I have been working on weaning Tanner off of breast milk since his birthday and have FINALLY gotten to the point that he is completely on whole milk and I can stop nursing and pumping!
At the beginning I was pumping every 2 hours around the clock. I didn't take breaks at night and would be up either nursing or pumping. Every. Two. Hours. That sucked, but I was willing to do what needed to be done to make sure Tanner was getting the nourishment he needed to gain weight and recover from his surgery.
Then probably around 4 or 5 months old I started taking breaks at night. Only nursed him at night when he would happen to wake up, but no pumping. I would still try to pump or nurse as close to every 2-4 hours during the day. This lasted until he was one.
Once he turned one I started mixing in whole milk with breast milk. In 5oz bottles I started with 4oz of breast milk and 1oz of whole milk for about a week at a time. Then I would add one more oz of whole milk and less breast milk. Also still nursing at night.
For the past few weeks I was still producing enough for what was needed that I was able to eventually drop down to only pumping once a day! That was nice. (and still nursing at night)
Last week we had finally gotten to 1 oz of breast milk and 4oz of whole milk. So on Sunday I made the decision to stop pumping and nursing.
Tanner has done great! It's not like he has even noticed a difference. The only thing I've noticed is him waking up a little more often at night because I'm sure the whole milk isn't filling him up as much as the breast milk. But that's it!
All day Sunday I did great. No engorgement and no pain. Until about midnight. I was up late reading a book and all the sudden realized that my left side was pretty sore... and huge.
So I pumped for 1/2 the time that I usually would just to alleviate the pain. (I used to pump for 10 minutes at a time, and now pumped for 5) It worked and I felt much better.
The next morning, however, I was pretty sore and engorged again. So I pumped for 1/2 the time again and it relieved a little bit but there was still a dull soreness the entire day. (it really wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be or how it had been in the past, so I could deal)
A couple of my friends from my heart group also suggested to take Benadryl and that would help. That stuff always knocks me out, so I waited to take it until Tanner was going to go down for his name. It was nice. The little pain that I was feeling seemed to subside and I was able to get a good nap in!
After the Benadryl wore off I remember hearing somewhere that cabbage helps as well if you put chilled cabbage leaves in your bra. Sure enough, a few of the heart moms also were suggesting this and it worked for them.
I called Kollin and asked him to pick up some cabbage for me on his way home from work. It was a pretty funny conversation, but he went along with me and got it. I love him!
I have to say that stuff was what I believe helped the most. The cold leaves felt so good and I don't know what is in that stuff, but it also helped with the pain and engorgement.
Now today (Wednesday) I am feeling pretty much back to normal! I took out the cabbage last night when I showered and haven't replaced it. I feel no pain! I am also pretty full right now (no pain or hardness, just... big). Kind of hoping it stays that way, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to deflate in a little while. phooey.
I loved being able to provide for my little Tanner in this way. But I am also happy that I'm done! I never minded the nursing, but the pumping got pretty old.
I will definitely miss the nursing part of it. I am so happy and proud of myself that I was able to go almost 14 months (my goal was 1 year) and had that bonding time with my buddy.
I have always wanted to get Tanner a bear with a zipper on its chest so it would match him.
Today we finally went to Build a Bear and made one! They couldn't do a zipper since you would have access to the stuffing, but they did stitching for us.
We also did stitching on the heart we put in him but I forgot to get a picture before he was all sewn up.
We named him Warrior. He is so cute and I know Tanner will just love that he is just like him.