Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Get off you horse and don’t drink my milk.

My little boy is going to break my heart. Last night he offered me his sleep bunny’s ears, probably his most treasured possession in the world and looked at me as if to say: ‘and now may I have some milk please’. I am stopping breast feeding.

I’ve  breast fed this long because of the horrendous reaction he had when I tried him on formula at 6 months, then the diagnosis of milk protein allergy, meaning no dairy produce at all. I truly believed I’d only breast feed for 6 months, (the recommended time) then replace with a bottle. I started feeding him to sleep for an easy life early on too and it really was easy, no tears, no screaming, if he woke in the night, he’d be back asleep in five minutes. Now we both have to be strong and my little boy has to take his first step of independence along with his first physical steps.

He cried and cried last night, shaking his head furiously from side to side then gazing at me in disbelief, stretching his arms up for contact then brushing my hands aside. He made a lot of noise but there were hardly any tears, it was a frustrated cry rather than a terribly upset one, still heart breaking though.

I cheated today’s nap time by going out for a walk with him until he fell dosed off (no pushchair, he fell asleep on the hipseat), then easing him onto the bed. He slept for an hour, he usually naps for nearly three and woke up frustrated, noisy and demanding again. It took all my strength to not give in, especially as we were both tired from the 1.30 to 4.30am battle of wills in the night, not to mention the 6am rising.

Guilt ridden I went to GAP and bought a lovely navy pea coat in the sale (I’m a hand me down girl, this is not normal) then we went to Bedford Square for a toddle.

As the day drew on I was dreading the prospect of a first proper bedtime without breastfeeding Erbie to sleep. I tidied the bedroom, fluffed the pillows, lined up the cuddly toys, put snacks on the windowsill, gave him a bath (in the kitchen sink), we watched bedtime CBBeebies together had tickles, cleaned his teeth and eventually I took him through to the bedroom at 7pm.

I had made up a bottle of warm apple juice but didn’t expect him to take it, I’d tried previously with soya milk to no avail, he took it, I almost convinced myself I saw a flicker of understanding in his eyes. I read three stories and we played catching his finger through the hungry caterpillar holes.

Once we were onto settling down, he tried to get out of the window, off of the bed and burrow into me, each time I spoke to him softly or sang badly and snuggled him up with bunny again. Eventually he fell quieter and I counted to 200 shushing on every five, tucked him in and left the room. It was 8pm.

I poured my first guilt-free vodka and tonic and asked The GR ‘how was your day?’!

I’m expecting him to wake at 3am in a foul mood but he is a dot , so we shall see. I’m also expecting it to be really hard for 7 days, with more frustrated crying, head shaking and unhappiness.

He’s such a treasure, he still looks at me and gives me a full moonbeam smile even though I’m probably the meanest person he knows right now and he still waves at all the people we encounter seemingly cheering their day.

I’m blessed with the boy.

I was right. Erbie woke at 3am for an hour of complaining until he exhausted himself in my arms and we both fell on the bed at 4am. He slept right through until 7am. I couldn’t get him down for a nap during the day, so I cheated again and took him for a walk until he fell asleep. He napped for 3hours until 4pm – I joined him! I have just put him to bed with some complaining, but not too bad. I feel very emotional and my boobs hurt, when The GR hugged me and gave me a pep talk saying I was doing the right thing a tear fell out.


Kylli said...

When I started weaning my son at 12months (I had to drop the lunch feed as I went back to work) it took a week of crying for that feed. THen the evening feed was the next to go around 14months. Again the first few days I felt terrible and sad but I used a lot of diversion tactics along with slightly changing the routine for him so he felt change in a positive way which helped. Then the morning feed he decided on his own at 16months he no longer wanted it. And that was the end of the breastfeeding relationship.
It will get easier and i hope it goes well for you!

loveaudrey said...

I was incredibly lucky to avoid this with my first as she decided at 10 months that she was done with my boobs. I think I may find stopping much harder this time as I don't expect to have anymore chidren and will really mourn the passing of this precious baby time with my son.
I hope all goes well! Anytime you question yourelf just think of the Little Britain sketch 'bitty'!!! Turns my stomach every time!


westendmum said...

@Kylli and @loveaudrey
Thank you so much for your comments, it's good to hear your stories and know other mum's fed for longer than 6 months, stupidly I seem to find it a bit embarrassing (he's 14 months), and yes the 'Bitty' sketch doesn't help!!!
WEM xx

fabhat said...

Oh I have all this to come don't I? But Erbie's downy cheek and cute scarf definitely makes me feel brooody...

Chic Mama said...

AWww, I've only recently stopped feeding my 27 mth old. He still sometimes asks for Milkies!! I'm sure Erbie will get over it quicker than you think.
I think its me that's the most sad about it really, although he did enjoy it.
Just read he's only 14 mths....I've never fed any of the others past 15 mths but this one just seemed to go on and on. Don't feel under pressure to give up if you don't want to.

When I post it there will be an award for you at mine.

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