Thursday, February 17, 2011

Breastfeeding Update, Weaning and other Woes..

** you know this post is about to get serious and all kinds of personal, cause there ain't no pictures!**

Baby Fenn will be 7 months old in 11 days, and I will start trying to wean him. I never had a plan of how long I was going to breastfeed, but I really would like him to have it for one year. The problem with this is, I am withering away. I can not remember the last time I was this skinny, and it ain't cute! No matter what I eat, I can not keep up with the calories burned by feeding my BIG baby and carrying him around all day.. and trust me I have tried !
My uncle reminded me of  something my grandfather (a cattleman) used to say "When a calf starts pulling the momma cow to the ground, its time to wean him". I loved that quote because that is a pretty good analogy to my current situation. I look like a preying mantis carrying around an elephant.
I don't feel particularly guilty or emotional over the whole thing. I think I am blessed that I don't involve myself in mom guilt or measuring to anyone else's standards because I really do think I am a good momma. I do everything I can to assure he is healthy and happy, and part of that is also making sure his momma is healthy and happy. I know that I am taking good care of him so it never matters to me much about what anyone else thinks, outside of my bubs.
  I don't feel unhealthy or unhappy at the moment, but I know I look bad, and my parents are in town right now and my dad has been particularly un-nerved by how I look.
So today, I called my doc to discuss the rapid weight loss, and she basically laughed at me and told me to eat a bowl of ice cream every night. I have not worked out, at all, for months.  I have eaten every high calorie rich food I can think of and I eat several meals a day, not just 3... so I really don't know what else I can do, outside of weaning my little dude.  Everything was going fine till he was about 4.5 months old and that is when I started rapidly losing weight.  Let me say also, that I still get up with him at night, sometimes every hour and sometimes just once a night. I know, I KNOW all about the CIO thing, and I know that is the best answer but I just can't do it ya'll! Not because I think he is hurting or anything like that, but because I know that if I get up, I am back in bed in 5 mins, If I let him cry, we are both awake for 10 minutes or more, and it's brutal.  My pedi told me that night time is survival mode and to do whatever I wanted to make sure we were all able to get sleep, so that is the road I have taken.
If I am being perfectly honest, I will tell you that every single day of my life, I look at Fenn, and I just can not believe that God has blessed us with such a wonderful, happy and healthy baby. I cant even explain the gratitude, and so when he cries at night for his momma, I think that is the least I can do, and I don't even care cause I am just so happy that he is mine and I know so many other mommas with sick babies, or babies who live in heaven and I think they would give anything to change places with me & my healthy baby( who doesn't care much for sleep, and takes all my nutrients!)
So this is where I am at. I would love to hear some comments from any women who have been there/done that or have advice that is helpful. I would not like to hear any snide comments because, just for the record, being on any extreme of the weight scale, be it too big or too small, feels the same. It hurts the same for people to make comments about my weight and ask me rude questions like " Do I eat" or " Do I have a problem" . So if you ask me that, I may knock your teeth out!
I am VERY interested in hearing stories and ways to wean. Is PB old enough to eat mostly people food and some milk? He LOVES to eat people food. He will eat pretty much anything I give him except bananas. Right now his favorites are Avocodo, Pears & sweet potatoes. So how should I approach his weaning? I think food wise he would be just happy with eating, but he does enjoy the comfort of a good boobie when he is sad, so that will be the hard part.
If you could leave your comments on the blog instead of emailing me , that would be awesome because I know of 4 other ladies who read my blog, that will have this same issue and they will probably really appreciate the info as well! THANKS!


ml said...

I think you are a great momma!! And I would call and talk to a nurse at your peds office about food/milk cause I honestly don't remember and I would hate for someone to tell you wrong! I love that Peebs!

Susannah said...

"I may knock your teeth out!" haaaaaa! Love it!

You know what? You are a great momma for even considering this! Don't worry about what anyone says, thinks, or feels because you are the momma, and you're right, you have to be healthy and happy. Try pumping and giving him that. He neeeeeeeeds your milk or formula-he is too young for other stuff right now. Love you!

Brooke said...

I ended up weaning my daughter around the same age because I was in the middle of a move and couldn't find the box I packed my pump in! At first i just gave her an entire bottle of formula which she promptly refused so I started mixing in formula with her breast milk bottles 2 ounces at a time. Within a few days she was on formula 90% of the time with no problems.

You are still giving him all the nutrition he needs just in a different form. It doesn't make you any worse of a mother. I'm sure it will be much harder on you than him and he will have no problem adjusting!

Alison @ One Lucky Monkey said...

Do you pump or have a pump? I used to pump at least 7 times a day (we never got the hang of the actual boob feeding) but it was just too much to keep up with. I now pump first thing in the morning, once in the afternoon, and last thing before I go to bed. This way my daughter (6 months old next week) can still have SOME breastmilk but I'm not chained to my pump. It took several weeks to go from 7 to 3 times but my body adjusted quickly. She drinks Similac Alimentum the rest of the time and has recently started cereal and fruit veggies. My understanding was that babies aren't supposed to have real milk until age 1 - but I'm no expert, I'd have to ask the pedi.

