I think it’s time to wean my baby. My 9 1/2 month old, sweet, cuddly miracle baby. I’ve pretty much decided to do this, so I’m not really looking for arguments against it, as well-meaning as they may be. Just wanted to vent and share and hopefully find some encouragement.
I’m very pro-breastfeeding. My son nursed until he was 15 months and gradually weaned himself when I became pregnant again. I thought this time breastfeeding would be easier, and I was looking forward to nursing her just as long, or maybe longer, than her brother. We got off to a rocky start, with her being in the NICU for 2 weeks, but after we brought her home everything seemed to be working out.
At six months she started teething. Her latch deteriorated and I developed severe cracks in my nipples (sorry if TMI). Mastitis was next—knocked me on my ass quicker than my last bout of influenza—but two weeks of antibiotics cleared it up and we soldiered on. A few weeks ago she had 5 (yes, 5!) teeth coming in at once. She had still been sleeping next to me, and nursing throughout the night, but suddenly she was awake most of the night screaming in pain, unable to nurse. She went on a nursing strike. For a whole week I could not get her to latch on, so I was pumping fulltime (instead of just at work) and giving her milk in a sippy cup. It was a hellacious week, but finally all 5 of those teeth came in and last weekend I got her to nurse again. Yea! Or so I thought
A couple of days ago she started teething again, and the pain is just horrible, for both of us I’m sure. I was pumping at work this morning, and getting just blood out of one side, I guess because the tissue has been so traumatized and damaged from her teeth. I can’t see this getting any better, I’m so tired of the pain, and I’m terrified of getting mastitis again. So I’m going to start weaning her to a sippy cup fulltime, and gradually cut back on pumping, and I guess she’ll just have to take formula for a couple of months until we can transition to cow’s milk.
I’m really quite upset by this, and since I didn’t have to force my son to wean, I’m not sure how to do it. We’ve tried formula a couple of times in the past and she flat-out refused it. I know we can give her water and juice to keep her hydrated, but she has to have either formula or breastmilk, so I hope she can get used to the taste of formula. I am totally clueless about how to comfort a baby without nursing (though her recent “strike” taught me some valuable lessons). She has a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep without nursing, so I’m going to have to move her to her crib fulltime too, so she doesn’t try to nurse in her sleep. For whatever reason, my husband is completely unable to comfort her when she’s upset (believe me, he has tried), so the burden of getting her through this transition will fall largely on me.
Sorry this is so long. It’s just not how I expected this to end. I feel in some ways a failure, yet I’m secretly relieved that this will soon be over (the pain and unpleasantness, that is). And terribly, terribly guilty about feeling relieved If you made it this far, thanks for reading, and please send good wishes my way, for the next couple of weeks will be very difficult I’m sure.