Had I known how difficult weaning would be
I may have reevaluated my decision to breastfeed.
There I said it.
I'm exhausted, out of ideas, sad, and frustrated. No one told me that weaning is sometimes an excruciatingly long, difficult, and painful process for baby and mom.
I am a researcher by nature. I have a compulsive need to know everything. I remember obsessively studying the ingredients on cereal boxes as a kid. Monoglycerides! In my Sprinkle Spangles?!?
My memory may be failing me in my usual sleep deprived state but I do not remember reading anything, not a single thing, about how impossible it is to wean some children.
My daughter is one of these children. She is a frequent nurser on a good day and a constant nurser on a teething day. She is almost twenty months old and I am ready to call it quits.
I have no life. None. I can't read a book, go for a run, or take a bath. I am constantly fending off nursing related tantrums. At night after an hour or so of comforting her and listening to her screams I am too tired to do anything but collapse.
Everyone is suffering.
Activities with Preston are often cut short because Cameron chooses to throw a nursing related hissy fit. He suffers.
My husband can't sleep because she is up every two hours screaming and demanding to nurse. He suffers.
I don't sleep. I rarely eat without her tugging, pulling, or screaming at me at home or in restaurants. I have gone out without her less than five times in a year and a half. I have no life. I suffer.
What am I supposed to do? Does anybody know?
I spoke to our pediatrician and he said she'll just have to scream and will eventually be weaned. Great. That's just what I need in my life. Nonstop screaming on top of her regular screaming schedule when I put her to bed/don't nurse her immediately/someone looks at her funny. She cries. I cry.
No way. I cannot take more screaming.
Our dentist recommended night weaning for the sake of her teeth. Well. That isn't working. Unless me having to wake up every one to two hours every single night for the forseeable future is working.
Is that working?
The Dr. Jay Gordon approach is not working for us. I am failing. Often I am so tired that I'm fast asleep before she finishes nursing. Boom.
She's in my bed for a few hours. Another setback.
Obviously I want her to be happy and healthy. I would love a solution that worked for everyone but I haven't found it. I would never abandon her and leave her alone in a room to cry all night. I can't. It isn't me.
I've thought about daycare to ease her out of her attachment to me but that doesn't seem fair. Maybe it is? I have no idea. I really do not know what to do. I'm too tired to function properly and I hate everything about it. I feel like I could keel over at any moment. My eyes burn. My limbs tingle. I'm done.
She doesn't like milk or juice. She rarely drinks water. She has hated bottles since she was about three months old. She isn't a fan of sippie cups. She will sometimes drink from a milk or juice box. Sometimes. She eats constantly and abundantly. She is nice and chubby and healthy. What piece of the puzzle am I missing here?
Cameron is always happy, smiley, jovial, and playful unless she wants to nurse and I refuse. It is intense.
Some Twitter friends gave me advice. They say that after the third day of weaning things get easier. I've tried to night wean her for months to no avail. Taking it slowly, cutting out a feeding a week, distraction, and redirection do not work with her.
What am I supposed to do? Hope I survive without sleep until she is ready to wean God knows when? I really, honestly, and truly cannot do it.
Is the difficulty of weaning a secret or was I just not looking for potentially negative information? Would things be different had I know about the disaster that awaited me? I don't think so. I still would have nursed but I wish I knew that the potential for this mess was there. I wish someone had told me but who?