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Thread: I think We're finished with BF - And I'm devastated!

  1. #1
    kristenco's Avatar
    kristenco is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Jul 2006

    Default I think We're finished with BF - And I'm devastated!

    I haven't been on these message boards in ages. For the first 6 months of my son's life, I was here several hours a day for the support and advice I so needed. Everyone here was so wonderful. I "unsuccessfully" BFed by firstborn for only 4 months, and my second born for 6 months. I wasn't ready to be done with either of them. We had so many problems, and I didn't know where to go for answers.

    With my youngest baby, Hayden, we were having the same problems. But, with the help of my local LLL leaders, and especially the help of these forums, we got through the problems. Not only did I make it to my goal of BFing for 12 months (which, at so many times, seemed like an impossible thing to me), but we made it to 22.5 months.

    The thing is, I think he's done. I think he's weaned. I'm so heartbroken, and I am bawling as I type this. There's no one else who would understand.

    I've been telling people that I will probably wean him when he turns two. But, secretly, I was thinking that I would tell people that, but that I would continue until he was done. Since about 15 months, I started the whole "don't offer, but don't refuse" process. But, about a week ago, he stopped asking for it. I didn't even realize it for about three days. He even hurt his finger bad enough to bleed, and was screaming in pain, and still didn't ask for it.

    So, with the realization that he would probably never ask for it again, I had a "closure feeding" with him. I asked him if he wanted a "boober", and he was very excited, and did. I cried the whole time. I never wanted it to end. He nursed, we played, we laughed, I cried, he smeared my tears off my cheeks, it was so sweet. I used to always end the feeding when he started playing around, but that night I let him go until he said "nigh-nigh".

    It's been two days since then, and he hasn't asked for it again. This morning when I got him out of his crib, he said, "Boober." But, it wasn't asking for it. It was more like just seeing it. He didn't pull on my shirt or talk about it again. Just a habit I think.

    I feel so conflicted. On the one hand, I'm very happy for him. This couldn't have gone better. I nursed for almost two years - 10 months longer than I ever hoped or wished for. I'm also happy that he weaned in the most perfect and natural way - slowly and totally up to him and on his schedule.

    But, at the same time, my heart is breaking. He is my youngest. My baby. He is my last child. This is the last BFing I'll ever do. As my youngest of three YOUNG ones, nursing is the only one-on-one, uninterrupted, 100% of my attention he gets. Also, because he is a toddler, it's the only time I can get him to be still and let me hold him and love on him. He won't let me hold him any other time- he's too busy. But, also, because I wanted so bad for BFing to work for his brothers, and it didn't, this is the one thing unique to Hayden and I. It's unique and special to him and to our relationship. It's what makes him different from his brothers. (And, at this young age, just about everything else about him is "just like Aaron" or "just like Ryan". )

    I'm so tempted to start getting him back into a BF schedule, and get him back in the habit of it. But, I feel like that's not a fair thing to do when he's finished and we've had such an easy, natural wean. I feel like wanting to bring him back to the "boober" is purely selfish on my part. I think I just need to mourn this phase, and mourn what little "baby" is left in my baby.

    I was very sad when my oldest two stopped BFing, too. Mostly sad that it didn't work out, and that we didn't make it to a year. But, I was also relieved - we had so many problems, and it was such a struggle. They weren't gaining weight, and the bottle gave me peace of mind. But with Hayden, it was different. This last year has just been fun. It hasn't been a struggle, or a big deal, or a time commitment. It was easy, no big deal, and precious. It took up very little time, and wasn't even "needed" to get to sleep. So, him weaning hasn't even brought with it the welcome feelings of relief and freedom that I got with the first two. I haven't found anything yet good or happy about weaning for me.

    If anyone has any advice or support, I would really love to hear it. Thanks so much.
    Last edited by kristenco; May 1st, 2008 at 09:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: I think We're finished with BF - And I'm devastated!

    No advice - just hugs!

    It sounds like it was a gentle transition for him. For you I think talking about your feelings will be a huge help.


    P.S. It's good to see you here!
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: I think We're finished with BF - And I'm devastated!

    My son is 17 months and due to pregnancy, hormones, milk supply I've really cut back nursing and feel some of the same things you do. I wish I had some advice, but I think its just going to take time.

    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes

    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    New Orleans, LA

    Default Re: I think We're finished with BF - And I'm devastated!

    No advice really, I think your story is beautiful and I totally understand where you are coming from. My dd1 self-weaned at 16.5 months, b/c my milk had dried up in my third trimester with lil' sis. It was a bitter sweet ending that left me with lots of guilt b/c I know she would have gone longer if not for the pregnancy.

