Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wean

Forgive me Little Guy, for I have sinned.

It has been eighteen days since I've replaced a feed with a sippy cup. Three days since I've replaced a second feed. You are now going from morning to night without breastmilk.

It is not going well.

I don't know if it is that you are not thirsty. I don't know if it's that you don't like the (multitude of) sippy cup(s) I've offered. Perhaps you don't like the formula. Why would you when the real thing is close at hand? Maybe it's just the fact that I'm the one giving you the sippy cup. Who knows what's going on in your head? If there ever was a time to use your words, now would be it. If only you had any.

From morning till night, you don't drink. From morning till night, you have - maybe - some random sips from the cup. You seem to be taking in some small amount of water occasionally, so I guess that's something. But there's no nourishment there. I don't give in. I offer food (with high water content) and distraction instead. If it weren't for the fact that you're a champion eater, I would be beside myself with worry.

As it is, I'm as tense as a horse at the gate, waiting for the pistol that never shoots. I'm snappish and stressed, worried that I'm doing the wrong thing. No, not that I'm doing the wrong thing, per se, but approaching the right thing the wrong way. Maybe that's more accurate.

I go back to work in a month. I start rehearsals shortly after. And even if I weren't, I would be looking to wean soon anyways. I used to think that I was doing a good thing by breastfeeding for a year, but now the recommendation is that you do it for two to four years. Well, I've never been able to pump successfully, so unless I stay home altogether, it's basically all or nothing. Still, the guilt is there.

I thought that dropping four feeds in two months would be enough time. How on earth do people wean in a week? This is amazing to me. Do they know something I don't?

I press on, hoping it will somehow magically work itself out. I wonder if I spend too much of my life hoping things will magically work themselves out. You have been remarkably good humoured throughout. A person would only know something was amiss when you knock the sippy cup out of my hands and screech. If I offer you food, though, you will happily munch away. But it begs the question - what happens when the morning and night feeds are replaced...?

Even if you don't remember a single moment of this - because I don't think you will - I still don't want to be the person that takes the light out of your eyes. Not even for a moment. You may not remember, but I will.

Is this really what it's like to be a grown-up? If so, it's kind of sucky.

Pardon the pun.

11 comments:

Beck said...

It's hard, isn't it? So much of parenthood makes me feel like crouching and weeping in a corner AND YET I AM NOT ALLOWED.
Weaning The Baby was THE WORST - I managed to catch freaking LYME DISEASE! LYME DISEASE! So anyhoo, the medication for that wasn't breastfeeding compatible and I had to go on it right away. The end. She cried for a solid WEEK. My heart.

womaninawindow said...

I wasn't successful breast feeding so I can't offer much advice. To wean from my son's pacifier I cut the ends off and told him they were broken. Worked wonders but I think a different approach would be better for you.

Mad said...

Oh, the whole breast feeding gig is so fraught with emotions good and bad. He will be fine and so will you but it is hard and I sympathize.

And in happier news... OMG, that photo widget on the sidebar is breaking my heart with cuteness.

Christine said...

weaning is hard, no two ways about it. whether you initiate it or the baby does it can be a hard, hard thing.

{{hugs}}

SciFi Dad said...

Weaning for us meant going to bottles (after a failed attempt at sippy cups), and it took more than a week. But, for us it was more a question of taking her cues that she was ready to start weaning rather than about getting her off the breast so my wife could go back to work, so it's not really the same thing.

Hopefully, things will get better for you.

Mac and Cheese said...

A friend of mine successfully weaned her daugter, but even though the daughter knew how to take a sippy cup, she would only take the milk in a bottle. Nipple issues? Also, my other friend couldn't ever get her child to take formula, but once she tried cow's milk, she was good to go. I hope it gets easier for you.

Susanne said...

It's recommended to breastfeed for 2 to 4 years? What? Sorry.

I think that people who wean in a week either do it when there children are older or they have to like Beck said.

I dropped a breastfeeding session for every new meal that he ate "real food". When he was a year old I was only nursing him in the evenings before bed, and in the mornings because I didn't want to get up and make breakfast at six. When I decided to wean him in the evenings because he wasn't falling asleep because of it anymore, that was it. He was 13 months old at that time.

This is a long story to tell you that I don't think your son really needs formula or cow's milk. He can eat his food and drink water, and once you're not around he'll resign himself to the fact.

Everything will be alright.

KC said...

Hello- we are always at the same life milestones!

I am weaning. Have to do it. Still hate it. Still feeling major guilt. Blah blah blah.

JL's been taking a bottle though for awhile, and I've got a frozen pumping stash so it's just stepping up the bottles for us. I'd rather he not take it well but alas he is happy as a clam sucking down the bottles.

But at least milk becomes much less important in the nutrition scheme at a year.

kittenpie said...

Hell, I weaned over a month, and we were already in bottles! It was one thing I found easier about the pumping and bottle-feeding, though, and I will do it that way again, since I'm doing both breast and expressed bottles.

I don't really have a good answer for you, except that maybe bottles would be easier than sippies? Or is he close enough to a year to go to milk instead of formula? Or a blend of the two? He might like it better. I basically started blending in cow milk and tapered up the percentage over a month, so maybe some mix would work?

And 2-4 years? Oh, hell. Not for me. I think one year is quite enough putting out on my part, really, and I can't imagine going back to work still nursing and having to wear %$!#@& nursing bras for longer than I have to. I was SO happy to go back to real bras.

Katie Valentine said...

With MlleL we went straight to cow's milk, and with MasterP to formula, after a brief stint with milk and messy diapers.

With P I did try sippies, but found that a bottle worked best for drinking. (He takes juice and stuff from a sippy - just the formula from a bottle.) He seems to love it - it still gives us the cuddle time, but now he can look around.

But yeah. Guilt. And now, he seems more interested in the bottle than me, so I feel I'm fighting a losing battle to keep him feeding morning and night...

bren j. said...

We're working on weaning over here too. She doesn't want want in place of nursing so I don't bother. Like you, I try to keep the water content of her food high so at least she's getting some liquid. She seems to be doing okay with drinking in between time though. Maybe it's this time of year? I know I don't drink as much water as when it's 30 degrees outside.
I hope things get better for you. Of course, we would start weaning and the LG would get a cold. :(