Friday, February 27, 2015

Why am I so sad after weaning?

Those are the words I typed into google when my husband couldn't figure out why I would be bawling my eyes out over my son having self-weaned. That night, my son didn't ask to nurse before bed, which was getting to be routine, but what wasn't routine was that it was his first day without nursing at all, despite all of my attempts, all the times I offered.

The next day, he nursed a couple of times, but I was pretty sure he wasn't actually getting anything. Yesterday, it was the same way, except he only tried to nurse in the morning, and didn't once ask for mikies the rest of the day. Not even when I tried on bras for fifteen minutes in a dressing room. Normally, if boobs are out, then he wants them. He stares at them and grabs for them and WANTS them. But yesterday, he just went on bumbling about the dressing room, not once asking for his boobies.

And that is when I realized it was over. He has weaned. At 17 months, he has decided to stop, and while I am so proud of this accomplishment, I am also sad because I wasn't ready to stop. I didn't want to stop yet. This wasn't my goal. But Kaiden doesn't know I have a goal. Or had a goal.

I think I am a little sad because this has come about in a rather jarring way. For the whole month of February, I've been bleeding. I've been to the ER once, I've been downing birth control pills (a few a day) like they are candy...and I knew that this was wreaking havoc on my supply and the quality of the milk Kaiden was getting. The last I tasted it (to see if it was the milk he couldn't stand), it was very salty, and that was at the start of the month.

I started to notice that he wasn't swallowing when nursing, which was a sign that he wasn't getting anything, and he was just using me for comfort. I didn't want to believe it, though. I didn't want to admit that my dysfunctional body is what was ending my breastfeeding journey short. I see it now, though, and I don't blame Kaiden. Who wants salty milk anyway?

I am writing this at 5:30. Normally, at this time, I am finishing nursing Kaiden and hurrying to get dressed for work and out the door. It has been a hectic morning schedule since my work schedule changed this year, mostly because I never knew how long Kaiden would want to nurse, or if he'd wake up earlier to nurse and then I'd be stuck awake since 4 am since my alarm goes off at 5.

Instead of nursing, though, I got dressed for work instead. I didn't go in to ask Kaiden if he wanted any milkies, or take him from his crib to the rocking chair where he nursed. I've decided to not go into his room to wake him.

He didn't have an easy night last night, for some reason, and kept waking up. Each time that I went in there to hold him, he never asked to nurse. That is what he'd normally want to calm him down, but last night, he just wanted to fall asleep in my arms, against my chest, with his thumb in his mouth.

And I realized that it was okay. I realized that I didn't have to ask him if he wanted to nurse this morning. I realized that today is the day my son has weaned. It's the day I won't offer it to him. If he wants it, I'll offer, but otherwise, we will go about our day as mommy and baby, just without the boobie inbetween.

Here is a picture I snapped a week ago, knowing that my time breastfeeding Kaiden was running out. It's not the best picture, but it is precious to me to have captured the moment.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

PCOS, Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding and Weaning

It has been hellish the past three weeks. PCOS has reared its head in a new way with me, and we've been at a loss as to what to do. Basically, without getting into all the details, I had a few periods that were only ten days apart from each other, and the bleeding went on for over two weeks. The last cycle, the bleeding was really heavy, and I was supposed to go to the ER, but I didn't because it sounded stupid. The bleeding stopped on its own, and I was put on birth control to help level out my hormones.

Ten days after that, the bleeding returned. It was medium flow for two weeks, and then all of the sudden got really, really bad. It scared me, and I did end up going to the ER. Now, I am taking a bunch of birth control pills at once to try and stop the bleeding, but it's not working. If there is no change by tomorrow, I have to go back to the hospital. I suspect the next step is a D&C, which I am terrified of, but my friends assure me that it's not so bad. We will see what they decide to do next. All of the blood loss is exhausting, and all of the birth control pills are making me feel sick on top of it.

And then there is the weaning. My baby is weaning. I didn't want to believe it at first, but it makes sense. When a breastfeeding mom gets her period, the milk becomes a bit salty, and some babies don't like that. Normally, though, the milk goes back to normal when the period is over. But, I've been on my period for nearly two months now, and with all the birth control I have to take on top of that, my supply is probably non-existent, and the milk tastes very salty.

I noticed he was nursing less than he normally does. He usually nurses in the morning and at night, but instead, Kaiden would latch on and not suckle, he'd just "talk" to me. He just wants to be close. But this morning, I asked him if he wanted milkies, and he very clearly shook his head and said "no." So, I tried to sit down and offer anyway, since this concept of saying "no" and meaning "no" is new to him, and he doesn't always get it right. Even when offered, he didn't want to nurse. He just kissed my boob, stuck his thumb in his mouth, and snuggled up against it. Again, he just wanted to be close.

And that is when I realized that it is probably over.

Yesterday, I was okay with this notion. I accepted it. I patted myself on the back and said, "I didn't even think I could make it a week, let alone sixteen months."

But today, I keep blaming myself for our nursing relationship coming to an end. Again, my messed up body and PCOS has managed to take something away from me.

My mother-in-law warned me that it would be sad when it ends. My husband weaned when he was fifteen months old, and it was very sudden. She said she cried for days because she just wasn't ready for it to happen.

I wasn't ready for it to happen either.