Sunday, August 8, 2010

Maybe Mr. Awesome Should Grow Boobs

This past week was World Breastfeeding Week. I'm not really sure what that means, because if you're breastfeeding you can't exactly feed MORE during a specific week, and if you're not breastfeeding, you can't exactly start from nothing... it's not like a week devoted to yoga, where you could reasonably increase or begin your yoga activity. But I digress.

Given all the struggles I had feeding the little man, it's somewhat appropriate that I started weaning the little miss during a week that has been devoted to breastfeeding. She's nine and a half months old now and I am pretty happy that we've made it this far.

When I was pregnant with her I told myself that I would give feeding a try but wouldn't beat myself up if it didn't work. I had such a painful time last time that I wasn't going to go through that again. Well, the little champion started feeding while I was still in the labour bed at the hospital, and she hasn't really stopped since. I visited with a lactaction consultant once early on to make sure we were on the right track, but we haven't had any issues. I said I would go six months, then we're closing in on ten. It's become so routine and easy that recently while Mr. Awesome drove down the highway I climbed into the back seat of our van and fed her while we were both buckled in to our seats. Thank god for the sun shade that provided some privacy otherwise the drivers in the other lane might have had an eyeful. I don't want to be responsible for a multi-car pile-up, that's just not good road etiquette.

Although feeding has worked out so well, the time has come to wean her. It's the right time for many reasons, some practical and some emotional, and I'm happy with the decision.

It's going pretty well so far. She's eating a lot of solids, she takes a bottle, and we're down to early morning and late evening feedings only. The one thing I didn't expect to encounter during this process was being the only one doing it. With the little man Mr. Awesome took on half the feedings, sharing midnight wake-ups with me and everything. He was fantastic, never complaining, just jumping in as a full partner. This time around, not so much. He's gotten pretty used to me just grabbing her and feeding her wherever we are when she happens to need it. I think he'd be happy if breastfeeding went on forever, given how easy it is for HIM! He does give her the occasional bottle when I'm not home or if I've negotiated with him beforehand because I want to go to bed and I know she'll need one more feed around 11pm. Now that we're weaning I'm lucky that she will take a bottle from me without much complaint, otherwise there would be some Awesome battles underway.

We should be completely done within a couple of weeks. We're heading off on a kid-free trip to San Francisco early next month and the grandparents will be staying with the munchkins so that's kind of our deadline. That will also mean we're well and truly done when I return to work in October.

It's a bit bittersweet as I will miss the closeness and the simplicity of it all, but the little miss is a snuggle monkey anyway so I'll still get my cuddles. When the little man was born I never in a million years thought breastfeeding would be something I would miss.

It's amazing how two experiences and two children can be so very different. Does that mean she might not whine like he does?! Hey, I can dream...


  1. Interesting post topic. Weaning can be a hard thing for everyone and it sounds like you have made your decision! When we weaned, my boy at a year old (mama was going to Maui for 2 weeks!), my husband stepped up. Not sure how I would do it all on my own because it was the night time feeds that were the hardest to wean from. It was so easy to settle him with breastfeeding.
    My husband took on the night feeds and presented our boy with a cup of water instead. Soon the boy got over the night feeds but still woke up and needed different types of comforting instead, which eventually I took part in again.
    Good luck with your transition and hope your Mr. Awesome reads your post ;)

  2. I started getting the guilt sweats after publishing this post, as I never want to sound ungrateful for how truly awesome Mr. Awesome is. He is a full partner in everything we do, and he was always great to give her a bottle if needed while I nipped down to the gym, grocery store, etc. I'm just a bit frustrated and probably a little emotional about giving up the feeding. It's hard to be holding my baby girl and feeding her from a bottle, so it would be nice if he offered to do it a little more.

    He knows all this and I told him about the post (again, guilt sweats!), so we will see. Weaning will be done soon so it will be a non-issue.

    Blasted guilt!

  3. That is GREAT that you have been able to breastfeed for her for so long. I've told you before, a long time ago, that I had problems with my boy and couldn't do it longer than a month. So, I just don't even know what it is like to have it go well.

  4. I found weaning such a tricky thing. On a whole host of levels. My mind and my heart and my hormones were never quite in sync. But once the decision is made, two weeks later, everything kind of aligned again?

    My "last feed" for my youngest - I cried so hard.But a fortnight later.....clicking my heals with the sense of a job really well done......

  5. A few days ago I participated in the "Big Latch On" in NZ as part of world breastfeeding week. It was an organised even with venues all over the country and we all "latched on" at 10:30am. Everyone who managed to get their babies to cooperate and feed for a minute were counted - the organisers are hoping to break the world record of people breastfeeding at the same time. I wasn't quite sure of what the point was, but decided to go anyway as it was on a day I don't work and didn't really have anything better to do... The people running it in my area were really great and made it a lot of fun (and fed us Mommies really well too). They said it's to promote breastfeeding and the benefits of it as well as the services available to help those who may be struggling with it. And it's also to promote the benifits to the general public and to change some of the negative connotations that some people have about women breastfeeding their babies in public.

    I had a really hard time feeding my first as well and she was totally onto formula by the time she was 6 weeks old, so I'm in no way a breastfeeding nazi! I had the same approach as Gill with my current baby and this time it just worked! But I must say that I love not having to worry about packing a bottle every time we leave the house, and I figure we've saved around $750 so far by not having to buy formula! I've even been back to work for almost 3 months now and surprisingly the expressing is going quite well (and it's a nice extra break from my work twice a day).

    Good luck Gill, I'm sure that Mr Awesome will soon get back into the habit of feeding the little miss. ;)

  6. I love my husband and he is a very hands on father. But I can count on one two hands how many times he got up with both our kids in the night. Does/did it frustrate me? yes. I still love him even though he jokingly tells our friends, that as far as he is concerned, both kids started sleeping through the night at three months.
    There are lots of other things he does.
    No need for guilt sweats. We all have those moments.
    I love your blog. It is nice to hear we are not the only ones dealing with whining. I also hope our second whines a lot less and he is a very different child from our first.