The Dark Hole of Weaning

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weaning is a subject that doesn't get talked about nearly enough in my opinion. You can read all day about the struggle of breastfeeding and the outrage of public nursing, but never do you really read about what weaning is like. Today, I'm going to try my hardest to do justice for such an emotional and real topic.

While pregnant I knew I wanted my daughter on my milk for a year, but having a somewhat closed mind I assumed I wouldn't nurse past six months. It wasn't that I judged anyone who nursed toddlers; it's just that I was one who kinda thought it would be odd to nurse such an older infant and especially a toddler. Don't those suckers have teeth and all?

From practically the first moment of nursing my sweet baby, I knew there was no longer a specific goal for "nursing." As things got easier for us during those first six weeks postpartum, I realized that nursing was pretty much one of God's greatest gifts to us mothers and I knew that a six month time frame was silly. Heck by a year old I knew that my goal of weaning at a year wasn't going to happen and by a year old, my child still nursed numerous times a day. It was so much easier than bottles!

They say that some women can experience postpartum depression during weaning, and while I wouldn't say that I was close to that, I will say that I can totally understand why. Weaning is possibly one of hardest things that a mother has to do; especially when A) the nursing relationship is strong and still enjoyable B) the baby/toddler shows no signs of wanting to wean.

I've probably never felt quite as alone as I did while working on weaning. I "attempted" to slowly wean for roughly five months and my attempt was very weak since I wasn't strong enough for it. It's brutally hard to take away the most comforting thing that a child has ever known; the first and most comforting thing that they ever felt. I was taking away something from my child that was a gift to us a both, a blessing if you will, and I felt horrible about it.

Our weaning journey began because of my desire to get pregnant again and to protect the new baby if and when I did become pregnant. I felt tremendous guilt for that - guilt for taking away my daughter's comfort for a baby that didn't even exist yet. However, our weaning journey didn't even end until I did have a new baby growing inside of me...so the guilt was then lessened I suppose as I looked at weaning as a way to prevent anything happening during the new pregnancy.

Weaning can be such a dark, gloomy time for a mother. It's something that no one will understand if they haven't been in those shoes. As I would wake up to nurse my growing toddler still 2-3 times a night, I'd sit there in tears for numerous reasons. Tears for putting pressure on us to wean; tears from exhaustion; tears for thinking that our weaning was getting nowhere and tears for wanting it to end (but not really wanting it to end). Tears from guilt.

No one can understand the battle that a weaning mother faces, as all battles are different. Some mothers are anxious and ready to wean and some babies are easy to wean. I was sitting there not anywhere ready to wean (just ready to conceive) and with a baby nowhere near ready to wean herself. I was at a loss. We'd take one step forward and then two steps back again. I'd work on weaning one week and then say screw it the next. The emotional toll was too much and the pressure was getting to me. Everyone was asking how it was going and asking if my toddler was weaned yet and all I really wanted to do was just keep on nursing and say "@#%! weaning."

Then the day came where that positive pregnancy test came back and I knew it was time. A quick idea of placing cabbage leaves on my breasts to dry myself up (this really works) freaked my toddler out so much that she didn't want to nurse again. We did however nurse for closure several times that night and then the next day she saw those green leaves and decided that they were "gone" and that she was a big girl. Surprisingly there were minimal tears on her part and she moved on like I couldn't believe. I'm not recommending this way to anyone, but I can say that I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.

Do I regret weaning? Had I not gotten pregnant or was not trying to get pregnant, we'd still be nursing. However I am now approaching my second trimester and as expected, my first trimester has included more vomiting then I'd like to admit and more days of feeling like crap, so no I don't regret it. Breastfeeding + vomiting don't sound like a great mix to me. And in the event of something happening to my pregnancy, I likely would have blamed breastfeeding on it.

