We decided a while ago that we wanted Molly weaned by the time I start back to work so that on the days I am working Bill and Molly will have a pleasant day, rather than experiencing a meltdown that lasts most of the afternoon, resulting from Molly's inability to access the breast. Well, we have modified that just slightly to have her, by the time I return to work, only nursing first thing in the morning and right before bed. My first class is a week from tomorrow. We have been having two daytime feedings for a few weeks now (in addition to the morning and bedtime ones), and that has been going fine. Yesterday I denied Zelda the boob all day, except for the morning and bedtime feedings. It did not go so well.
I thought it was all going well until around 2:30 or 3:00. I was really proud of myself for fending her off. She has developed the habit of just pulling up or pulling down my shirt, depending on the day's attire, when she is ready to nurse. It is kind of cute and endearing, and it does not bother me at all because she was obviously communicating her desires. I was able to successfully distract her until the middle of the afternoon. Around this time, I could not calm her down. She was screaming and arching her back and pulling on my shirt and crying and crying and crying and crying. I took her to see our neighbors. I turned on cartoons. I gave her milk from the sippy cup. I gave her a snack. I tried everything (except M&M's, Kim--maybe today I will resort to that. :) ). She would calm down very briefly, but SHE WANTED THE BOOB! Bill got home around 5:45. (Usually he gets home a little after 6, but I called and begged him to come home before 6.) She seemed to calm down a little when he got here and I was able to escape to another room. It seems to be worse if she knows the boobs are in the same room as she is, but she just cannot have them. When she was finally able to nurse right before bed, she was a happy camper. She went to bed exhausted and slept later than usual this morning, until around 6:45.
Hopefully today will be better. She had a teeny little meltdown an hour or so ago, but nothing too big. I distracted her, and now she is napping. I am not quite sure of our schedule for fully weaning her, but I suppose we will probably be on two nursings a day for maybe two weeks, then cut out the morning one. The bedtime one will be the last to go, as is usually the case when weaning.
It will be kind of sad for me to be finished nursing. My whole life has pretty much revolved around it for nearly the past 15 months (well, taking care of Molly in general has been what my life has revolved around). I will not have to pump on my teaching days anymore, and Molly will be able to be away from me for more than a few hours. This was much more intense, obviously, before she started eating solids and drinking milk. My wardrobe can also change now, which is not something you really think about. You have to wear shirts that allow easy access for nursing or pumping, and a nursing bra is a must. These are not too big a deal either, but it's something different. I think about everything I eat and drink because of nursing. Probably not to the extent that some mothers do--I have not denied myself spicy food or caffeine or alcohol (I drink both caffeine and alcohol in moderation)--but I do eat a LOT. And I make an extra effort to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and to get plenty of calcium. These are all things (except the alcohol) that I did when I was pregnant, of course. Very soon, Molly will be completely independent of me, physically speaking. That is very strange to me. We have been connected physically since November of 2007. Bill calls us ET and Eliott. I know she will still need me emotionally, though.
She's awake--gotta go!