September 1, 2010

The End is in Sight

Because I'm convinced that the internet will implode if I don't write about them yet again, I'm going to continue talking about my boobs. Because this post marks the beginning of the end of that conversation.

Every nursing mother eventually comes to a point where she stops and asks herself if she really wants to be The Food. My moment was a few weeks ago when I genuinely thought that my boobs were going to shrivel up into raisin-sized lumps of flesh. Incidentally, that hasn't happened, much to the relief of my husband and all of the teenage boys who read my blog. Because without boobs, where would we be? And for heavens sake, what would I use to chase the hubs around the house, threatening to douse him in milk?

Ever since I wrote about the possibility of not being able to continue nursing, I wasn't able to get the idea of weaning out of my head. What would it be like to have my body completely back after 17 months? The possibilities seemed endless, the most appealing of which was that I could finally wear a bra that doesn't resemble swiss cheese.

I quietly agonized over the decision for weeks. I talked to the hubs. I called my mama. I asked my mother-in-law for advice. And y'all will be glad to hear that I resisted the temptation to discuss my boobs with the cashier at Target.

After doing endless research and weighing the pros and cons, I went with my gut instinct and we began dropping nursing sessions last week in favor of formula. Right now, it boils down to the fact that I need to be taking care of myself and be at a healthy place both physically and mentally to teach the baby that the floor lamp is not a jousting lance. And for us, that means supplementing with formula.

Those of you that are just crazy enough to have stuck with me for any amount of time know that I'm an all or nothing type of girl so when it came time to drop nursing sessions, my approach was all LET'S GET 'ER DONE! in a classy Appalachian twang.

Now, I'm very well aware that I could have gone the easy route of dropping one or two sessions a week, slowly shrinking my supply. But we all know that would take a long time and why prolong the inevitable? So I did the only thing that seemed reasonable in my sleep-deprived, caffeine-induced state; I quit cold turkey. And subsequently suffered for the next 48 hours when my boobs decided to fill up with razor-sharp pieces of gravel instead of milk.

The fact that the baby has begun crawling and exploring every inch of the house wasn't doing my boobs any favors either. With each movement of my arms, I was convinced that I was being shanked in the boob. I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to see some guy named Bruno in a bright orange jumpsuit. And in the span of time that it took for me to grab my boobs in agonizing pain, Nathaniel was playing with the floor lamp again.

We're still working on the concept of NO, but if my child is anything like I was growing up, I expect that he won't learn that word until somewhere around the age of 19. My sincerest apologies to my mother.

Back to the boobies.

After all of the cold-turkey quitting and enough breast pads fill a small landfill, we are down to one nursing session a day. And right now, I'm okay with that. In all honesty, part of me isn't quite ready to give that up just yet. I love the snuggles and the cuddling. I love knowing that I'm giving my child a healthy start to his life. And I love knowing that I won't be nursing forever.

Someday it will be time to give up that one nursing session. That day may come next week, next month, or many months in the future. And as much as I'm confident in my decision that we're doing the right thing for our family by supplementing my baby's diet, I think I might just miss nursing when it's all done.


  1. My older daughter was a book fiend, still s at 2. But I stopped nursing her during the day at 12 months and night nursed her to 15 months. Boob during the day was easier for her to give up as we coslept at the rme. And really the catalyst for the complete wean was that I was 3 mo preg with her sister, who is now 5 mo and nursing. Even though I'm nursing another baby, I miss nursing my older child. But I'm also looking forward to pretty bras without quick release flaps and my childrens hands not down my shirt. Good luck!

  2. I, also, am tiring of the whole breasfeeding situation. Maybe if he was sleeping more than 4 hours at a time at night, I'd feel different. Maybe the next baby will sleep better and we'll easily breastfeed a whole year. Who knows. Good for you, for doing what's best for you and your family! I know it's a hard decision, but look how far you came!! Definately something to be proud of!!

  3. I had to go back to work just four short weeks after Jackson was born and I tried really hard for about 6 months to pump at work and nurse when I got home. I HATED pumping and I was feeling really down about myself because I couldn't seem to get enough out of the pumping sessions. Anyways, I realized that I would feel much better about myself and my baby's health if I formula fed instead of pumping, at least for the few hours while I was at work. That was the best decision I ever made :) Now, we are just nursing in the night if he wakes up and just to put him to sleep.

  4. Good luck momma! It's always a good idea to take care of yourself so you can give the best care possible to your little one.