However, I've had numerous days where I just want to cuddle my daughter close and nurse her. That bond we shared can never be replaced, nor can it happen again in that way. The emotional toll that you face once weaning is complete, is just about as crappy as the emotional toll of weaning in itself. And again, very few understand that.

For almost seventeen months I sat there in a rocking chair nursing my sweet girl numerous times a day and a couple of times a night (she was yet to sleep all night at the time). I miss those moments like crazy, and surprisingly, I miss the middle of the night cuddles in the dark the most. Some thought I was still crazy for doing that, but now looking back, I don't regret it one bit.

Weaning can most definitely be a lonely, emotional time. While some choose to wean for particular reasons, it's not something I'd just recommend if you're not ready. There's a good chance with this next baby that I'll breastfeed even longer to savor those moments. Let weaning happen on your time when you're ready; and never wean just because of pressure from others. They'll never understand the dark hole of weaning.

And you'll never get those moments back. 

I was blessed with a long breastfeeding journey and a tremendous amount of cuddles, kisses, and sweet smiles during it all. I'll never forget that and it's something I am tremendously proud of. It's not about breast milk over formula; it's just about realizing that breastfeeding is hard. And we made it and I am proud of that.

I look forward to the day that I can share our journey with my daughter and I hope that she's just as proud of us as I am. We were a team and while we'll never get that back, we'll always be a team. We'll always have a special and sacred bond and I'll always want to sneak into her room and get those middle of the night cuddles.

What was your weaning journey like?
Comment below and share it with us
And always be proud of ANY amount of time breastfeeding!

We're Having a Baby!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hopefully you caught the announcement on my social networks over the weekend, but if not, then GUESS WHAT?!?!

Yes, we are having baby #2! Little Bug will become a big sister on or around June 7, 2015 and we couldn't be happier. My mind has been running with lots of ideas for posts as believe me, I have plenty to talk about already!

At first it was hard to let it sink in that I was pregnant again. I was so consumed with opening up the shop and with chasing a toddler, that many days I didn't really remember I was pregnant until I laid down at night; but then I'd go to sleep with a smile on my face! Pregnancy the second time around sure is different when you have a bouncing toddler to take care of as well. Very. Different.

After a week or two of that positive pregnancy test, there was no "forgetting" that I was pregnant again. So far this bundle of joy is proving to be just like it's sister...high maintenance! To say that my days have been a tad rough is an understatement. Between nausea, throwing up, exhaustion and just simply not feeling well, it's been kinda rough (but so worth it, I know). So far this pregnancy is proving to be just like pregnancy number one which makes me assume that I'll be hugging the toilet the whole nine months like I did with Little Bug. Let's hope maybe it's a little easier. Heck, I even had plans for a fancy announcement photo but then my pregnancy laziness kicked in. ;)

So folks, this sweet baby growing inside of my is why I have slacked lately at blog posts and what not. It's been hard to get to the computer, but thankfully my days are getting better so I'm hoping to keep rocking on. I am so excited to share another journey with you and so excited to be pregnant again. Despite being so sick with my first, I was anxious to get pregnant again because it is simply wonderful!

I can't wait to meet this little bebe already. It's amazing the love you can already form for a little being you've never met and even when your heart is so consumed with your other child/children.

A mother's love has no limits. It is endless.

Bringing Birth Back

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I was approached to share this info graphic on my blog and decided that it was a great fit for myself and my readers. Please note, that if you have done the research and the risks to ANY birthing method (I'm not just talking cesareans) then I support you. 

Is there too high of a cesareans and induction rate in America? Absolutely.
Can we change that? Yes, we should.
Is it sometimes necessary? Most definitely!
But are we sometimes led to believe it is necessary when it really may not be? Unfortunately, yes. This happens more than you can imagine and leaves many mothers saddened over their birth experience.

Know your options, know the risks to any option you choose and most of all mamas, know that you have the right to stand up for what you believe in for you and your baby. Never let a doctor convince you of something if you aren't convinced yourself. Have a voice; but most of all, have a beautiful labor and delivery no matter what you choose!

