"The time has come" the Walrus said.
As we all know, my milk supply has never been where it should be. Thanks to my LC and a drug called domperidone, it got close, but I've always had to supplement. When I started working I was pumping, but that got to be too much so my supply dropped a smidge. Now that I've lost some weight it's dropped even more. Apparently I need to be at a certain BMI to produce milk and that BMI is not one at which I'm comfortable.
With these drops in supply I can no longer nurse G overnight. Sure, we can nurse a little at night - I have about 2 feedings worth of milk (spaced about 6 hours apart) but they never seem to keep him asleep for very long and he ends up latching on an off for hours. This keeps me awake since I can no longer sleep while we nurse in bed. Also? I'm only producing milk on one side.
The road is getting rougher and I just don't know if I have the energy to keep on keeping on, know what I mean?
We had a really rough couple of nights and it prompted this conversation with Bryan and I yesterday:
Me: "I'm thinking of weaning"
Alright, so that's not really a "conversation" per se. Well, I guess it technically is...
ANYWAY: We're going to night-wean.
Griffin will nurse before bed and in the morning (especially if I want to delay our morning wake-up), but no more middle of the night nursing. He'll get a bottle or be rocked. Hopefully this will translate into more sleep for all of us. I've started to wake up every morning with a monster headache - due to sleep deprivation - that even my morning cup of coffee can't cure.
Since we won't be nursing at night it will be interesting to see what my milk supply does. I would not be at all surprised if it dried up completely.
This makes me more than a little sad. I know that continuing to nurse at night, while keeping my supply where it is, is causing me a lot more headaches and heartaches than it's worth. But the thought of stopping nursing completely... well, that causes a fair amount of heartache as well.
There will probably be two camps regarding this decision. The first will be those who think that I should keep nursing as long as G is interested. The "a drop is better than none" camp... and then there will be those who thought I should have quit long ago, that the struggle caused me too much stress and may not have been worth it.
Although now that I think about it, that's probably not accurate. Most people will probably think "do whatever it is that makes you all happy" since most people I know understand my breastfeeding history and aren't jackalopes.
Here are some old posts on nursing... Pumping Schedule Nightmare and Finding out I don't make enough Prolactin
I really should be proud of how long we've nursed. 9+ months is longer than average in the US, and considering my supply problems it's a HUGE accomplishment. But I still feel... inadequate? I guess. There is so.much.pressure to breastfeed that I can't seem to let it go.
Maybe this pressure is all internal. Or maybe it's because I participate in online debates about things like nursing in public and extended breastfeeding. Or maybe everyone really is judging me for my inability to nurse my babies for a year (I don't really believe that, but sometimes it feels that way).
But back to Griffin and weaning. The decision has been made - we're night weaning. We'll see what happens and go from there. I'll deal with my mommy guilt as it comes and continually remind myself that our formula fed daughter is practically a genius.
Griffin will be fine regardless of how much milk he gets from here on out even though I may not be.
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11 months ago