Courtney said...

You are a great mom (and E is a great dad)! Take care of yourself...that sweet boy won't get much good out of a run down mommy! Good luck with everything!!

grizaham said...

When I think of a mom I think of you. It's amazing how good you are with little Fenn & how you know exactly what he needs. Please keep going with your instincts & don't let anyone make u feel bads. Little Fenn could not be more perfectos.


Sarah said...

I am glad you don't feel guilty, it is hard not to get wrapped up Momma guilt, I am super guilty of that!!
Any amount of breast milk is great, and you have done that for almost 7 months! That is MAJAH. PB is too young for just foods, he will still need formula, but there are lots of super great kinds out there. I would consult your peds or the public health nurse (maybe something that is just here in Canada?)and they can tell you exactly how much he should be getting!
Good golly, look at that child, he is HARDLY suffering!!
**Just have to tell you that, the post above from your sweet hubs totally made me cry! What a doll!**

Melissa Tabor said...

I don't know jack about jack (about BF and all that jazz), but I know you are a wonderful momma and it reads in every single photo/moment of Fenn and that gigantic smile he always wears. You do what will keep you healthiest, bc that is what will make Fenn the happiest. And PS...Erik's comment just about made me teary eyed! So sweet. Both of you. Good luck with the weaning. Love that he loves avocados and sweet potatoes...boy after my own heart! haha xoxoxoxo

Josh and Beth said...

We are trying to do the weaning thing with Sully, but will probably wait until next month when we are settled in our new i am interested in hearing the weaning advice too! I think what ever decision you make will be the right one for you and's always know what is best for their babies and he is healthy as can be!

melissa said...

You are a GREAT mom. I love that you understand that taking care of you IS taking care of Fenn. I'm glad you're watching out for yourself and your little man. He is a lucky little guy to have you as his momma! Good luck with the weaning - I'm sure it will be great!

Anonymous said...

I love your outlook, gf, just go with what feels right to you, mama knows best.

I don't know much, but I think giving Fenn Dude a lovie and serious snuggles when he's sad instead of some boobie might help? Just wean him off of the boobie when he's sad and give him something else to cheer his little self up. Or just do what feels right! :)

Heather said...

I was that way with Gray but she was skinny. I ate everything in sight and weighed less than when I got married. I nursed her for 13 months then walked right back into pregnancy with Ford. We were going through the wake up all the time with Ford at night (albeit he is 4 1/2 months old) but I knocked dairy out of my diet. No joke he sleeps for 8-9 hours at night. Dairy was my key to better sleep, not me holding him (which as an attachment parenter I thought it was). Weaning is hard but when you are ready you are ready. Just take it easy so you don't experience too much pain. I'm in the trenches with you! Best of luck and please keep blogging! Love to read how other moms handle life!

Tiny Ocean said...

I know exactly how you feel. My babes is 5 months in 7 days. I also breast feed with morning and night cereal. I stepped on the scale yesterday (did this b/c the jeans i put on--which i must also add spent a million years in the dryer-- were unusually loose)...anyway the scale was way lower. I couldn't believe it. I was a little scared. I've been feeling lightheaded and weak lately. I also eat everything in sight..tons of it. My biggest thing is staying hydrated...I drink tons of water and it doesn't seem to do much.
My mom suggested what another person said...supplement formula with breast milk in bottle...start out with 1oz formula with the rest breast that for a couple days then increase formula to 2 oz...and so on. I think I may do this in the AM to start just so to see if babes has any kind of reaction.
I also can't let my babes CIO at night. She wakes up 2x a night and I nurse her both times. Last night she thought it was happy hour and incorporated some talking and's hard to keep a straight face in those situations cause she's so stinking cute...but my face stayed, well straight. Oh...and my babes is still next to me in my room..I can't seem to cut the cord.
I love reading your blog! It's nice to feel like you're not alone in the "First-time-mom-baby-taking -over-your-life" world. Looking forward to hearing the outcome to this!

Alex said...

LG, you are one of the best mommas I know! You are one wise lady, and I know you always make the best decisions for your sweet family. Wilburs and I miss y'all and send lots of love to East Nash! xoxo

Melanie said...

Hey Lady! This happened to me at 6 months. I looked like a skeleton, hair started falling out, my skin was awful, and my fingernails were a disaster. Anyhow, your a great momma and you've done a great thing. I started weaing Bray by cutting out the night feeding. And then just continued to cut out one more feeding every three to four days. Some babies take longer to wean. As you know, breastmilk is a supply and demand type thing. So as you reduce his feedings your supply will go down. I did go through a few uncomfortable days:( Bray is on Enfamil now. We have actually started weaning from formula to organic whole milk. And from the bottle to a sippy!

We love y'all! Just know that there will be easy good days and tough hard days! Call me if you need.

Anonymous said...