My only wish is for every mama to have a beautiful experience with a healthy outcome.

Now, I'll let the images say the rest
      (FYI: I'm not a fan of forceps and vacuums, but if it does prevent surgery then it is a wonderful option).

15 Truths to Weaning a Toddler

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

  1. Drying your supply up with cabbage leaves in your bra (for some reason this works) leaves you smelling like a giant fart all day long. 
  2. Weaning is similar to those first few days of breastfeeding...sore, rock hard boobs that may burst at any moment. Anyone ever saw a milk geyser? 
  3. Your breasts go from nice to "where the hell did they go" in a matter of days. Thanks boobs, it was nice working with you. 
  4. You want to do a happy dance because you don't have to be tied down to a pump anymore. As much as we all love breastfeeding, pumping is pretty much equivalent to watching paint dry. 
  5. Your child magically starts sleeping better at night a few days after weaning completely. Well you little...
  6. Once your milk is dried up, there's no more risk of springing a leak at inappropriate and extremely awkward times. Sorry hubby...
  7. Your toddler no longer attacks you in public, ripping your shirt off and sticking their face in your chest for the whole world to know that yes, you still breastfeed. And for the talking child, you no longer have to hear them publicly call out for your boobs. No matter how proud we are to breastfeed, sometimes those moments are a tad uncomfortable. 
  8. Suddenly they seem to eat meals like an adult and even act like little grownups. Where's my baby?
  9. You hear about tears during weaning, but didn't realize that it meant you'd be the one shedding them. 
  10. You wonder just how much that extra happy hormone was doing for you...and fear that you'll no longer be chipper. Blame it on the boobs, eh...
  11. You periodically squeeze to see if any milk is still there. Once the milk is gone, reality sets in. And possibly a mild depression.
  12. Weaning is one of the most emotional processes that many will never understand. It's also freaking hard.
  13. Despite being finished and perhaps even happy for the break, you secretly want to scoop up your child and cuddle them close for one more nursing session.
  14. Once one child is weaned, you dream of the next one that you can share that sweet bond with. 
  15. Your breast are forever changed and will be forever recognized as the best, most coolest part of your body. With the exception of the va-jay-jay that pushed out your little baby...that's a pretty cool body part too. TMI, I know.

Who can relate and doesn't think I'm crazy?
more to come on our weaning journey soon!

Um, Yes Christmas Please

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How many of you are already thinking about Christmas? It may be quite possible that I have Little Bug's list of presents all picked out already and that I have already gotten some Christmas shopping done. Score for starting early! And it's also possible that my face lights up each time I walk into a store and see Christmas stuff and hear Christmas music. Seriously, this is the BEST time of the year!

Who is ready to start decorating for Christmas? Or perhaps you have already put up your tree? I am dying to start decorating but I am holding off since we are moving in a week or two (yay)! However I will say that we have broken out the Christmas music and movies already and I'm so excited to introduce Little Bug to the wonderful world of Christmas. I love that as each year passes by things will just become more and more fun as she starts to understand it all and get into the holiday spirit.

Make sure to think of us for Christmas this year when shopping for diapers or stocking stuffers! We have some wonderful organic toys, teethers and much more that are safe and non toxic for your little ones. We have maternity and postpartum items to stick into your mama to be's stocking and we have baby carriers, wraps and slings that make the perfect presents because mamas just love them (and need them)!

Shop now and receive 10% off of your order of at least $30.00 using promo code EARLYBIRD from now until this Friday at noon CST. 

Make sure to follow me on Instagram and keep up with me as I prepare to move and decorate for Christmas. Like us on Facebook to see all of our beautiful items we have in the shop and share us with your friends!

Now, perhaps I'll get ready for this "Arctic Blast" coming tomorrow and stock up on some hot chocolate!

Are you going to be affected by the arctic blast?

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