“I’m Never Going to Nurse Again”

Our friend Deborah offered to tell you the bittersweet (mostly sweet) story of weaning her second child minus the part about cabbage leaves. Thanks Deb!

“I’m never gonna nurse again. Guilty boobs have got no pumping…” is what I sang this morning, to the tune of Careless Whisper by Wham!, when I nursed for the very last time.  OF MY LIFE!  I’ve struggled with this moment for the past few months, but after weeks of gradual weaning, I am more than ready.

I nursed my first child until she was one.  The kid didn’t have an ounce of formula until she was 11 months old.  Flash forward to kid number two who turns nine-months old next week.  He had formula at eight weeks, and as of this morning, will never nurse again. I have been ready to throw in the (burp) towel – and throw the pump out the window –for months but I was hanging on because I felt guilty that I wasn’t giving kid #2 the same treatment as kid #1.

[Related: How to introduce formula]

Well, when my son doesn’t get into the college of his dreams and his sister does, he can blame me for depriving him of three months of precious breast milk.  Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous and that is why I finally felt comfortable quitting.  But there are other reasons, too.

I am ready to take my body back.
I have been pregnant or nursing for the past three years straight. I got pregnant with number two within minutes after I stopped nursing number one.  I have gone from small to big to small to even bigger back to small again too many times. I don’t want another human being dependent on my body. I want to wear a regular bra.  And yes, I want to buy some new clothes.

I am ready to be less scheduled.
We are militant about naps in our house, so between two kids, two nap schedules, two breastfeeding sessions and two pumping sessions a day, I could barely find time to eat a sandwich in peace.  I am fortunate to have private rooms accessible at my office to pump, but it was getting more and more difficult to find time to escape twice a day.  It was even harder on the weekends because I was always rushing back home to pump or trying to find a semi private place to do it while out. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

I want to spend more quality time with my family.
Trying to play with my toddler while nursing was never an option because the baby got too distracted and trying to play with her while pumping just wasn’t fun.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when my daughter started dancing to the rhythm of the pump. And maybe I’m weird, but I actually enjoy giving my son a bottle more than nursing him because we can make eye contact and it makes me focus on him.  Reading email while nursing doesn’t feel like quality time.

So, that’s it.  I’m done. We are not having any more kids which means I will never nurse or pump again.  And I’m never looking back.  Unless, of course, my son ends up being a few points shy of genius on an IQ test.  Because we all know the formula is to blame.

Was weaning cause for tears of joy or sadness for you?