I think I'm starting the weaning process.
First, I'm ending the early morning feedings. She skipped it earlier in the week, so the next two mornings, I only let her nurse on one side. And then this morning, she slept straight through again; a little more than twelve hours in the crib without needing anything from me. Hooray!
So now I think that instead of trying to taper off the feedings, I'm just going to gut it out and do pure CIO. She doesn't need to eat then. I tried to do this last spring but it resulted in her starting her day WAY too early, like 5:30 am. But now that she's older, I'm much more comfortable saying, "I don't care if you're awake. It's too early to get up so you're staying in your crib, awake or not." Luckily Calliope almost never cries in the morning. She plays happily until whatever time I get up. On the weekends, it's often 8 am. She talks or sings or plays quietly enough that it's hard to hear her, so I have no idea what time she woke up.
Anyway, I'm not looking forward to the new regime change, even if I do think it's necessary. As much as I know she doesn't need to eat, I still hate to "make" my girl cry. I reckon I will go in once, after making sure she's truly upset and not going back to sleep, to give reassurance and make sure everything is all right, ie no dirty diaper or the like. And then leave. This will no doubt make her more upset than if I never went in... but it makes me feel less guilty to lie in bed (or work out) and listen to her cry, knowing that she's not vomiting or feverish or in soaking wet pajamas.
Hopefully this part won't take more than three days.
And then next week... I think I want to start weaning in earnest.
This is hard. I don't know if it's the right time. I don't really feel strongly either way.
I always imagined I would nurse until she was two. But she seems like she's at an age where it wouldn't be hard to just distract her -- this morning, she asked for a banana when I went into her room, though she was happy to nurse instead when I offered. So why not just offer a banana? (I didn't want to do this today because of the risk of getting engorged and also... I'm not quite ready!)
I don't love breastfeeding, but neither do I hate it. It's okay. When she lunges for me with a mouthful of teeth, I always tense up in fear for a moment... but she hasn't bitten me since she was nine months old. When she's teething, her latch is sometimes a little uncomfortable, but not severely painful.
Mostly, it just feels a little ridiculous to have the big toddler strewn across my lap. She's getting so big and grown up. I wouldn't question someone else nursing their sixteen month old, but... I think maybe I'm getting ready to move on?
So, my tentative plan is to start skipping the morning nursing next week, and see how that goes. If all goes well, both physically and emotionally, I could try skipping the evening one a week or two later.
I'm a little worried about post-weaning blues. Apparently this is common as the hormones re-regulate themselves as a non-nursing mother.
On the other hand, once she's done with nursing, I can try taking these herbs that a Bay Area doctor told me about that might hopefully get my hormones back in whack so that it's not so hard to lose weight. That would be great if it works out, but I've had my hopes dashed so many times that I'm not holding out too much hope over it, either.
Can anyone think of a reason that I should not wean???