Friday, February 25, 2011

Whining and Weaning

I just puked up the breakfast I had to fight to get down in the first place.  And that was after putting T down for a nap as he wept, “More!  More!” because my milk has almost dried up and he clearly couldn’t get much out of me.  Every time he latches on now I have to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from crying out in pain because my nipples are so tender.  The sharp stabbing sensation is similar to when we had thrush.  I had a migraine on Monday and have been fighting headaches all week.  I’ve been throwing up like crazy, and frankly it has been coming out of both ends.  It could be the pregnancy, it could be the anxiety, it could be a bug.  But the bottom line is I feel like a huge pile of shit.  And just to really lay it on thick we are in the middle of a snowstorm that is dumping 6-10” on us.

It seems it really is time to wean T.  A few weeks ago I stopped nursing first thing in the morning.  It was a pretty easy transition.  We decided I would shower first while Z grabbed T and hustled him downstairs for a sippy cup of milk.  He cried for me the first couple of mornings, but now I can hear him while Z changes him happily chanting, “Dada!  Dada!  Dada!”  This morning Z and I decided we’d try getting him down for a nap without nursing this weekend.  Z will put him down; I’m going to suggest he read a couple of books to T while cuddling in the rocking chair.  I’m not sure how we are going to tackle the nighttime nursing session, but if I’m not really producing enough milk I guess it will tackle itself. 

When I decided to breastfeed I used to say I’d do it for a year, but I didn’t want to do it when he was old enough to ask for it because that was kind of gross.  Yes, I was ignorant and stupid and judgmental.  Yes, I now know there is nothing wrong with nursing your kid until s/he is a couple of years old.  Yes, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for the first two years and beyond.  Yes, it is a personal decision and while it is the right choice for T and me that doesn’t mean I believe every woman must do it or else.  For us it was a combination of really hard work and lucky circumstances.  I’d heard breastfeeding could be difficult, but I didn’t really believe it.  Seems like the most natural thing in the world, how could there be issues?  T’s latch was poor at the beginning and it hurt like crazy.  As I’d never nursed before I didn’t know the latch wasn’t very good so clearly I couldn’t know how to make it better.  And then we got thrush.  And it was so stubborn that it didn’t go away for 6 weeks.  And then I had to have a mole removed that was touching my areola that required several stitches.  But by then the latch had improved and it didn’t hurt so much anymore.  We were able to navigate those stitches just fine.  But I’d say he was more than two months old before it felt easy.  And it stayed easy.  Yes, he’s a biter and that sucks.  Yes, early on I developed a bad habit of kind of squeezing my boob to try and make it smaller to get it into his mouth and I continue to do that to this day so I only have one hand free (won’t be making that mistake with the next one).  Yes, we can only nurse when we are alone because starting at about 5 months he wouldn’t stay on my boob if another person was around to look at.   But at the end of the day it has been a wonderful way for us to bond and all the struggles have been worth it.

Last summer nursing T became very bittersweet for me.  I thought I was giving it up when he turned one and I just didn’t feel ready.  After his first birthday Z pointed out that there was no reason I needed to stop.  If T still wanted to and I still wanted to there was nothing wrong with nursing him.  And then I had the miscarriage.  Nursing T during that horrible time was ultimately incredibly healing for me.  I was grateful he was still up for it.  But now it seems like I need to let it go.  Even though I’m in the second trimester I’m still losing weight.  I’m still throwing up.  I’m worried about becoming dehydrated.  I’m not producing enough for him.  I need to physically concentrate on the baby inside me.  And I feel like a selfish jerk.  Because he doesn’t seem ready.  Because there are two players in this nursing thing I wanted to base the decision on when to stop on both of our needs.  For the first time his sibling-to-be wins out.  And T is too little to understand why.  Ultimately I understand it will be healthier for him to have to share being the center of our universe.  But the transition from a family of three to a family of four will be difficult for all of us.  

Here is T testing out the super baggy pants with underwear showing look.  I thought we'd have to wait until he was in high school for this one.  This is what I get for putting him in the 18 month size.  He really is a tiny peanut.    

We gave him a phone you can record a message on for Valentine's Day.  Now when Z's at work T can hear his voice whenever he wants.  Which is pretty much all the time.

1 comment:

  1. Karen ~ I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time. It must feel so frustrating to not know what the true root of your sickness is - and who knows, it could be a mixture or it all with tons of stress added in.

    I recently went to the doctor because I haven't had a solid bowel movement in MONTHS. Add in a stomach virus and I was just done with the whole pooping process (which I, frankly, used to enjoy!). I am now going to have to submit a stool sample (submitting is probably's the "getting" part that is just plain WEIRD). All this to say that pregnancy can mess up our bodies and it doesn't end after the 10 mos of gestation. I really hope your body can get adjusted so you can have some positive times in this pregnancy. And I really am sorry it's so hard :(

    I'm also sorry to hear about the breast feeding struggles, too. One good thing is that you have been able to continue your momma's milk for as long as you have. It seems no matter when we stop, we have mother's guilt. I think you should be proud you've held on as long as you have - through all your emotional anguish last Fall and the thrush and placenta problems right after birth. You are an unselfish mother! Many weaker than you would have given up long ago.

    Sending positive vibes your way...