I am happy to report that we officially completed (and survived) the weaning process. It has been three weeks since my little boy has breastfed and life is good. I have learned so much during this whole process and have even been completely surprised by a few things.
First, it was a lot easier than I expected. After a few failed attempts around the age of one I was TERRIFIED to try again. I think this round went so much more smoothly because he was ready. Cognitively he understood that we thought he was too old to breastfeed. He also understood the words, “I love you” that came out of my mouth every time I told him he couldn’t breastfeed. I felt better as a mother, this time around, knowing that he was not taking my refusing to breastfeed as rejection.
Second, after a few rough nights of saying no to night feedings he started sleeping through the night on a regular basis. Holy cow! I am such a better person, wife, mother and doctor when I have had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I have had about three weeks of good sleep and I feel like running five miles every morning while simultaenously reorganizing my entire home and office. Next time I will say no to the night feedings SO MUCH EARLIER!
Third, that boy was drinking a lot even though we were down to only one feed a day. I think he genuinely liked the taste of breastmilk because it turns out he was drinking about 6 -8 ounces of milk a night. How do I know this? Engorgement reared its ugly, painful head the day after I stopped. It was like right after he was born all over again – pain, tenderness, and anxiety. After three days of cabbage leaves, decongestants, cold compresses and lots of hot showers I finally felt better. I had no idea he was eating that much. As soon as I weaned, his appetite for dinner improved tremendously and he started having a bed time snack of vanilla yogurt. Ha ha.
And finally I am most suprised that my body (AKA boobs) are back to normal. I was begining to worry (vainly) that breastfeeding would, in fact, ruin my body. Not true ladies! Yay!
Now I can focus on other things in my life and perhaps blog about something other than breastfeeding!