Friday, March 11, 2011

Bye Bye Nursies!

It's time.  Time to reclaim my "girls" (remember that post?!) for at least a few more months.  It's time to wear a bra that doesn't in some weird way resemble a jock strap.  (At least that's what Wes has referred to my nursing bras in the past.  I've actually never seen a jock strap in place and have no idea how they work.  Nor do I really want to for that matter.)  It's time to nudge Daddy when Tucker cries out "MA!" at 5:00 am.  It's time.

Sorry, Bubby, but it's time to say, "Bye Bye" to your "nursies." 

I've decided to wean Tucker.  And even though my OB assured me she sees no problem in continuing to breastfeed while pregnant since I'm not considered at risk for pre-term labor, I have several reasons for doing so.

At the very top of my list is an innate need to have my girls back before going through the whole process all over again with Tucker's brother/sister.  Right now, the thought of hooking myself up to my pump is enough to send me into tears.  Not that pumping was painful or problematic, it just SUCKED (literally and figuratively)!  And, it's an inevitable process in the beginning stages of breastfeeding and pretty much throughout the first SEVERAL months unless you're able to be with your little one 24/7. 

I think I will need a few months off in order to muster up the get-up that it will take in order to breastfeed Baby Keene #2 for as long as I did Tucker (or for at least a year, we don't necessarily have to go 17+ months, Baby Keene #2!). 

Another huge reason for this decision is that I have NO desire to tandem nurse.  (Read:  I WILL NOT TANDEM NURSE MY CHILDREN!)  I want Tucker to have forgotten all about his "nursies" by the time his brother/sister makes his/her debut.  I already have all kinds of guilt about the time that this baby will inevitably take away from Tucker.  I don't want him to also feel like he is giving up something else that he loves, or that the baby is allowed to nurse but he is not. 

I have read that pregnancy can really change the taste of your milk.  As picky as Tucker is about milk (remember it took forever before he would really drink cow's milk?!), I thought for sure that alone might be enough for him to make the decision to wean on his own.  Oh, but not my lil' boob man!  He obviously didn't let a little change in taste come in between him and his Mama's milk! 

While Tucker can definitely go all day without nursing, and has when I'm not around, he prefers to nurse several times a day.  When I'm home with him, he nurses morning and night, and about 50% of the time he also nurses a couple times throughout the day.  BUT, he asks for it ALL DAY LONG.  It really requires a lot of redirection to distract him during the day, especially before naps. 

When I'm not home in the evenings and Wes puts Tucker to bed, he has no problems.  A bath, a book, a song or two, and in his crib he goes.  No problem.  He cuddles up with his silky, blows Daddy a kiss, and is off to dreamland.  BUT, when I'm home he demands to nurse first.  He will throw a fit if Daddy tries to put him to bed if he knows I'm in the house.  However, for the first time last night, he nursed for literally 5 seconds then wanted his paci.  So, a quick song of Jesus Loves Me and I laid him in his crib, told him I loved him and walked out.  I thought, "He's gonna change his mind and wanna nurse," but nope, he was out for the night.  Maybe he's thinking it's about time too....

Funny thing, he only nurses for a few minutes per session.  It's not a hunger thing.  It's not a nutritional thing.  It's a comfort thing for Tucker.  Seriously, he can stub his toe and will be in tears, holding his toe with one hand and signing "milk" with the other hand.  It just makes him feel good.  And, I'll admit, it makes Mommy feel good too.  I love the closeness that breastfeeding has given Tucker and I.  One of Tucker's top love languages is very much physical touch and nursing fulfills a large part of that.  It's time with his Mommy.  And, for me, it's time with my Bubbas!  Weaning will be just as hard on me as it will be on him.  But, we are ready. 

Tucker will be 17 months next week.  I plan to start only nursing him at night.  Ugghhh!  It's gonna be hard taking away that morning "nursey time"!  Hopefully we can do that for a month and then work on fading out the night time session.  I still plan to embed plenty of 'Tucker and Mommy' time in our daily routine so he's not missing out on that.  The hardest part is going to be those mornings when he wakes up at 6:00 am, wanting to nurse and then returns to sleep for another couple hours.  I guess I'll try giving him a glass of cow's milk or water to see if that works.  Or worse case scenario, we'll eat breakfast and be up that early for the day... 

Does anyone have any advice on the weaning process???  Before getting pregnant, I said I would nurse Tucker as long as he wanted, hoping he would just wean himself and I wouldn't have to do it.  Now, things have changed and I need some advice on tried and true methods!
My lil' Boob Man!


Amy and Jose said...

You let me know how it goes. This is the hardest thing EVER! Jackson doesn't want cow's milk either. He still wakes up a few times a week in the middle of the night and won't go to sleep unless I nurse him (last night we tried for an hour to get him back to sleep before I gave in). Like you said, it's a 5 and done thing...

I gave up pumping at work last week, so he has no choice other than whole milk at daycare. As soon as we get home, he signs for milk. Cow's milk gets a big "NO!" AHHHH!!! Like Tucker, if I am home at bedtime, he has to have his "mommy milk." (Doesn't it make you feel good knowing how important you are to them though?)

I bought some almond milk to try this weekend. Maybe the sweetness of that will be a better transition. I am like you though... I think this is going to continue to be just as hard on me as it is him.

Praying for you and our boys (and new baby Keene)!

Mommy Webb said...

These kind of big transitions are so hard for baby and momma. I am proud of you for nursing so long and I am sure it has created special bond between you and Tucker. I hope nursing goes as well for me and Warren as it has for you and the Big Bug:).

Wendy said...

This may be too late (hopefully you've got the weaning process well underway) but my advise is to let him stay over night or even a weekend with grandparents - if you can bear it. That is how I weaned Eli. It was meant to be a quick overnight with my Mom a few days after Christmas. But then she called and asked if she could have him another night. I said yes knowing that we were going to stop breastfeeding altogether (we had already gone to just bedtime nursing). Then when I was supposed to go get him my husband got sick and we decided that one more night would be best so Eli wouldn't get sick too. After three nights away he was completely weaned and never once whined or cried about it while with my Mom. She gave him whole milk and he was fine with that. Once he came home he tried to nurse one time and I just redirected him and that was that. The hardest part for me was being away from Eli for three days and then the drying up part was very painful. But Eli took it all in stride and never really had a problem with it. One big difference we have though is that Eli was weaned at 13 months while Tucker is a bit older than that. I hope it works out for you. I know it will not be easy but hopefully you can find a few months of rest for your girls!