Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday (of whichever flavor) and new year. We had a great time up in Maine this year visiting with my parents and some other relatives and friends. There hasn't been too much action on this community of late, so I thought I'd ask about all our thoughts and experiences on weaning. I'll start with my story:
As I have shared here, I had enormous difficulties with breastfeeding at first-- we needed to supplement for a variety of reasons and it was really horrible trying to get Max to breastfeed exclusively. We used the SNS, we used a nipple shield, etc. At the time, I figured if it didn't work out, at least I'd given him some breastmilk. I never set myself any real goals for breastfeeding except to do it "as long as I could" and then figure things out later. Well, we managed just great for most of the time. I never had much luck pumping though, so once I was no longer with Max for several hours a day, we ended up using formula for the bottles instead of breastmilk. Naturally that cut down my supply, so eventually (after about 8 months) even on weekends he got some bottles. Finally, in the last couple months, it was down to breastfeeding only at his midnight feeds, and first thing in the morning (esp if he was up really early like 4-5 am). Often he was cosleeping in the early am, so that was by far the most convenient. In the past 3 weeks, however, we've been on vacation, and for some strange reason, Max has actually been sleeping ALL THE WAY through the night -- like from 8.30 p.m. to 7.30 am! Wow! We're thrilled, but it means he hasn't had his 11-12pm nurse and also hasn't had breastmilk on waking nearly as often (because we have gotten up with the family and had cereal right away). The last few times I've tried to breastfeed, he hasn't really shown much interest. So, I guess we are weaned. I have never had any feelings of engorgement (never had a huge oversupply anyway I suppose) and never had a real "ok, this is it, we're done" moment. It's a little sad in a way, as I sort of feel I need closure...but probably in the end this was the best way to wean as I think about it. It was gradual and it was really mutual-- Max didn't miss it and except for some twinges of closeness and missing the convenience of nursing, I guess I'm not missing it too much.
What about any of you? Did you set yourself breastfeeding goals at the beginning? If this is your first and you're still breastfeeding, how do you picture weaning going for you? Will you just set a time and do it (such as when you return to work)? Do you intend to let your child breastfeed as long as he/she wants to?
Just curious. :)