Tuesday, November 1, 2011

milk it

So wow. I am no longer breastfeeding. This is a pretty massive shift/milestone/moment in our lifes and something I am truly happy about!

Since Tallulah was a surprise and there was language barriers in Japan I never really got to choose whether I wanted to breastfeed or do formula or do both.I never got to research it or weigh up my options. Breastfeeding was the logical choice as we couldn't read the instructions on the formula tin. Then we left it too late to introduce a bottle probably because we were trying to figure out this whole parent thing. Fair enough. But it meant I had this little chip on my shoulder for a while because the choice wasn't mine. This little human made the choice and it was something I had to roll with!

If I had known I was having a baby I'm not really sure what I would have chosen. Probably a mix of both. I found breastfeeding really limiting, at times frustrating and god damn tiring. From about 3 months I tried to introduce a bottle, oh-man it was painful there was tears all round. It didn't matter if it was expressed breast milk or formula or a different bottle she didn't want a bar of it. So I just told myself she would wean herself. Everyone from doctors to health nurses to family told me that she would eventually do this when she was ready. I knew this but I am planning to go back to work early next year and really wanted to do it on my terms so when Tallulah was 8 months I spoke to my health nurse and decided to start to gradually wean her by dropping the occasional feed. Haha Tallulah was on to it and once again didn't want a bar of it...Tallulah also has never been a big eater. It seemed that she never ate enough to give up a feed or become full. It was REALLY frustrating and I was starting to get resentful and truly over it.

When she turned 11 months I knew that she wasn't going to gradually wean herself. So I decided that I would try something different. I decided to do it cold turkey. Its not recommended that this is the best option but for some reason I knew this was the method for us. I felt my breastmilk was like a drug and Tallulah was addicted.

We decided over the long weekend Ross would go to his parents house with Tallulah as I think the main reason she wasn't eating enough food was because I was there, it was easy and comforting to breastfeed and she could smell me all day long! I was nervous but on Friday morning I waved goodbye.

Apparently she was an angel whilst on holidays at her grandparents and ate food and only woke up once during the nights. OMG she even took a little bit of formula (I bought this Bellamy's Toddler Milk) from a sippy cup. Meanwhile I was a whole lot of pain as I had gone from roughly 8 feeds a day to nil. I had researched some natural methods to help with the pain and seriously they worked a treat! I used cold cabbage leaves and jasmine oil. After 2 days the tenderness subsided and things were looking up!

Ross and Tallulah came home on Monday morning and I was so nervous that she would be at my top wanting to be fed but nope she didn't care at all! WOW is all I can say. Thats not to say it has been kind of weird for me as before I knew I could soothe her with a breastfed but now I feel like we are treading on unknown ground and sometimes we find ourselves scratching our heads wondering what she wants whether its fingerfood or a bottle but we are getting there! And can I just say she eats SO much it is blowing my mind...! I am so happy its ridiculous!

In the end I am SO glad I did 11 1/2 months of breastfeeding I know (gold star I think!) I am really lucky that I was able to breastfeed with few issues as many women find they can't breastfeed. I know its so so so good for her too which is comforting. However I am rediscovering this new found freedom and I think Tallulah and I are so much happier for it. Not to mention I feel like I have a whole new wardrobe as so many of my vintage dresses were not breastfeeding friendly! Oh happy day!


Anonymous said...

Yayayayay! Great to hear the cold turkey worked so well and you are feeling so much happier for it.
You did an amazing job to BF her for over 11mo and the time was obviously right to move on.

Bring on the vintage wardrone!

Anonymous said...

WoW congratulations! Lily is now on cow's milk but I think because she ate so much she self weaned at 8 1/2 months. I also used Bellamy's too.

It's been a fantastic effort on your end. You should be really proud that you breastfed Tallulah for 11 1/2 months!

I know it's selfish..but doesn't it feel great to have your body back again???

Leah said...

Wow 11 1/2 months of breast feeding! Thats is wonderful.
I've only done 4 months and finding it so challenging sometimes. I can