The Last Breastfeeding Post.
BSparl is five months and one week old, and for three months straight, we did breastfeeding only. Around the three month mark, we started to work in a bottle of formula here and there, and about three weeks ago, I started weaning her in earnest.
I've heard horror stories from other moms about the weaning process. I've heard that your poor boobs can become so engorged and sore that you can actually get a clogged milk duct or mastitis. I've also heard that the weaning can be extremely painful, both emotionally and physically, and that the mother and the baby go through varying levels of discomfort and detachment. Basically, I've heard that stopping the breastfeeding process sucks. (Pun frightfully unintended.)
So that's why I started weaning slowly, and stretched the process out over a few weeks' time. At first, I started replacing breastfeeding sessions with a bottle for BSparl, and I would see how long I could go without pumping. I started by skipping some of the evening feeding sessions first, as I seemed to make less milk at that time of day anyway. After a few weeks, I was able to go about seven hours without needing to pump. Over time, I was able to cut out the breastfeeding sessions almost entirely, except for the morning one.
And last week, I stopped the morning sessions, too. Admittedly, those are the ones I miss. Having her wake up with a big grin and kicky legs, and then we'd settle into bed without waking Chris up, snuggling close and doing our thing. But due to the weaning and the slowing down of my body's natural production of milk, even the morning feedings weren't enough. I started to have to supplement her with formula even after I'd breastfed her. And I didn't have the desire to take any of those teas, etc. that stimulate more milk production. If my body was deciding I was done, I didn't want to push it.
So we had a long talk one morning, she and I.
"BSparl, it's time to go full-throttle on the bottle now, okay? Are you okay if we stop breastfeeding?"
She stared at me.
"So in the morning, we'll have a bottle together. We'll still snuggle and stuff, but your food will be formula. Cool with you?"
She grinned and opened her mouth in an attempt to shove her foot in.
"Okay, good. I love you. So much."
"I love you, too, Mommy." (Okay, so she didn't actually say that. She did mush her fingers up my nose and say "Mmmm-aaaaaaah-goooooo-naaaaah!" Which, to me, is close enough.)
The decision to stop breastfeeding wasn't an easy one, but it's best for me and my family. My daughter had the benefit of three full months, and then two more months of partial breastfeeding, and I hope her immune system thanks me for it. And now I'm free to go back to my previous medical regimen, which will include switching from Labetalol back to Altace for my blood pressure, and also the inclusion of L Glutamine and mass amounts of coffee.
Now? The challenge will be to make sense of my insulin needs, now that the breastfeeding months are behind me. I'm currently on a teeny amount of basal insulin (0.25 per hour) due to the calories burned by milk production, so now I need to find out what my new, post-pregnancy insulin needs are. And judging by the 200 mg/dl that would NOT leave me alone on Monday, I think it's time for a basal test - stat.
Personally, I'm proud that I made it five months with breastfeeding. It wasn't easy, but after a few weeks, it definitely wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. And while I don't care how anyone else decides to feed their child, I'm glad I had this experience with BSparl.