I nursed J until he was 14 months. I was also 5 months pregnant at the time. (which is another story all together). With him, I was ready to be done, and so was he. It was uncomfortable, and just plain annoying when he would “nurse”. There wasn’t really any benefit either of us were getting out of it at the end. And when he slept through the night the first night I stopped nursing him, it was like divine intervention. It was time, and probably had been for a while.
When C was born, I realized that nursing is hard even the second time around. I didn’t have issues with my production, but a newborn is still a newborn. They have to learn how to nurse, just like your boobs have to adjust to having a little one attached to them almost 24/7 for a while. It’s an adjustment all around. Even when you know how it’s supposed to work, it doesn’t make it any easier for the first few weeks. It still hurt like hell for the first 2 weeks.
I planned on nursing C until, well I didn’t really have a length of time. I figured it would be similar to what happen with J and that the right time would be obvious. Turns out, it was only obvious to her! The day after her 1st birthday, C came down with a cold. The night she refused to nurse. The next morning she also refused. And at naptime, it was a no-go. I figured it had something to do with her feeling not so great. In the meantime I had to break out my pump. While she wasn’t nursing a ton, she was nursing enough that my boob’s went back to feeling like they were going to explode by the morning time. Did I mention I hate pumping? I thought I was done with that!
After 48 hours of no nursing, I was really starting to doubt that C was ever going to go back to nursing. I kept up the pumping 1-2 times a day though, just in case. One morning I got her to suck down 3 oz of pumped milk from a bottle…but that must have been a total fluke. That was the last time she ever drank the magic milk.
The next day, I got a nasty virus that landed me with a 104 degree temp and in the ER for dehydration. Turns out C being ready to stop nursing was right for both of us. She moved onto drinking regular milk with no hitch, and I was able to take some much needed meds to get over the virus.
The sudden and unexpected, cold-turkey stop to it all left me a little sad though. I wasn’t ready to stop nursing. Not in the same was I was with J. But, in the end, it all worked out. Just goes to show that no one’s journey with breastfeeding is the same. Every kiddo is different, and everyone’s struggles with breastfeeding – whether at the beginning, middle, or end – is relevant.
And now? I’m remembering how little my boobs are when I’m not pregnant or nursing! Ha…