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Thread: Weaning when neither mom nor bub wants to

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Weaning when neither mom nor bub wants to

    This is a long post, so please read it before blasting me for forcefully weaning my son. I don't want to; it's not a choice.

    I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus when I was 15. At 25, I was declared in remission, and we decided to take advantage of it and have a baby. I have been exceptionally lucky - I have remained in remission through the entire pregnancy and for 16mos of my son's life.

    Now, he is 16.5mos old and my SLE is back. Full force. I went in to see my rheumatologist today because my hands are too sore/swollen to hold a pen or pencil and write, and my knees to swollen for me to crouch down onto the floor to be with my son or to do my parttime job (i'm a dog trainer), and my shoulder hurts so much, it's waking me at night.

    My doctor said I'm worse than she's seen me in years, and I have been put on a pulse treatment of Prednisone. I will be on it for about a month, and she says at the end of the month, she wants to put me on CellCept (mycophenolate; Hale's lists it as an L4). I've done well on CellCept in the past; I am allergic to most of the other drug options (having been on the majority of them in 13yr of having SLE).

    I am hoping to avoid CellCept in a month. I am willing to change my diet as much as possible (more raw fruit/veg, raw smoothies daily, etc) and do everything in my power to nudge this symptom flare away and allow me to continue nursing my son, but I'm terrified that in one month, I will be told to wean my little man.

    He still nurses multiple times every day. He nurses upon waking in the morning (we cosleep), and nurses anytime he gets hurt or frustrated, nurses because it occurs to him that he wants to/is hungry, and nurses to fall asleep for naps and at night. He also wakes at least once or twice most nights to nurse.

    I figure the best place to start would be night weaning. I really, REALLY do not want to do this. I know in my heart that the best thing for him is to nurse until he's at least 2yr, but my doctor says the risk of organ involvement in SLE is too high and so I have to wean him.

    I have read what Hale recommends when CellCept is indicated, but I won't see my doctor again for a month to ask her if I could be put on cyclosporine (an L3) instead. So I'm going on the belief that in roughly a month and a half, I won't be able to nurse my little nursling anymore.

    Please give me some tips for gentle, loving night weaning. Ideally, I would like to be able to get him to sleep at naps and bedtime and to get him back to sleep upon waking at night without nursing him.

    There is no one else to help; my husband works from 2pm-12am, and has school from 11am-7pm two days a week (the two days he's not working), so I am the one who will have to get baby to sleep for naps/bed.

    Thank you so much for reading this, and thank you for any advice you may have.

    - E
    Erynne, a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping first-time-mom to
    Jacob Connor (4/1/09) and wife to Chris (9/24/08).

    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Weaning when neither mom nor bub wants to

    I know there are other moms who have had to wean due to medical reasons. I am sorry you have to go through this and congrats on the 16.5 mos you've already had together! That is wonderful.

    I haven't weaned before, but Mothering your Nursing Toddler has a chapter on it. I think one thing is to replace it with some other mommy-baby time, not just quit nursing. So maybe more story book time, more snuggles or whatever your toddler likes. If you have the option, I would do it as gradually as possible.

    I really don't know if the night would be the easiest for him to give up or not...I think for my dd it would be the hardest. When he has an owie, you might want to start with other forms of comfort.

    I know people recommend Jay Gordon's method for night weaning and I am sure there are links around here for that.

    If I want to get my daughter to sleep without nursing I walk her up and down the hall ways and pat her and that sometimes does the trick.

    Sorry I don't have any better advice. I'm sorry you have to go through this but you have to take care of yourself, too.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Weaning when neither mom nor bub wants to

    I'm sure you're going through a really hard time right now. Getting the treatment you need is the best thing for your son. The first thing he needs is a healthy mom. You've done a great job breastfeeding him this long. We nightweaned a couple of months ago, and it was not as hard as I thought it would be. A lot of moms have had good luck with the Jay Gordon method. One thing that really helped me was telling DD that we would nurse when it's light and then when it's dark the "nummies" go night night. You could start working now with your son on the concept of light and dark relating to day and night. (If you look back in the weaning section, you'll see my posts from around the time we nightweaned.) He's a little young, but he probably we be able to understand if you work on it. I haven't weaned completely, but I'm sure some other moms will have advice there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Weaning when neither mom nor bub wants to

    That sounds like a tough situation, but you have to keep yourself healthy too.

    I used Dr Jay Gordons night wean method with my daughter. I modified it to fit our needs. Made some stages last longer than the three days (I think?) that he says. It worked well for us.

    ETA: my daughter was younger than your son is now when I night weaned her.
    Formerly: baby-blue-eyes

    Canadian Mum to Naomi Born 03/17/08 and has a dairy allergy we are hoping she will outgrow. Nursed for 1 year
    And Gavin Born 01/13/10. 22 months, still nursing and already determined to find every possible way of giving me a heart attack with his dare devilishness

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    NW OH

    Default Re: Weaning when neither mom nor bub wants to

    The Dr Jay Gordon Night weaning method worked for us too and I agree about modifying it if needed, we took each step a week at a time instead of three days.
    here is another link with some *hopefully* helpful info. Good luck mama, I pray it goes smoothly for you and your son

    I'm Heather, SAHM to Cooper , born 1/2007
    and Bennett, our precious NICU grad born 8/2009
    and wife to Bill since 10/2003!
    We're young, but we know we can do it!
    Life with the Stevens-blog

    I'm an Ergo Baby Carrier affiliate!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    NE PA

    Default Re: Weaning when neither mom nor bub wants to

    Don't have a lot of advice that PP haven't mentioned. I would just second the Dr. Gordon method of night weaning. Also sending lots of and that the prednisone will work.

    Moma to DS1-the monkinroanie (3/09) and DS2-the sweet pumpkin (5/12)
    Strong Women- May we have the delight of knowing them, the courage to be them and the privilege of raising them.
    And yes I know my spelling terrible (is that spelled right? )

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Weaning when neither mom nor bub wants to

    The Jay Gordon method works. Sorry you have to wean, Mama! But staying healthy for your baby is (IMHO) the most important thing you can do at this point.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Weaning when neither mom nor bub wants to

    sorry you are being forced into considering weaning before you are ready.

    My lo was older when we started actively weaning, but one thing I had to realize was that he did not know how to say I am thirsty so he would always just come over to me to nurse. When I started saying are you thirsty and offering a drink of water instead, he was often happy with that.
    I also used chunks of time as a reference for him. i.e. no nursing until after lunch, no nursing until after daddy gets home or we go to the park, etc...whatever was a daily routine that he knew and could understand. I started with no nursing until after art (which we did every day right after breakfast) so by 9:30 or 10:00 he was ready to nurse, then once that got comfortable, increased to no nursing after lunch, etc...
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Weaning when neither mom nor bub wants to

    No advice, mama, but lots of , and I hope that it goes as smoothly as possible.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Weaning when neither mom nor bub wants to

    I am so sorry. No one here would blast you for having to forcefully wean your son. It sounds like you are in a really tough place, I can't imagine being there. Know that the best thing for your baby is a healthy mama - so even if you can't find some way to take a medication that it is ok to nurse with, it is better for him to have you healthy than to nurse for two years.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

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