On Her Flying Trapeze

Friday, April 07, 2006

Tales of an Emergency Weaner

Alternate title, courtesy of Magoo: WAAAHHH!!!!!! (English translation: It’s Hard out Here for a Starving Melon-Head)

Dude, my appendages cannot take it anymore. If breasts were bike tires, these puppies would already be in a landfill somewhere or hanging up in some hippy commune as an art project, they’re so full of puncture wounds.

At least if a rubber tire is punctured repeatedly, the worst that can happen is a spectacular bike wreck. The tires won’t become diseased and spread up through the spokes, killing the entire BMX.

Well, enough about me. How’s your anatomy doing today? Good? Okay great. Back to me.

This is the second round of major damage the sweet little piranha has caused to my person and I’m in moderate to serious pain. This pain turns to annoyance. This annoyance makes everything seem more annoying and that makes me a very lame mama to two small people who deserve better.

Magoo will be one in just over a month and this morning when I woke up hurting again, Dan and I decided it was time to wean – today.

black eyeThere are a couple of problems with this scenario. First, Magoo fell down and blammed his eye about 10 minutes after we made the decision to wean him. He now has a growing black eye which makes his crying and reaching for me all the more pathetic. Laylee took this picture of him, her first photographic effort. Quite impressive, no?

Secondly, the little muffin-head does not drink any liquid, including breast milk, if he’s not drinking it directly from my body. He’s sort of like an albino vampire in that respect. We’re worried he’ll shrivel up like a little black-eyed-peasin (like a Craisin - what Ocean Spray would market him as, if he dried up completely and were packaged and sold on grocery store shelves).

Thirdly, I love nursing. With Laylee, weaning was a very gradual process until at 14 months she just didn’t wake up in the night for her one remaining feeding and we were done. I cried. I think if I didn’t know we would have more children, I would have cried for weeks.

Breastfeeding is not always easy. I had to pump and bottle feed for the first 4 months of Laylee’s life because nursing hurt so bad. After I saw a good lactation consultant and was able to heal, it was smooth sailing for the next 10 months. With Magoo, it started easy as pie (with the help of a good lactation consultant) but has become increasingly difficult with each little spike that sprouts from his gums.

So now I cry when I do nurse him and I cry when I think about stopping. I’m just a big boob. (no pun intended)

50 Comments:

Anonymous Heather from One Woman's World said...

You are not a boob. Weaning Beanie made me feel so sad. This is cold-turkey, which is always hard, no matter what the subject matter. I love you.

4/07/2006 4:09 PM

 
Anonymous Heather from One Woman's World said...

black-eyed peasin..... mwahahahahaha

4/07/2006 4:10 PM

 
Anonymous Heather from One Woman's World said...

Ummm, now I am the first, second, and third commenter on DYM's boob post! :)

4/07/2006 4:11 PM

 
Anonymous Caryn said...

Excellent photographic effort on Laylee's part. Of course, the angle helps. :-) Nursing scares me. I think it will be wonderful, but I hear so many stories about how painful it is. Yet, I can't picture doing it any other way.

4/07/2006 4:20 PM

 
Blogger momof3busyboys said...

I give you credit for being able to nurse so long, with both of your precious ones! I was not so lucky! As for Magoo not drinking liquids from anywhere but you. Have you tried having DYD hold a bottle of breastmilk while cradling magoo as if he were being breastfed? Also, I used to work in a daycare, with infants. There was this one little boy exclusively breastfed. Would not take a bottle of anything. Of course mom and dad were concerned he would starve or at least get dehydrated. I patiently kept on a daily basis offering breastmilk in a sippy cup every hour, not the type with a valve, one that was freeflowing. It only took a couple of days before he was drinking out of a sippy cup much to mom and dads delight, but I must stress, the child did cry alot, and it took alot of patience and perserverance on my part to make this work. It might take someone else working with Magoo while your not there to work, so as not to tear your emotions apart. It was hard enough as a caregiver!

4/07/2006 4:39 PM

 
Blogger Mel said...

It's probably too late, but for the next baby, you need to nip that biting in the bud. I know. You probably tried and who asked for advice anyways?

