of pride and victory.

It makes me want to say to my breasts: I won and you lost!