I am still nursing my 23 month old 3-5 times a night and 7-9 times during the day. I have been completely committed to self-weaning from the beginning, but now I don't know. I use to feel so motherly when I nursed, and now I feel increasingly anxious and miserable after a day of heavy nursing. Apparently my estrogen-progesterone ratio is way off, and it is related to the nursing. Not just to the nursing - there is stress, too - but my hormones are having a hard time taking both the nursing and the stress. I've felt this way more and more since she was about 15 months old. Then last month I had a miscarriage, and I think my through-the-roof levels of estrogen, related to the high levels of nursing, probably contributed to that. That was really sad, and I decided I needed to wean her. But I'm so conflicted about it. On the one hand, I can't go on like this forever. Something has to give. The stress of moving twice, husband's new job, new community knowing no one twice, etc. will decrease through time as we make our home here, and so that will eventually give. But I don't know how long that will take. In the meantime, my nipples are sore, my heart hurts so much and I can take so little stress after a day of nursing-at-will, and I just want to stop.
On the other hand, I have a mind packed full of reasons to wait and let her self-wean. So, I felt physically uncomfortable when I was in my third trimester with her, but that would hardly have been a reason to kick her out of the womb before her lungs said, "Time!" So much of being a faithful mom, I have learned, is more baby-directed than convenience-directed, and I hate the thought of depriving my daughter of something important because I can't take it anymore.
So I'm trying to cut back on the nursing to just around nap time, bed time, twice at night, and morning. But she hates it, and I worry that I'm doing something really bad to her. I've gotten it down to just 4 times during nap time and twice otherwise during the day, but that just makes her want to nurse more at night, and she looks so hurt. I just don't know what to do. If I give in and say, okay we'll keep nursing at your pace, I'm afraid I'm going to keep turning more and more into an emotional wreck.