Well, good luck. I nursed my son for 21 months and my daughter for 30 months without sustaining any serious damage, unless you count cosmetically, of course.

4/07/2006 4:40 PM

 
Blogger Jeana said...

I had to look twice--did peasin describe the baby, or what it does to mom's parts?

Man, I feel for you! Sorry, DYD, but I have to agree that Magoo will probably crack sooner if Dad's giving him the bottle and mom is gone. Hope it goes well!

4/07/2006 5:03 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

When my niece was nine months old, my sister-in-law cut her foot and developed a blood infection. According to the Urgent Care doc, she had to choose between continuing to nurse and possibly LOSING HER FOOT to the infection. Not surprisingly, she chose the antibiotics and speed-weaned her baby.

But here is the really sad part: my youngest child was nearly two at the time, and I had never had ANY success with the nursing, and yet I cried--SOBBED--when she told me she had to stop nursing.

What's my point? I have no idea. But the BMX bike thing is very funny.

4/07/2006 5:46 PM

 
Anonymous Jaymilynn said...

I wanted to nurse soo bad, but it did not work, and I cried for days. I pumped and bottle fed for three weeks and got mastitis 2 times in the last week with fevers of 102.9, I couldn't take those fevers and gave up. I feel like I haven't accomplished motherhood. I want another baby to try the nursing thing again, is that a good reason to have another one? I did not nurse my first, (young and dumb) now I wish I had given it a try. Ok, I'm done feeling sorry for myself.

4/07/2006 6:05 PM

 
Blogger Carrie said...

Hugs, mama! We're going through something similar with Reagan... more along the lines of him not eating hardly anything other than breastmilk. Very frustrating when you have a 9.5 month old hanging on your boob all night. And the biting, ouch.

I have mixed feelings about him weaning. On one hand, it would be nice to go more than two hours without having to nurse, and to be able to get away knowing my child is not at home screaming would be great. Oh, and the nightwaking to nurse isn't particularly enjoyable.

BUT, on the other hand, other than the heartwarming benefits like health, bonding, smarts, and all that, since he's been nursing so much I haven't ovulated in 19 months and that is a.w.e.s.o.m.e. (OK, so I could have ovulated and not known it, and be pregnant right now.) Did I just talk about my period in pubic? Oh well. Anyway, on the rough days I just thank him for nursing so much and delaying the much dreaded aunt flo. ;)

Hey, you are a super, awesome, great mama, and you will do what's best for your baby! Yay you for making it this far! :)

4/07/2006 6:25 PM

 
Blogger Carrie said...

Um, that would be pubLic. Grief.

4/07/2006 6:26 PM

 
Anonymous Stacy said...

Awwww....kudos for even going so long. I successfully breastfed my Emory for his seven months...until he bit me, and laughed about it! I knew then, ok, I'm done! Yes, I miss it because it was a bonding moment for the both of us, but he eventually weaned himself and went to the bottle, where I put the rest of my milk until he went to whole milk. Good for you for reachng a year!

4/07/2006 6:26 PM

 
Blogger Jessica said...

I hear ya, and can sympathize. I am still breastfeeding my son who is 16 months. I had planned to wean at a year but he was having none of it. He has never taken a bottle ever, although he is pretty good with the sippy cups and straws now. But he likes to nurse to sleep--heaven help me.
I really do need to get serious about it though, because my cycle still has not returned and we would like to begin to think about having another child in the next few months. (I'm thinking this is DS's way of keeping us to himself, the little bugger...)
But other than that issue, we both really enjoy the nursing so I wish we could continue really. We had only a few minor incidents with the biting. I would keep a semi-frozen cold washcloth by me and when he bit, I would unlatch him and make him bite on that for a minute instead. That seemed to help.
Good luck.

4/07/2006 6:29 PM

 
Blogger KC said...

I weaned Joles when she was 9-10 months old due to medical reasons. It was much sadder for me than for her! I Loved nursing and even though I had to pump at work for all of those months, it was so worth it. I'm the type that screams bloody murder given any noxious stimulus (this has not served me well in the past), and when Joles would ever chomp down, the neighborhood knew. Sounds like a good time to wean.

