Posted in Blog, Breastfeeding, Emotional wellness, Mother, Shawna

The long goodbye

I always figured that I would let Quinn decide when it was time to stop nursing. Then I got pregnant again when she was 14 months old, and while I know plenty of mamas nurse two babies at once, I am pretty firmly decided against it. I just foresee that Quinn will want to nurse as much as the new baby, and I know I will not have the energy for two hungry little mouths at once.

I’ve slowly realized that I will probably have to make Q wean at least a few months before the baby comes, and hold my ground in those early newborn days when jealousy will make her want to nurse more than ever (and when my own exhaustion might make me do anything to get some sleep).

The thought of weaning Q earlier than she wanted was really heartbreaking to me when I first found out I was pregnant. But it’s amazing what a difference a few months make. Nursing during pregnancy has not been fun. On the days when I’ve thrown up more than I’ve kept down, it’s been hard to let Quinn suck away what feels like my body’s last remaining few ounces. Even on my best green days, I still feel dehydrated and hate every bite of food I take in, and that can make it hard to share my spare calories, even with my beloved daughter. The two acupuncturists I’ve seen for my morning sickness have also advised against nursing during pregnancy, though my doc says it’s fine.

At nearly 17 months now, Quinn actually has dropped down to nursing just once or sometimes twice a day (at bedtime, and sometimes after her nap), which is great. But she seems really attached to that bedtime nurse (just like I expected she would).

I still struggle with the idea of weaning her before she’s ready, and the idea of losing this precious connection that has meant so much to both of us (and that I’ve fought so hard to keep!). But I have to admit I sometimes dread the evening nurse, that I grit my teeth through super-sore nipples and the uterine contractions that often follow nursing now. I still love it, too. It’s a really strange paradox.

I’m holding out hope that dropping the final nurse happens gradually and without too much struggle within the next four or five months. It looks like my supply is holding out,  but hopefully with distraction and a lot of cuddles, I can move her away with all the love and support necessary to give us both a natural sense of closure.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  1. And it’s amazing what a difference a few *more* months make. Q self-weaned at 18 months, a better outcome than I could have dreamed of!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *