Monday, December 31, 2012

Thinking about weaning

This past month, breastfeeding has been hard. JP had his 23 month checkup, and he did great: his weight is good, and he seems to be hitting all the right marks and milestones. My sweet baby is now a funny little guy, sometimes a goofball (he gets that from me), sometimes a rascal, and a great hugger. He loves music, his trucks, and is learning that smacking the kitty is a terrible idea. I know how blessed I am, and you know I rarely, if ever, use the word "blessed."

So I'm still breastfeeding. And he's waking up at night still, sometimes (usually) 3 times, and asking for "milk!"

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, when I'm home with him, we are on a pretty good schedule (he's had a cold since Christmas, and hasn't been eating as much solids as I'd like, so he's been nursing a little more than usual when I am home), and it's doable, during the day. If he would just sleep for, I don't know, six hours without needing me, I might feel better about things, but he doesn't. And so I am never caught up on sleep. I am never not exhausted. I never feel that feeling of being rested, and it's really starting to wear on me. I'm dragging, man. I'm fucking tired.

On Saturday, I emailed a friend of mine, and this was the whole of my message:

"I am literally a cow. Milk!"

"Literally" used mostly correctly (I believe that since my milk isn't really a dairy product, I'm technically not a cow... oh, forget it).

I've been talking about it with my friends who breastfeed or who know more about this than I do. Truth is, this feeling has been there for a couple of months now. I had a big emotional discussion with my La Leche League person a couple of weeks ago, and she was great, but the thing is, LLL wants you to nurse until baby decides to give it up on their own. I have a feeling that's not something I can wait for.

I feel terrible. The LLL lady, when she heard my schedule (I work four days a week, 10 hour days, so I'm away from home 12 hours a day), was all, "Wow, mama, that's amazing!" And she listened to me (cry) and tell my story, and then she was all, "Do you think you can continue? Because your baby is still getting a lot of good stuff from it." I think she mentioned antibodies and stuff like that. I know this part intuitively.

And I said (sniffled), "Okay..." because my baby is still getting a lot of good stuff from it. If he needs it, what kind of mother would I be to stop now?

And that's where I keep getting fucked up.

I'm all wrapped up in this, like my "good mother" status is based only on my ability to breastfeed him. I actually said to my sister, "But will he still love me if I start refusing him?" There have been a few times at night when I'm just too damn tired to nurse him again, and I've had Patrick try to take him into the other room, where he cries - and I feel about "this" big. I don't know if I can do that, every night. And what's he going to learn from that? My job as mama is to comfort him and hold him and if he needs his "milk" shouldn't I just give it to him? to make him cry on purpose... I don't know, man. That's not a happy prospect. Isn't it selfish to say, "but I'd just feel so much better if he didn't wake up."

But. I would.

I. Need. Some. Sleep.

It's affecting everything. Patrick and I haven't talked about it very much yet: he knows I'm thinking about it, but I don't think he gets the emotional burden I'm feeling. I know he thinks I'm too emotional (we got into a fight on Sunday morning. I was playing the new David Byrne/St. Vincent CD, and he was all, "I wish David Byrne didn't always sound like David Byrne." He had other comments about it, and I took it personally, as if DB is a friend or relative of mine. And I accused him of "acting like you know everything about music" and never liking the stuff I play for him and expecting me to be fascinated by the weird shit he plays for me. It wasn't really fair of me - maybe my points felt valid to me, but I know I didn't make them in the nicest way. I thought I had learned, after almost 15 years of marriage, how to have this type of conversation in a way that works for both of us, or at least how to shrug it off, but I guess not. Yes, I freaked out over something stupid, but you don't always get credit at the time for "being tired"), and then sometimes... even though he's a great husband and father, I don't always get exactly the response I want/need from him right away. I don't know how to explain this without sounding overly critical. (I was reading somebody else's blog about their husband, and that guy sounds like a drooling idiot. I happen to know the guy, and he isn't. So I try to be fair, here.) Like, if I knew how to tell him what I needed in a way he could understand, this wouldn't be an issue, and he does a GREAT job... but this is my thing, and how can he truly understand? It's part of me, breastfeeding. It's the special thing that only I can do. It's what makes me special to Jules. It's like my body, my blood: I share that with nobody but Jules, and I want to just stop? How can he understand the conflicting things I am feeling?

I don't know, man. Maybe he could.

At the 23 month checkup, the pediatrician, who I really like, was all, "you can stop now! He doesn't really need it!" But I have been taught by LLL not to trust pediatricians! So, while she was pretty much telling me what I think I wanted to hear, I'm not sure it's the truth.

And then, I can't make decisions on my own anymore: I totally waffle. I've put a ton of stuff in my Zappos shopping bag today, and I killed the whole fun experience of shopping the sale because I couldn't decide if splurging on an awesome pair of Frye boots was the right thing to do, or which Frye boots I even wanted. I know, this is totally superficial, but it feels weird, too.

At work I've even gotten a bit unorganized, and scattered, and I have some big projects that will be due soon. I also have an exam for a promotion in a couple weeks. I have to get my head straight.

I mean, I know how some of this sounds. Shopping? There really is more stuff I could tell you. But what you need to know is that, I don't feel like me. My normally decisive, opinionated self is needing more reassurance, more hugs, more everything. I'm not really even talking about it very well: it's just a big ball of worms in my stomach. Lack of real sleep is no joke. I don't know how to think about weaning in an unemotional way: I cry every time I start to talk about it. That can't be good, you know? Mentally?

So I'm going to start looking for some books. I missed the December LLL meeting, but I'll try to go in January. Though, I went in November and didn't really feel like I got to talk about my issues. I get shy sometimes in that room. I guess I have to get over that.

Meanwhile, I'm going to try to get some naps when I can.

No comments:

Post a Comment