4/07/2006 6:30 PM

 
Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh the weaning. Emotional for both sometimes, and sometimes just for the mom.

Actually, I've always been the only emotional one.

4/07/2006 6:40 PM

 
Blogger elliespen said...

Really? I've never had ANY problems with weaning!

Oh, wait.... Doing a quick fact check here... Yeah, that's because I've never given birth. Okay, that makes more sense.

Mostly I just wanted to say that I love your new Easter bonnet. And the black-eyed-peasin thing. You could probably make a lot of money selling those as some sort of health food type thing. (Note my circumlocutive skills.)

Good luck with everything else!

4/07/2006 7:05 PM

 
Blogger moe said...

All the stuff they tell you about nipple confusion (?) and not giving them bottles/formula when you first start nursing? Crap!

With my 5 I gave them a bottle a few times when the were infants so they would get used to it.

With my first I nursed for over 2 years, gradually cutting back till I was only nursing before bed. Or if she hurt herself. Boob is a fabulous cure-all.

With the others for various reasons (like getting pregnant again) I couldn't nurse as long. I nursed them all for at least 10+ months.

Biting? I was a mean mummy. If they bit I held their head close so they couldn't breathe. (just for a couple of seconds) This makes them open ther mouth and they get the message pretty quick not to bite.

We had 2 babies 18 months apart. When I was still nursing the baby, the toddler hurt himself. I was so tired I picked him up and tried to nurse him to make it better. I think he thought I was crazy.

4/07/2006 7:23 PM

 
Blogger Farm Wife said...

Oh, honey, it'll be OK. I had to wean B.B. cold turkey...not plesant. He didn't get the "gradual weaning" thing...If I can nurse at bed time, why can't I just nurse when ever I darn well please? So Valentine's day was the end of it all. OUCH!!!!! I went from a small B to a full D in 3 days. And he was a head butter...You know, when they smash their head into your chest to let you know it's time to eat...Yikes! It was horrible, but it worked. He also started sleeping through the night, Praise the Lord!
Now I'm ready to have another one...

4/07/2006 7:27 PM

 
Anonymous Mama C-ta said...

I can kind of sympathize with you. Sort of, I've only been nursing for almost 9 months now and between excrutiating pain, oversupply, food allergies causing me to go on an extreme total elimination diet, list goes on, I would cry if I thought about weaning (almost had to b/c of allergies) but at times I cry at the thought of letting Cricket self-wean! This could go on forever!

PS: First time here, love your site!

4/07/2006 8:52 PM

 
Blogger emlouisa said...

Ah, the biting. My Mini-Man only has 1 1/2 teeth and they hurt like the dickens. He hasn't tried to bite me in the last couple of weeks though, so that is good.

What he HAS tried to do though is play with it with his fingers. I do not care for that at all. He thinks it is funny to make it go "Boiiinnnng" and he laughs. Silly rabbit.

4/07/2006 9:23 PM

 
Blogger Keryn said...

Oh, I too feel your pain. (Literally, at this moment, I mean.) I had to insta-wean my (barely one-year-old) daughter starting last week because of some antibiotics I have to take. I wasn't able to nurse my son for very long, and "weaning" him was a cinch because of the bottle he had to have, too.

And by pain, I mean physical pain. My daughter was a little ticked for about two days around mealtimes, but now she doesn't care. If only my "appendages" realized she isn't coming to empty them anymore...I have even had a hard time sleeping, I've been in so much pain!

However, it is starting to ease up now. Good luck!

4/07/2006 9:30 PM

 
Blogger Peach said...

For all you ladies who have or ever will have to wean "cold turkey,"
. . . take it from one who was making enough milk for quads and looked like Dolly Parton's sister when I did it.

The best advice I got was to drag myself to the nearest Target or other store that sells sports bras. While shooting the lovely nectar at the mirror in the dressing room and quickly applying nursing pads, I strapped myself into the tightest sports bra I could find and let out a huge sigh of relief. (everything you do to try to induce milk production for nursing goes backwards to get rid of it, especially when you have double mastitis and a baby w/thrush.)

Then, I took my nursing bra, hung it on the hanger -- took the tag and gritted my teeth as I told the teeny bopper at the checkout, "Yes, I AM wearing it home!!"

