Monday, January 16, 2012

The Nitty Gritty

Aunt Flo kicked down my door January 2nd & made it clear in no uncertain terms that I will be her bitch in 2012…after 1 year & 7 months of not having a period I knew it had to start sometime…I was actually a little relieved only because in the 3 weeks prior I’d been feeling very weird & off…I couldn’t explain it but just didn’t feel right, I wasn’t able to sleep, I felt very on edge…well, obviously my hormones were running amok…it’s nice to have an explanation for why I was feeling that way…but for 13 days…bleeding, not spotting either but actual flow. Is that normal?

I was sort of holding off weaning Elena in hopes of keeping Aunt Flo at bay but since that’s now a moot point, I’ve cut out 1 feeding so far…ya, I know, big whoop! But it’s taken me more than a month to work myself up to that. I kept saying I needed to start weaning her but just couldn’t bring myself to start.

I’ve been having mixed feelings about it…a big part of me really wants to stop breastfeeding…I can’t really articulate why I didn’t…don’t…want to anymore…but these feelings brought on very strong feelings of guilt…especially reading other women expressing how much they were dreading weaning or missing breastfeeding or sad they never could breastfeed. I was/am beating myself up that I’m taking breastfeeding for granted...except that I don’t…take it for granted, I mean.

On top of that, I’m agonizing over the emotional impact on Elena. Am I going to make her feel abandoned…or will she feel like I’m pushing her away? In the beginning, breastfeeding was a very intense bonding experience for me. It was very important to me to be able to provide Elena’s sole source of nourishment & because she nursed every 2 hours (or less) for the 1st 4 months, I relished in the one on one time.

Since Elena started crawling (& even more so since she’s been walking) our bonding seems to occur less while she’s at my breast & more while we share laughs, play games, read books, snuggle…and breastfeeding has seemed to become more of a necessary pause in the fun…except at her bedtime feeding, she only nurses for 10 minutes or less then pops off with a smile & is ready to play.

I’ve started to think something’s wrong with me that I’m not getting the warm & fuzzies about breastfeeding anymore. Like I should be grieving the end of this chapter of motherhood…instead I just feel like…well, like it’s just time…this confuses me because we worked so hard to breastfeed, Elena & I…many times in those 1st few days & weeks I thought of giving up but we persevered...& now I’m giving it up so easily? Well, not easily but I’m okay with it.

So I’m just a mess of emotion. Instead of having to accept that we’re almost done breastfeeding, I guess I actually need to accept that I’m okay with it.

There is one problem…Elena won’t drink milk. I started her on sippy cups ages ago & she’s a champ…she drinks water all day…so I know she knows how to use the cups but she won’t drink more than a sip or 2 of milk. To compensate, I’m giving her yogurt regularly & about to try cheese so hopefully that’ll be ok…

She’s eating really well now…I’ve gotten over my choking fear. Elena has proven herself to have a very good gag reflex & we are ever vigilant with what we give her. I have taken Billy’s advice & we feed Elena off our plates now too…my Mom is better at it than me but since starting this I’ve seen great improvement in Elena’s chewing & biting, she’s even eating the baby biscuits & Mum Mum crackers…she does well with toast too…I have to admit that I’m at a bit of a loss with snacks…I don’t want to give her cookies all the time & toast seems boring…I give Elena fruit at breakfast & fruit & yogurt at lunch & dinner so it seems a bit much to give her fruit as a snack too… so I’m asking for ideas!! Help me out ladies!!