As a breastfeeding mom, you always hear from veteran moms that “you’ll just know” when you’re done breastfeeding.
Well, it has happened. I know I’m done. I hate it and I don’t want to do it anymore.
Up until a couple days ago, I was ready to cut back, but not necessarily ready to stop. Something in my brain has clicked now, and I’m out.
Lewis also seems to be “out”. He rarely eats in the mornings, nursing sessions are always abbreviated, and he spends most of his time doing lap-yoga, pulling off and popping back on, and trying to find ways to slide off my lap to the floor to run around. Generally speaking, if he is sleepy it goes better. But no guarantees.
So we’re in sync. He is done, I am done, and I should just stop. Right? If only it were that easy! I’m terrified! When I tried to reduce, he lost so much weight so fast. What would happen if I stopped completely?!
I’ve been thrilled that throughout our breastfeeding journey, we’ve been so in sync. The period where I was ready to reduce and he really wasn’t, was brief. We’re back on the same page now, and I wish I could explain how frustrating it is to try and force my child to do something that neither of us really wants to do anymore. When he resists, every part of me is screaming to just let it go. It would be such a relief to give in to his protests and just go with what both of us are naturally feeling.
No matter what, we’ve clearly reduced our breastfeeding sessions because I can’t always coerce him into nursing. But his eating and drinking is still so hit or miss (mostly miss) that I have a terrible suspicion that completely stopping breastfeeding would lead to more weight loss. And since I am still capable of producing milk, how selfish would I be to deprive him of that when it seems to be vital for him to grow still? Because despite his resistance, he does still breastfeed well enough (with some serious effort on my part) that it seems to make a difference.
I’m hoping that this period of frustration will also be brief, and that Lewis will soon show an improved appetite for solids and milk from a cup.
After the initial nightmares with tongue-tie were over, I have loved breastfeeding, and I’m sure I’ll love it again when/if I have another child. But for now, I feel like Lewis and I have played all 4 quarters of our breastfeeding game, and we’ve got nothing left in the tank for this mandatory overtime.