4/07/2006 10:19 PM

 
Blogger Peach said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/07/2006 10:19 PM

 
Blogger Peach said...

BTW, didn't mean to leave such a long post . . . I guess I just needed to get this off my chest . . .

4/07/2006 10:21 PM

 
Anonymous Shannon said...

Wow sounds like a painful day! I myself gave up on breastfeeding after 2 weeks. YEP I GAVE up. It is hard work and seemed to attaching for me. I have a friend who does and her daughter is always clinging on her....I just couldn't handle that. But I think it is a great and healthy way to feed your baby, I was just selfish.....
I hope the weanin'goes better for the both of you. :)

4/07/2006 10:27 PM

 
Blogger Beth said...

First of all, I must say, he is SO CUTE!!! Great picture that your daughter took.

My sister is going through the same sort of thing. Although she has been able to wean gradually. I know you said he doesn't drink from anything but you. One thing that helped her (since my nephew seems to be VERY picky) was trying lots of different bottles (even though he is almost a year) and cups to find the one he liked best. She finally started using the cheap three-pack Gerber bottles. She also found a sippy cup that is no-spill, but the spout is completely soft rubber-ish stuff, so he has not had any problems drinking from it. It might be Gerber also. I know they have it at Target.

Since everyone else is sharing their weaning stories, I will share my sad one. With The Boy, I was only able to do it for two months, because I went back to work. My body has this odd habit. Once I drop one feeding, I just sort of dry up. I can't seem to skip any feedings at all. It sucks. Hopefully, if there is ever a #3, I will be able to nurse longer.

Anyway. Sorry for the novel. Yikes, I talk a lot.

4/08/2006 12:06 AM

 
Blogger Jennie C. said...

I once read this in a baby mag, and it works without hurting baby: When baby bites while nursing, pull her head in really close to the breast. This causes a very uncomfortable feeling of not being able to breathe (sounds mean, but it's not) and baby will let go and isn't very likely to try biting again. I add a firm "no" just for good measure.

4/08/2006 4:58 AM

 
Blogger Maine Mom said...

I have nursed all four of my children and I must say that the final day of nursing is always a happy one for me. The first two weeks of nursing is VERY painful, then I'm usually fine for the rest of the year of nursing, but with my 4th I was sore a lot. When he turned 11 months old and decided to bite me, he was done! I fed our son the formula made for older babies(I didn't know it existed, but my husband brought it home)in a sippy cup with no valve. He liked it and became very good at drinking from a cup. I began to heal from nursing, and became a happier mom!
Great picture, Laylee!

4/08/2006 6:44 AM

 
Blogger Allie said...

I'M IN THE SAME BOAT! My second daughter just turned one and I tried to start weaning her gradually 3 weeks ago but the more feedings were missing, the more she'd try to latch on to the boob even when I am standing and fully clothed. We'd be in public and I'm holding her and she'll try to slide down to nurse and make that smacking noise with her mouth. Friends and family think that I don't feed her. "Is she hungry?" So I gave up and now that she just turned one, I am going to try, again. She's sick right now so when she feels better. Last night was the first time she didn't wake up for a mid night feeding. Is she ready? We'll see how it goes. Good luck to you :) Beanie is so adorable!!

4/08/2006 7:07 AM

 
Blogger smartmama said...

i hear ya- i have a 10 mo old serious chomper= with 6 pearly whites- i am trying to endure another month and a half

4/08/2006 8:12 AM

 
Blogger Karen said...

Sorry for the pain- both physical and emotional.

I highly recommend big leaves of cabbage in the sports bra for that painful drying up spell. On you, not Magoo.

When my son wouldn't drink milk from a cup we tried to supplement dairy any other we could. He eventually accepted it but it took awhile. He doesn't have rickets or a hunched spine or anything.

4/08/2006 10:25 AM

 
Anonymous shannon from rocks in my dryer said...

That is one cute little boy.

Hang in there friend. I must say, bags of frozen peas (ice packs) are your friend.

4/08/2006 10:26 AM

 
Blogger ABC Momma said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/08/2006 11:01 AM

 
Blogger ABC Momma said...

