Chicago mom: When is the right time to stop breastfeeding?

"I don't know who that is in the mirror anymore."
 
 

By Melissa Haak

Peanut Butter in my Hair
 

I have a confession to make.


As hard as I have worked to meet my breastfeeding goals, right now, at 14 months, after nursing 8 (9?) times last night, I’m done. Done, done, D-O-N-E. I am so done that I may have threatened leaving for a weekend and making the whole family go “cold turkey” from mom.


I feel terrible about it.


Awful.


It’s not how I envisioned my life as a nursing mom to end. But since June of 2009 I have either been pregnant, nursing, or recovering from a pregnancy or miscarriage. I don’t remember what my body looks like. I don’t remember what it feels like to not have rising and surging hormones constantly.


I’ve forgotten who *me* is.


I think it’s negatively affecting me, my relationships and my life. I love nursing. I love cuddling and the one-on-one attention it allows me to give and have in a large busy family. Right now, at this moment I don’t like it at all. It makes me frustrated, moody and yes, sometimes angry.


I envisioned the peaceful ending I had with my last baby who just lost interest in all but the night time feeding. Eventually she choose water in a cup over me as well and we all went peacefully to sleep. She was only a month or two older than the baby is now. Yet this baby seems so much more like a baby, still so little, so needy. I’m sure it’s probably a trick of memory. Not remembering how little my big kids once were.


The fact is, he is my last baby. I will never have a little one of my own to nurse, to snuggle or to soothe again. So, I spend my days in a cycle of giving in and nursing and holding him for hours to get him to sleep, getting mad that he either is not sleeping or nursing again, feel guilty for getting mad at a baby, get mad at myself and then start over. Repeat, repeat, repeat.


I honestly don’t know what to do. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place and the only way out seems to be to wait. If nine years of parenting has taught me anything, it’s that if I wait, everything will change on it’s own. In the meantime you can find me wandering between the baby’s crib and my couch … or maybe looking up flights if this phase doesn’t end soon!


Did you nurse past one year? Any suggestions for getting through teething and cutting down the night nursings?



 
 







 
 
 
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