In our nursing chair

How do you know when it's time? Does it ever feel like it's time? Will the baby really tell you when she's ready? How do you know? Isn't my milk better than anything a cow can give her? But she's still a baby!

These thoughts have been racing through my head for the past 6 months. I always said I'd nurse Anna until she was a year. That was my goal. Then 10 months crept up on us and weaning Anna at a year old seemed way to early. I wasn't ready, she didn't seem ready. Her birthday was coming, wasn't that milestone big enough? Adding weaning on to it just seemed too much for this mom to handle. So I decided 18 months. Yeah, that sounded good. 

Well Anna is now 15 months and I've already weaned her from her morning session. That was easy. Well for her. For me, when I would feed her in the morning she'd usually fall back asleep for an hour or two, which was uh-mazing. Now that she's only getting a bottle of cow's milk (and not me) she doesn't want to fall back asleep. So our days begin at 6 am (aka the butt-crack of dawn). Thursday was the first day to cut out her nap session. Daddy helped. He gave her a bottle of cow's milk and after 30 minutes of crying she finally fell asleep. Yesterday she only cried for 10 minutes. Today I gave her the bottle. She fell asleep within 15 minutes but was crying again within 30 minutes and took another hour before finally falling asleep. Nap time today was rrr-ough. I don't think it's because she wants my milk. She doesn't seem to mind that she's receiving a bottle rather than me. But today's craziness makes me want to reconsider this whole weaning thing because when I nurse her that girl falls asleep in 5 minutes and she's out for almost 3 hours! 

18 months was my new goal. I felt better knowing that I will have given her a great start with a year and a half of the best milk she could receive. However, she'll definitely have been weaned by then at the rate we're going. So why am I beginning this whole weaning thing 3 months early? It all has to do with my luteal phase. Some of you may not even know what that is (I sure didn't know before we started trying for a baby over 2 years ago!) Basically, in laymen's terms, it's the days between ovulation and your monthly visit from Aunt Flow. In order for women to get pregnant this phase needs to be at least 12-16 days long (10 days is really pushing it but I read that it can still happen). Women who have consistently had phases lasting less than 10 days and get pregnant will most likely miscarriage. I've been charting since the summer and my luteal phases have consistently been less than 10 days. After a little research I found out it could be due to breastfeeding. With us hoping for a brother or sister for Anna in the next few months I knew it was time to see if breastfeeding really had anything to do with my shortened luteal phases. So, we'll see! It really is crazy how our bodies are. Some women have a very difficult time getting pregnant after the second, third, etc. due to many things while others who aren't trying at all get pregnant while still breastfeeding. Just like no two babies are alike, no two women bodies are alike! My research and weaning could be all for naught if my luteal phase doesn't lengthen after Anna's completely done breastfeeding. So who knows?! At this point though I just pray it does have to do with breastfeeding for more than just the reason that I want to get pregnant again. I would hate to take my milk away from Anna if it doesn't help.

So the questions that have circled my mind for months are finally being answered. When is the time? Now. Am I sad? Of course. I'm grieving a bit. And that's ok. But what makes me feel better is knowing that Anna is taking it well, and also the hope that weaning will eventually lead to another little joy for this family of three.

After one of our first nursing sessions still in the hospital

No comments:

Post a Comment