30 September 2010

Breastfeeding Part 14: Weaning

We're suddenly down to just a morning and night feeding over here. 

It kind of happened unexpectedly.  Derek was home on vacation for a week and looked at me early in the week and said "You know they're ready for 3 feedings right?" Well, I didn't know, but I trusted his judgment and the next day we gave it a try.  And to my surprise it worked well!  I didn't replace that feeding, but we did do their dinner earlier and make sure they ate lots of food and drank extra water.

I had expected that dropping the middle of the day feed would take awhile so I added a little coconut milk in anticipation of dropping that feed.  However, last Tuesday there was some crazy drama involving skipping a morning nap, playing at a friends house, and two separate trips to the doctors' office.  By the time I left the second doctor's appointment it was 2pm and the babies were exhausted.  When I got home, there was no way I was waking them for a feeding.  I plopped them in their cribs and let them sleep until 4:15.  So I took them straight from their nap to the dinner table and then nursed at bedtime.  It worked.  So I tried it the next day... and have been doing it since.

They're eating a ton more at each meal and sucking down two 4 oz sippies of an almond/coconut milk cocktail with breakfast and lunch. Occasionally I toss in a banana smoothie with dinner.  I'll start trialing dairy again this weekend and hopefully we can do cow's milk or homemade yogurt instead of the expensive alternative milks soon.  But other than that... routine is much the same.  I think the bedtime feed will be the next to be replaced, because they are crazy and all over the pillow, and standing up trying to nurse, and a whole mess of other activity that is either response to them being done with that feed or a response to drop in supply.  I don't know which?   But I do love my morning nursing the most as well ;)

Emotionally, it's not as bittersweet as I thought it would be.  Maybe it would be more sad if I just had one child and if these two were my last babies, but since there are two of them and I hope to have one more... I just suddenly feel free. I also feel less like a dairy cow. I mean... I could be out of the house all day and not have to pump (which I hate!) or come home to nurse.  That's hugely freeing!  I can only imagine how freeing it will be to be able to go on a retreat for a weekend.  Wow. 

However, I did make it to my goal of 1 year :)  And I'm actually probably going to make it at least a month beyond.  I feel like I just ran a marathon.  And I'm so proud and so thankful for the support that I was given along the journey.


Valerie said...

Congratulations Melissa! You are one amazing Mama. I remember when they were born and you struggled so much. But you came out champion! You did it!! I think that is so awesome!

Julia said...

You rock, Melissa! So, I'm curious--are you still using the nursing pillow and are you still tandem nursing the girls? I still can't imagine nursing them any other way, but you mentioned them trying to stand and nurse at the same time. Wow! It sounds like I'm going to have a circus on my hands in a very short time!

Jessica said...

Congrats! Way to go!

Melissa Ann said...

Julia, I am still using the EZ-2 and tandem nursing. During the morning, they behave like angels and chug down their milk (well... occasionally they poke each other in the eyes because they love petting each others' eyelashes, but hate being pet...)

At the evening feed, they get impatient for letdown and I think my supply is lower. Aeralind rolls her behind off the pillow and keeping her head in a football position lays on her tummy with her body at a 45 degree angle to the pillow. Bronwyn gets all angry and frustrated and generally crazy (which ofcourse only slows let down even more) and she rolls right off the pillow completely and then pulls to stand right next to me. Then she leaves over the pillow and latches right on. Comfortable for her.. but not so much for mommy. So I toss her back up on the pillow 2-3 times and by then Aeralind has stimulated letdown. Circus is a good word for the process.

I keep trying to persuade Derek to take pictures of their bodies and the side of the pillow to do his probably last for awhile "extreme baby feeding" post. He's not the photographer in the family and can't figure out how to take those photos modestly ;)