Hey Laura,

Jane has been on formula for months now - 4 bottles a day. (She took an hour to nurse, and with 2 other kiddos, that wasn't going to cut it). She is also eating almost 3 stage 2 baby foods a day (1 at b'fast, lunch, and dinner). I had nursing issues with Kate, too, meaning she didn't want to take a bottle, but was starving. I had to quit nursing her cold turkey and only do bottles, b/c she wouldn't do both. I had the easiest time with Anne (probably b/c she was my only child at the time). I substituted a bottle for nursing every 2 weeks, and it was an easy transition. Hope this helps! Fenn is adorable. I know you are loving every minute with him!


Beach Bum & Baby said...

Oh sweet pea. I just want to send you a big HUG! Who knew this would be so hard. I thought I would BF forever. I thought I would have tons of milk saved up. HA! Who I am I kidding! I thought Trey would hardly ever cry! (He doesn't cry much now but BOY he did his share with the reflux in the beginning).

I never knew that we'd all be going through SO MUCH as new moms. (Or that we'd LOVE these amazing little bebes SO much) :)

Anywho. I loved reading the other comments. You know how I feel, I did have a lot of mom guilt. It's definitely going away but there are still lots of days that I cry. Even with the meds that I'm on. I still get some mopey-woe-is-me days going on here and there. Which really I guess is normal?

Like everyone else said, sadly he's prob too little for real milk - but call your ped. And I didn't have too hard of a time weaning. I just started cutting out feedings here and there and replacing with formula. I did have some uncomfortable days - the pump and the shower helped, so did cabbage.

Let me know if you have any questions or need any help.

I also just sent Andrea an email. The three of us need to figure something out. We really need to get together. It'll be good for our souls.

xoxo Love you!!!

Jessica said...

I didn't BF, so I know nothing about weaning...but I did want to throw my encouragement into the ring (even if I'm a little late to the party). If I've learned nothing else, it is that when mamas take care of themselves they are better at their jobs of being mamas!
Fenn is the most precious little thing, and whatever you choose to do, however you go about it is going to be fine..and don't let anyone else tell you differently!!

Sarah Stanley said...

So.... I had the exact opposite experience! There are women who hold onto body fat when nursing. I was doing weight watchers and working out like a mad woman and not losing weight. It was really discouraging and made me very depressed. At 8 months I weened. And I swore up and down I would nurse for a year. So I weened and immediately lost 10 pounds. Seriously. It was nuts. So I'm with you 100%, you do what you need to do!

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

You seem to be a phenomenal momma!!! I'm so impressed always with ya :)

Michelle said...

I love how you are doing what's best for you and your fam! I breastfed for 18 months! Never planned, just sort of happened. I never put Alton down, never let him cry out, he slept in our bed until he was 18 months...everyone told me it would backfire and you know what? It didn't because it was right for us :) He moved right to his bed without tears and weaned without tears. I weaned Alton off one boob at a time, let one completely dry up first. And then weaned the last boob by feedings. Use cold cabbage leaves on your boobs as it hurts to let your milk dry up...they will be red and hurt!
I do know that if baby isn't getting breastmilk, he has to take formula of some kind atleast until he is one. Ask your pedi....whole milk isn't ok for a 7 month old.
Wish you luck! You are a great Momma so keep staying true to yourself :)

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I'm all for doing what is best for Mom and baby, so you go girl for figuring it out for y'all.

I would say that from what I've been told is that at his age, he still needs most of his nutrients from breastmilk/formula. So do formula if that's what you need and do however much he needs. I had a friend whose baby was taking 10 ounces at a time. They'll let you know. BG started on solids quickly, but I got told to make sure that she still got her nutrients from formula til she was older. After a while, we did a lot of solids because she wanted them. We did a few days on each food before moving up. Babycenter has a bunch of good solids to start with. We started with breads, bagels, some cheeses, bananas, etc. and then moved up.

I just left you the longest comment ever. :)

Krista said...

You are obviously doing a good job feeding Fenn! I lost too much wait after my first baby (I cured that by getting pregnant! Haha). Mabye if you try to wean him from the night feedings you will be able to save some calories for yourself. When I weaned my first from night feedings, daddy got up with her for a few nights and then she quit nursing during the night. Daddy had to do it because the only way she would go to sleep if I had her was to nurse, she wouldn't take a paci from me, only daddy. Hope that helps

AndreaLeigh said...

Oh girl. Obviously I don't have this problem but I do know how it hurts when people make comments about your size.

You are doing what it best for you and Fenn and that is all that matters. You are a wonderful mama! You approach everything with such care and research and I really respect that about you.

As far as loosing weight - have you tried protein shakes? Like the kind body builders use? We recommended those for our clients who can't keep on weight. You could get the protein powder at GNC and make one smoothie a day.

I don't think Fenn is big enough for real milk. Talk to your ped, but the soonest I'd go that route is 10 months. I know you don't want to, but formula isn't a bad thing. At this age he should be eating meals, and BM/formula starts to become secondary.

I think at F's age Cooper was having breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one snack. He had a morning bottle, a 11 am bottle, a 3pm bottle, and a nighttime bottle. He eventually dropped the 3pm bottle and now he only gets a bottle at night. He gets milk in a sippie during the day.

What are you feeding him, and how much? I really think at his size he could handle more substantial meals.

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