Hi, this is my first time posting, though I have read many posts in the open forums. I apologize, this may be long and cover several issues I am having.
I have a beautiful 20 month old little girl. And, I am about 13 weeks pregnant. My little one, "A" is a vigorous and frequent nurser still. Over the past five months for so, I have gone back and forth on trying to get her to cut down on her breastfeeding, only for my own sanity. I never really did anything or made a final decision because she seemed to need/want nursing so much and my attitude has always been "this time won't last forever...."
However, for some reason in the past 3 months or so, she has taken to frequent night nursing. I literally can't take it anymore. Not only am I tired, but it is the nature of her night nursing that is driving me crazy. She just has a suck that is so uncomfortable for me now. I'm getting to where I can't stand the tugging. On top of that, she refuses to let go!! Ever! I wanted to address this even before I knew I was pregnant, but now being pregnant is adding to my stress as I picture future nights with a newborn and A just sucking the life out of me. (I know, I know, it is just how it feels sometimes)
I have tried nearly every "gentle" technique in the book. Not only has nothing seemed to even have minimum success, but I feel like the more I try, the more she stubbornly hangs on. I have actually tried to have conversations with her during the day about giving up milk at night, and you should see her little face! She is broken hearted. And at night, we end up having tussles over her finally letting go, and she seems so betrayed, even though I tell her, "finish up so the milk can night night and be rested" I have repeated the need milk to rest, told her mommy needs to rest, etc. and we end up getting nowhere. I have offered other choices, (songs, snuggles, sippy cup of water) and we get nowhere. I try to let her nurse and then just pop her off after a bit, and she will literally grab my hand and "hand fight" with me to prevent me from doing it. One time, my hand just went up there, and she panicked, and grabbed my hand away. IT makes me feel so sad, because in the end, I don't feel I'm getting anywhere, and I think I am making our nursing relationship (and by extension our relationship in general) contentious. She is becoming very sensitive to it as well. This morning, her dad made an offhand comment, "gee, you are having a lot of milk this morning" and she covered her face with her hands and hung her head down! I'm so sad for her.
Last month, I decided to see if I could just live with it, thinking you never know what the next month will bring, and while I think that decision works for her, I just don't think I can do it. The fact that she shows NO interest in even slowing down makes me panic. I don't like the mother I'm becoming in all of this. Yesterday, I snapped at her, "You can't have milk all the time". I feel so sad and desperate and don't feel like I have anyone to talk to about this. For everyone else, it is just, "Well, tell her no", but it isn't that easy. The only person I get a little bit of understanding support from is my mom, who nursed all us 5 kids 2 yrs.+., however, I don't think she understands how drained I feel because I don't think any of her kids nursed SO MUCH at this age.
There are only two things I have not tried, one being having dad comfort her at night, because not only does he get up really early for work, but I don't see that working real well, and I would not be able to not go to her if she was asking for milk or mommy. The other thing I have left to try is to change the sleeping situation. A and I sleep on a futon on the floor and I was thinking of putting her to sleep there, then crawling up on a low mattress so we would each have our own space. Honestly, though, I think she will just wake up in the night and join me, but I am still willing to try that when we get the bedroom ready for it.
On top of that, my doctors are telling me they want me to wean completely! I already tried to be honest with them and say that wasn't in my plan, but I think they will lay the pressure on as I get further along. I don't want to wean totally and that is that, but it is hard for me to go against medical advice. Plus, I keep thinking what if I do show signs of preterm labor or whatever at some point and must wean? Because based on how night weaning has been going...
Anyway, sorry this is so long, but I ended up in tears last night and don't know what else to do. I feel better even just getting these feelings off my chest. Thank you to those who made it this far!