Monday, January 26, 2015

Weaning

I knew I wanted to breastfeed before the girls were born. When they were born at 34 weeks I had no idea how it all would work. Luckily, both girls were nursing within their first few days of life with the help of a nipple shield for my flat nipples.

I was amazed that my little 3 1/2 pound baby could nurse so well. Early on I didn't want to say my goal out loud because it seemed so far off. I wanted to nurse my girls for the first 12 months of their lives.

There were so many days it just didn't seem possible. With Lucy's oral aversion and serious lack of weight gain I received lots of pressure to supplement or fortify my breastmilk. 

Despite what the drs were telling me, I trusted my gut and my body to provide for my daughters. I knew Clara was gaining well on my milk and that the issue was getting Lucy to eat more than anything else. 

Around 7 months we got over the hump. There were still bad days, but my goal of 12 months actually seemed obtainable. 

At 11 months old Lucy broke her femur. I had to learn how to nurse her in a body cast. When the surgeon found out I wanted to continue to nurse despite the cast she practically rolled her eyes at me. With fierce indignation I said to her that if I made it 11 months a cast wasn't stopping me from meeting my goal. We figured things out and persevered. 

When their birthday rolled around I was so proud of us. Proud of myself and my body to meeting my personal goal, but also proud of my girls for making it possible. 

So now here were are at 16 1/2 months old. Up until last week I was still nursing first thing in the morning and before bed. Most nights Lucy would nurse around 3 am as well (at a minimum). I knew the girls were getting more ready to eat food in the mornings so on this past Saturday we dropped the morning feeding. 

I'm not going to lie, I cried, but the girls did great. We had sippy cups ready for them and gave them cups in their room when they first woke up. 

Today was day 3 without nursing in the morning. I've also started to cut back on the length of time they're nursing before bed. Rather than letting them go until they're satisfied, I'm cutting them off after a minute or two and offering a sippy with breastmilk. They've done great with this as well. 

Lucy is still wanting to nurse at night but less. I'm also cutting her off shortly after she starts and then offering her a paci. Last night she wasn't thrilled about this and would initially cry, but then resettled fairly quickly. 

My hope is to have them completely weaned over the next week or two. It's really hard and sad for me because I know I'll miss those snuggles and the power of the boob.  

I never had a plan beyond 12 months and I'm glad to be finding and falling into one. I'm definitely the last one standing among my friends when it comes to nursing. 

Wish me luck as we close this huge chapter that was the last 16 month of our lives. 

2 comments:

  1. I'm glad this process is going so smoothly for you! It's hard to say goodbye to the end of an era, but it's kind of nice to have your body back to yourself too. :) It's so awesome you made it this long with the girls!

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  2. I'm dealing with that at the moment, and it's not easy.

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