Ace bandages. One of my sisters has hepatitis C and decided not to risk the nursing. She wrapped herself up tight when her milk came in.

I don't know how to stop the emotional pain. It hurts to let go of your kids when weaning from the breast or putting them on the bus for kindergarten.

4/08/2006 11:03 AM

 
Blogger Leah said...

when Levi bites me, I press him into my breast. he can't breathe, so he has to let go to take a breath. Works every time, and he hasn't done it in a while, even while the little piahna like teeth continue to sprout.
God bless your efforts!

4/08/2006 1:50 PM

 
Blogger Julie said...

My sister-in-law went through a similar thing with her youngest who wouldn't take anything from anyone else. When weaning became a necessity their pediatrician recommended that she may have to leave the house for a couple days while hubby gets baby on the sippy cup. Not very convenient I know, but it did work for them. The baby will eventually get hungry enough. Best of luck!

4/08/2006 2:18 PM

 
Blogger Goslyn said...

Oh DYM, I feel your pain. I posted about the biting and the pain not too long ago myself. Good luck with the weaning- I am not at all ready to give up nursing Tom, and it nearly brings me to tears even to think about it!

For us, I got him to stop biting by removing him from the breast when he bit, and telling him firmly, "no biting." It only took a couple of nips for him to get the idea. We're smooth sailing again.

Good luck, though, and I hope all goes well. Nuby makes a great sippy cup with a sillicone spout (about $1.50 at walmart) that Tom will sort of drink out of. Its the only thing that he will even try on, other than me, that is.

4/08/2006 2:29 PM

 
Anonymous surcie said...

Dude, OWEEEEE! You have my sympathy. And my admiration. I wasn't able to breastfeed my melon-headed boy.

4/08/2006 6:44 PM

 
Blogger HLH said...

Oh, poor little Magoo and poor DYM. Teeth suck...My daughter no longer bites the boob that feeds, but she sure likes to bite my arms. YEOUCH!

As for Magoo not drinking anything, my son had the hardest time with sippy cups, we fianlly started using the sippy cups that had straws, WOW! The kid could finally drink and drink he did! I have some great clinical suggestions that I recieved for helping a child to drink, email me if you are interested...

4/08/2006 7:24 PM

 
Blogger a suburban housewife said...

Cabbage leaves, cabbage leaves, cabbage leaves. They will dry up your milk supply if you line your bra with the leaves. But only use green; red cabbage will stain those oh-so-sexy nursing bras when your milk inevitably leaks out. Oh, and keep the cabbage heads in the fridge; the cold feels good, too. And you will stink- Magoo will not want to go near your chest! If you just can't do this, try wet tea bags. The tannic acid works the same way.

4/08/2006 8:04 PM

 
Blogger PamchefMom said...

You are not at all a boob! It can be so hard to wean them because as you start you think about all the good it's doing for them. Man, it kills the boobs. I breastfed my son until he was 3 months. But I had to pump, because when he was born his WBC was high and the doctors sent him to NICU. In there they fed him a bottle. So I had to pump from the very start and he had already developed a need for a a good amount and I had not produced that much so it took me a while before I could wean him from the formula for good. Then I went thru some difficult times and got stressed out and had to wean him very quickly because I was losing my milk supply. It was so hard. I felt so bad, but in a lot of ways I think my boobs were thanking me. But you have been able to provide your son with almost a year. You should give yourself a HUGE pat on the back. Sorry, to hear about the black eye-poor little guy! He is so cute. Good luck...

4/08/2006 8:32 PM

 
Blogger Carrien said...

I totally sympathize, both with the biting and the weaning. I'm sad at the thought of my two-year old stopping, but stop we must and I'm trying to do it gradually.

Pulling them into the breast to force them to open their mouth really does work. They have to let go to take a breath and they learn not to bite pretty quickly.

It's not mean at all Moe. Call it lovingly but firmly beginning the lifelong process of teaching them to respect limits if you prefer.

4/09/2006 12:58 AM

 
Blogger Nettie said...