    Congrats on your success! I know it's painful when they let go, but you know from experience with your other two that you will find ways to reconnect with him.

    Well, I'm trying to make you feel better, but can't come up with anything clever......so, I'll be honest. Even happy endings bring pain sometime...time will make it easier.
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: I think We're finished with BF - And I'm devastated!

    Hi Kristen!
    You know, I understand. And I feel a little sad for you and am a little jealous of you at the same time actually. Because......as time goes on, there is more and more ambivalence...but at the same time you are right. It's the only time DJ sits still. It's the only time I catch a glimpse of my baby that was...and sometimes I am still filled with such love. But more and more I am irritated quickly. And the older he gets, the STRONGER he gets both physically and mentally. So sometimes, he will NOT let go of my bra. And sometimes he is in my lap assuming the position and actually at my breast before I know what is happening!
    I fantasize about being done all the time. And I fantasize about it happening as seamlessly and painlessly as you describe.
    But I am SCARED of it as well. I definitely understand for the 1st time in my life that hormones are no joke. The way I feel right before my period these days....it's pretty scary sometimes. Even my knowledge that it's my period doesn't bring me any comfort. I am very very nervous about the way I will feel from a hormone stance once I am thorough. I wonder if anything will ever replace the way we feel when we are together and doing that....how couldn any thing really? And I am so scared not to have that trick in my bag for a hurt or crying child. Tues night, after he took a bath, we were standing to take a shower and he was reaching up to have me pick him up and rinse him off and he fell on his butt....which was actually on any number of his plastic toys. OUCH. He cried so hard. And as I sat in the tub with soap still in hair, he almost acted like he wouldn't be consoled by nursing....I felt so helpless. It was a very scary feeling.
    So while I know that the end must come, and honestly, I dream of the end and I can SEE the end, it IS scary AND sad. I feel as though I will be walking forward without a forcefield of sorts. And so will he. Of piece of our bond will be gone and things I have been beating back will emerge...like allergies. There is no shame in feeling the loss Kristen. And frankly, IMO no shame in wanting to continue. Because as you see, all the reasons are NOT selfish. Some very much have to do with feeling like leaving your child unprotected I'm sure. But you seem to have made a decision that is right for your family and I am not here to talk you out of it. I am here to congratulate you! almost a year a past your goal! Where's the shame or failure in that? A baby that walks away on his own terms. With no tears. We should all be so lucky. You did an amazing thing. You should be so proud. I don't know what to say about the pain you are in. I am sure some of it is hormonal. But as you have heard here before, This too shall pass. And it will. But growing pains are hard.
    Congratulations on this huge accomplishment as a mother. It's so nice to see you! ( I hope you have some pictures!)

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: I think We're finished with BF - And I'm devastated!

    aww mama that is a sweet, sweet story. i'm sorry for your loss...but look at the beautiful, healthy and strong sons you made. congratulations!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: I think We're finished with BF - And I'm devastated!

    He weaned, gently and with love from his amazing mama!
    I don't really have any great advice, either, just more .
    Sometimes "weaned" tots can go a few days between nursing. Perhaps next time he asks for "boober" you can offer and see what he does. Just an idea.
    That being said, you have done a GREAT job and your weaning story is just beautiful.


    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: I think We're finished with BF - And I'm devastated!

    No advice. Just wanted to say I totally understand in so many ways. Your post made me it's a beautiful , & touching story.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Not around here as much :(

    Default Re: I think We're finished with BF - And I'm devastated!

    Your feelings and emotions are completely valid and real. IME - Best way to look at this is it is a transition, albeit a painful one, it's a transition into a new phase of motherhood. He needs you to provide him with something new and he trusts you're up to the task
    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: I think We're finished with BF - And I'm devastated!

    Your post really brought me to tears. The way you described your last BF was so sweet and you will always have that memory. It sounds, though, like this is harder b/c you worked so hard to BF this boy, you know it will be your last child, and you weren't ready for it to end so soon. Maybe you could do something to remember your breastfeeding relationship with him and remember the great gift of breastfeeding you gave your other boys. Could you buy a charm that riminds you of breastfeeding and your huge accomplishment? You could also make a point to come onto these forums and help other women that could sooo use help and encouragement from someone who has struggled and succeeded. And know that someday you may have a daughter-in-law who will find strength to breastfeed your grandchildren because of the support and encouragement she finds in you.

    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)

    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

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