Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weaning Cold Turkey: 1 Day Down

I just completed my first 24 hours of weaning. And as I sit here, breasts engorged and a bit leaky, I am sad, but still confident that this is the right move for us. In fact, Meira, who was so breast-obsessed, seems totally fine. She fell asleep for her nap yesterday and then for bed last night just fine. She cried for about 5-10 minutes each time, but, sadly, that's normal for her, even if I do nurse her first. (I'm convinced that that kid simply enjoys crying herself to sleep. There is no other explanation why she should still be crying for those 5-10 minutes each time I put her down.)

In the middle of the night she cried (as usual), and Menachem went in, rubbed her back for a minute, and left, and she fell right back asleep! That doesn't usually work so well, so that's progress already!

In the morning, I swooped her out of the crib with a big smile and got her a cup of milk (that she didn't touch of course), but she was happy.

Now this feeling that I have (the physical side of this), reminds me of a very, very frustrating time at the beginning of Meira's life. At about 2 weeks in, I was going crazy with the difficulties of breastfeeding, and I quit. Cold turkey. I refused to go through this again (see earlier posts about Hila -- I don't feel like finding a link) and simply stopped. After 24 hours of engorgement, milk spilling out of me all over the place, and lots and lots of crying (on my part), I decided I wasn't ready to stop and started nursing again.

And here we are one year later, in a much better place.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Thoughts On Zumba

Did you know that I have a life outside my children? It's true! I go to the gym twice a week for two hour-long classes. It's just a little something I do to make me feel less guilty and lazy about sitting on the couch (my office) for the rest of the day.

Usually I go to step, body toning, or classic aerobics classes, but decided that I should give Zumba a shot to mix things up a bit.

When the music started and the class began moving, I was in shock. Really! I had no idea how provocative Zumba was. I had mainly heard about from my religious friends -- friends who are way more religious and...seemingly demure...than I. Where they really involved in such butt shaking, gyrating, thrusting dance classes?

I am not the type who can completely let down my guard and shake my booty. In a college dance aerobics class I took, I remember the teacher once singling me out -- there I was, trying to hide in the back row -- and yelling, "Hey, you in back! Shake your butt more!" I was mortified! I had spent my entire life detracting attention from my behind, and the teacher was encouraging me to shake it wildly for all to see! Not gonna happen.

So I'm in Zumba for the first time and feeling really, really awkward. The whole POINT of Zumba is to shake your butt!

I walked out of the class sure I would never put myself through that humiliation again.

Fast forward a few months. Somehow I got convinced to try it again. I decided to go in with an open mind and to relax.

I didn't hate it. I even wiggled my tush a bit.

I went again. Hey, this is an amazing workout. And I'm not too horrible at it....

I went again. I learned that if I really relaxed, I could let loose and feel the groove of the music. If I embraced the shaking and shimmying, then I could forget my insecurities and embrace the workout and the dancing. I realized: This is a class of women. There are no observers. There is no pressure to look good. I can do this.

I realized: I am pretty good at the butt shaking! I like a workout that encourages you to swing your floppy body parts around, rather than always clenching them and trying to harden them into oblivion. Why should I be insecure about my tush? I have one of the best tush shakes in the class!

And so...

If you can get past the awkwardness of Zumba (and it's not easy to do!) then I think you may like it too...whoever you are.

Yes, We're Ready to Wean...Or at Least I am

I love breastfeeding. I really do. But I'm starting to realize that it's no longer what is best for us. Meira is so so clingy, and is constantly pulling at my shirt, and I feel like if I'm not willing to feed on demand (which I'm not), then I shouldn't nurse at all. Maybe that logic doesn't make sense to you. So here:

Meira doesn't have a watch. She doesn't understand or remember day to day that she gets fed once in the morning, once before her nap, and once before bed. To her, she gets fed SOMETIMES, but not always, and not always when she wants. It makes me feel like I'm being arbitrary and that I'm confusing her by saying, "Sure you still get mommy's milk, but only when I feel like it." Well that just doesn't seem fair anymore for an older baby. 

Sometimes I just want to cuddle with her, but can't because she's always got ulterior motives. Sometimes she'll be playing nicely with daddy, and then I walk into a room and she goes crazy. I pick her up and she indicates that she wants milk. I am ready to embrace my role as a non-nursing parent.

Ultimately (like hopefully in a few days), I think Meira will appreciate this move. I think she'll be less distressed when she's around me. She won't have that constant nagging thought of "Oooh, maybe now is one of those random times that mommy is going to lift up her shirt for me." 

Out of sight, out of mind. 

It's been a wonderful experience. I look forward to nursing baby #3 (many years from now...).

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ready to Wean?

Yes, I am still nursing Meira. Next week she turns 1, and I am shocked and very, very proud of myself that we've made it this far.

I've become passionate about breastfeeding -- I truly love nursing my little nursling and appreciate the quiet, sweet cuddles that we sneak in throughout the day.


It's been a long year. Meira refuses to drink milk, soymilk, or formula, of any temperature and from any bottle or cup. So it's been my milk, from my breasts, everyday since she was about two months old (remember, I supplemented with formula and pumped a ton during those early months). Now we're down to four nursings a day (from like 10+ in those first six months and then 7-8 until just a few months ago), and I can't imagine how Meira will ever part with any of them. I keep trying to drop one, but she won't hear of it.

And it's not such a burden really. She nurses for 5-10 minutes (sometimes less) each time.

Sometimes I think that I could continue breastfeeding for...I don't know...longer. But other times, I feel like our family is ready to close that chapter in our lives.

I'm told one-year-olds don't really need milk if they're getting dairy and calcium from other sources. Meira is a fantastic eater, and I'm sure she'd be fine. She loves drinking water and finds comfort in her sippy cups of water. Maybe she'll learn to like milk later when I give in and add some chocolate to it.

I think the only way to wean Meira would be to do it cold turkey. If I dropped the day feeds and only nursed once at night and once in the morning, I think she'd claw at my shirt all day long. I feel feeding during the day needs to stop soon since we're considering putting her in gan, at least for part of the day.

Cold turkey, and she'd probably be fine in a few days. She'd forget all about it, right? She'll adjust just fine, right?

Well...maybe one day.

For now, I'm not ready. I'd miss it too much.


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