So sorry! Even after 4 kids I still find these weaning decisions (of all kinds) emotionally difficult. Kudos to you for nursing him so long! And I second the walmart bottles with the soft spout. They were the only thing I could get my daughter to take other than me, and they are nice and cheap.

4/09/2006 4:35 AM

 
Blogger Erin said...

I'm just glad to her there are other moms that breastfeed for more than a few months! It's seems like most the moms I know only do it for a few months, which in a way makes me feel a little embarassed for breastfeeding my first until a year and my second is 8 months, which is rediculous, I say shame on society for making us feel bad about nurishing our children!!!
About the biting I had the same problem with my first and now that my second just cut her second tooth, we are starting it all over again. With my first when he would bite I would take him off the breast and tell him no and then we would try all over again, it seemed to work, because I only remember him biting for a little bit, otherwise I'm sure I would have been done before a year. Maybe if he learns when he bites he has to stop nursing it might help. Now with my second I'm starting the same thing and hope it works. She's much like your little one and won't take a bottle. We have left her with grandma a few times with a bottle and will never take it but will eat cereal, and a sippy cup she just plays with.
Another thing my friend told me about was a Nipple Shield http://store.babycenter.com/product/feeding_nursing/breastfeeding/breast_creams_pads/3016?stage=
which she said she was in so much pain at the beginning with ehr daughter and almost gave up until someone gave her one and it was a life saver, so for those that are having problems getting started because of pain might want to give it a try.
Good luck with the biting and the weaning when that comes.

4/09/2006 7:20 AM

 
Blogger Gabriela said...

I'm with you, I always cry the last couple weeks of nursing. With each kid I go a little longer just because it makes me so sad. Good luck!

4/09/2006 8:12 AM

 
Anonymous Kristen said...

I hear you on the tires. I gave up at around 20 months. I miss it a little - and while I get a little weepy at the sight of my fantastically NON-sexy nursing bras, it's a good thing.

She finally drank from a cup with a straw - otherwise, we too would have been screwed.

I literally feel your pain.

4/09/2006 10:45 AM

 
Blogger A. Borealis said...

What a post!

My baby is 8 months old and I've found that I can get quite maniacal when it comes to nursing. As in, I'm jealous of the bottle (even though it's my milk in there). Or, when Starbeans was sick with RSV in January and the only way to get him to eat was with a bottle; even though I knew he was extremely dehydrated - I still had a complete breakdown and had to leave the room (sobbing convulsively).

My poor husband gets the brunt of my hurricane Nursing Emotions: I don't even know how to explain to him the ferocious intensity of it.

I'm feeling your pain, DYM. It's gotta hurt.

All that being said, I really love boob-talk.

It's the mom-connection.

4/09/2006 1:08 PM

 
Blogger Cheerio's on my butt? said...

Big pat on the back for what you're doing! I just couldn't have that kind of patience! You are hilarious!

4/09/2006 2:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DYM,
Preparing for the "Do Your Boob's (ears) Hang Low" stage? I hope you're familiar with that song so I won't sound like a total moron. :) It's so hard watching the little ones grow up. Superman Magoo is such a cutie!

Two of my children also refused formula/milk during the weaning stage. A friend told me to try adding a tsp. of "Karo" (corn syrup) to their sippy cup to make it sweet like breast milk. Out of udder/utter desperation I did and both fellows slurped it happily. After a day or so, I weaned them from Karo. I know this sounds absolutely nuts -it is! (dh is a dentist; I understand decay) They are now 3 and 4 years old with no cavities- just a wild obsession for pecan pie.
(main ing. = Karo :)

Hope weaning will be as easy as pie/possible. Congrats on b'feeding for so long!
Dene

4/09/2006 2:09 PM

 
Blogger Elena said...

Have you checked out LaLeche League? They have some suggestions about biting. One of the article is here.

I'm nursing my sixth baby now. I look at my oldest child who is driving and looking for his first summer job and it's hard to remember that 17 years ago I was getting ready to birth him, and then 15 summers ago he weaned himself. It seems now that it all went by in an instant, in a flash.

I guess what I'm trying to say is babyhood doesn't last forever, and we have to savor these precious moments that will never come back to us.

Hope your little guy is feeling better soon!

4/09/2006 2:31 PM

 

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