Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Weaning the Breastfeeding Bully

Ashlyn is finally weaned. Halleluiah!! It was a long, arduous process that involved blood (literally), sweat, tears, about 44 different varieties of bottles/sippy cups and a breastfeeding bully.

Weaning Austin was so easy; he just about weaned himself. How hard could it possibly be? Well for starters, Ashlyn never took a bottle. We tried, albeit not very hard since I was staying at home with her. We started offering her bottles when she was a couple of months old. I would pump and leave milk in the freezer in case I had to be away and Toby had to feed her but she never took to it despite the variety of bottles and nipples we offered. She would just scream whenever I left, even if it was just out for a run or to get groceries. I think she could tell (or smell) when the BOOB had left the building.

We finally gave up on bottles and decided to try sippy cups. One less thing to wean her from, right? I must have bought every variety of sippy cup that existed. I literally went to Wal-Mart one day and bought one of every kind, thinking surely we would find one that she liked. Every single one of them flew across the kitchen faster than the speed of light. Even the so-called "no-drip" cups flowed like Niagara Falls upon hitting the floor with such vehement force. This continued for weeks at which point I decided to cut out her middle feeding in an effort to expedite the weaning process. Big mistake! And the breastfeeding bully reminded me of this every chance she got. I tried, I really tried but after the first week I gave in because we were both sooo miserable. She was clearly not ready I told myself.

Then I wound up with a bout of Mastitis and ended up in the Emergency room. I felt so bad that I didn’t really care whether she was ready or not, I was. Unfortunately (for me and my boobs), weaning is discouraged when you have Mastitis because it increases the risk of a breast infection turning into a breast abcess that requires surgical draining. Guess I wasn’t ready afterall but OMG, I have never felt such pain in my life; and I am a girl who can handle her pain!! It was excruciating and there were times when I honestly felt like I was going to pass out while feeding her. A couple of weeks of antibiotics and I was as good as new- until the biting began- that is. These weren’t just little nips either; these were full on yank and pulls!!! And it didn’t help that my daughter had both of her bottom teeth before she was 4 months old. How could my sweet, innocent little girl by day turn into such a ravenous vampire by night? Some nights I felt like I was Little Red Riding Hood trapped in my very own, twisted version of a folktale that went something like this…
My, what big teeth you have Ashlyn.
The better to bite you with Mommy!

(Do you see the size of her teeth???)

The day finally came when enough was enough. I sat on the couch laying with ice packs on my breasts and decided it was do or die. My nipples could take no more abuse. This was coincidentally also around the same time that she started trying to help herself. I felt like an all-you-can-eat buffet!! In actuality, it was a call from the Dermatologist that provided the motivation I needed to finally wean the bully. They wanted to schedule my Botox injections to treat my Hyperhidrosis (to read about this click here) but I had to be done breastfeeding before they would do the procedure. I had been waiting 5 years for this procedure and not even the breastfeeding bully was going to keep me away from my Botox!!
So the journey continued to finally wean my breastfeeding bully. Thankfully, this time we were successful! My boobs rejoice!


Sarah said...

Ahh...what I have to look forward to. Hopefully J. Bean won't get chompers like that before she turns 4 months. I think I'm in the clear though, she's almost there. Hey! Guess what!? You got a job!!! hehehhe...once I get my website up and running I am enlisting you as my writer. :-) Congratulations! And don't you worry about the pay, you owe me atleast one page for that Jazzercise catastrope. Ouch! I was sore for 4 DAYS! Anywho, talk to you later and thanks for all the rejects ;->


AHHHH HAAA HAA HAAA - that was priceless! I drank off of Mommy for only about a week and then no more - she had a breast reduction in '94 and for some reason, her milk just stopped coming after a week so I was right to the bottle. And then about a month ago I went to sippie cups and loved them right away. Go figure. Mommy said it's a good thing I liked bottles and sippie cups though because my first bite would be my last bite! Ha! But, I have no teeth so guess it doesn't really apply to me! ;-) Glad to hear she loves her sippie cups now! Talk to you later....ABBY

Amy said...

My, what big teeth you have Ashlyn Grace!