The Weaning Decision
I think I’ve finally made up my mind about this weaning business. This decision has been an emotional rollercoaster filled with questions and uncertainty, so I greatly appreciate all the wonderful commentors who gave me so much information to consider.
I know now that I’m not ready to wean him completely, and that partial weaning is a viable option for us. I guess I just didn’t know that I could have it both ways because breastfeeding has really run my life over the last year. But over the last week, Julesy has suddenly started nursing less often and for shorter periods, and because of that, my milk production has drastically decreased. Last night after Julesy’s big 1st birthday bash, he went to spend the night at Grandma’s house. He had hardly nursed during the day, and wasn’t interested before he left, so I finally pumped at 1 am and only got about 3 ounces – I usually get 5 or 6 at night. And, normally I wouldn’t have been able to sleep all night without having to wake up and pump/nurse, or I’d become painfully engorged and develop a plugged duct. But I did sleep all night, and didn’t pump at all. I didn’t even pump when I woke up this morning. I finally nursed Jules when we picked him up at 2 pm, so that means I went 13 hours without expressing any milk -- and nothing terrible happened. Amazing.
Because of this, I’m not planning on pumping at work this week. I still have my time slot in the Mother’s Room booked, just in case I feel like I need it, but I’m going to plan on not pumping and see if I can make it. I haven’t been feeling “full” at work lately, so I think I’ll be okay.
So essentially my “decision” is to turn nursing into something that is casually done whenever I feel like Julesy needs to, or I need to in order to relieve some fullness, but not to try to keep my supply up anymore. I’m so not a “let’s-see-what-happens” kind of a person, but in this case, that’s just exactly how I’m handling this. We’ll keep going as long as it’s working and not stressful. I’d love the breastfeeding relationship to become “oh, I suppose I can nurse him now” rather than “ohmygodohmygodohmygod, I have to nurse him/pump or ohmygod my supply will drop/my breasts will explode/the earth will fall of its axis, etc.” I just want to take it easy now, and let the chips fall where they may. That’s the only solution that feels right to me at this point.
Thank you again to everyone who shared their story and offered support. It truly helped me sort out my feelings about this seemingly monumental decision.