Jonas is many things, and stubborn is one of them. Even his pediatrician agreed with me. After many attempts to wean Jonas from nursing, once again I have decided to try cold turkey. After his one-year appointment the doctor gave me some great tips and encouragement. There is a lot I want to accomplish with Jonas by the time he hits 18 months in December, sleeping through the night in his bed, going to sleep in his bed instead of getting rocked, and transferring from table foods instead of baby foods, but first stopping nursing, which will really help aid the other goals. It has been a long, difficult, and discouraging process, but I have not given in.
Day One (Thursday)
Originally I was going to wait until the weekend, but JT had youth conference all day and I wanted to give myself plenty of time before we visit Washington at the end of the month. So I started on a Thursday. That night I nursed Jonas like normal through the night, but once we were awake for the day at 7:30, no more nursing. The first day went much better then I had anticipated. For months I got Jonas comfortable with different types of sippy cups, especially straws, but only with water. Starting around his first birthday I made attempts with whole milk, only offering it at his high chair with food, but he usually just threw it on the ground.
Day one Jonas cried, but also ate A LOT. Drank some water, and refused any form of milk. I even have all three flavors of pediasure thanks to my doctor, but even Strawberry milk wasn't winning him over. But besides trying to lift my shirt to nurse, he wasn't totally horrible.
This was the worst. Jonas is used to getting nursed through the night, but we stopped nursing. Many times he woke up and screamed and screamed. It was so hard. I almost gave in, but we gave him some water and played his favorite songs until he got comforted to sleep, in our bed. By morning I was engorged and Jonas was crashed, luckily he was so tired I was able to spend 30 minutes pumping before he woke up (trying to avoid pumping around him). Before going cold turkey I felt like I wasn't producing enough milk, but in the first 24 hours I found out through pumping that I was producing plenty, 20-25 ounces.
Day two and the days following looked a lot like this, Jonas crying when I offer him milk in a cup instead of nursing. But he continued to enjoy eating different foods, and was even a little more open to trying new fruits and veggies. But it was still a hard day, between the pain I had from stopping nursing, my hormones and lack of sleep, and Jonas being more stubborn than ever, JT came home with flowers and a cupcake in hand to cheer me up.
Day Four (Sunday)
Church was hard, but it always is because by the end Jonas is overdue for a nap. We enjoyed a Sunday stroll, which lifted his spirits, but still no progress on taking any form of milk.
Jonas was still difficult, but he started getting with the program at night. After a few nights Jonas stopped waking up at night screaming to be nursed, he still wakes and moves around, but in need for mommy cuddles. At this point I was starting to get more worried because he still cried when I tried offering milk. I would hold him close and make him taste it and he would just scream, then we would both cry. Luckily all the food, and some water, he was eating was keeping him from getting totally dehydrated, but I was tired and discouraged.
Day Six (Tuesday)
This was the hardest morning, it had been days and Jonas hadn't gotten proper nutrition. I was questioning whether this was the right thing to do, despite the fact I had prayed and researched my decision, and before starting felt so good about it. It was also getting too late to stop, because my milk supply was drying up. After a few mental breakdowns and prayer, I got an idea. The idea was to use a syringe to feed Jonas. I don't have any random syringe's lying around so I grabbed the one that goes with his baby Tylenol, cleaned it out and put whole milk with the chocolate Breakfast mix blended in. At first Jonas was hesitant, but after a few tries Jonas was drinking down the milk. I cried a few tears of relief. Later I went to a pharmacy and they gave me a couple bigger syringe's and I used them to feed Jonas his milk. I have continued with offering his milk in sippy cups during meals, but he hasn't connected that it's the same milk that mom has been feeding him.
A week later and Jonas is getting his proper nutrients and I am no longer breastfeeding. This has been the hardest thing I have had to do as a mom in the last 13 months I have spent as a mom. I had to deal with my own person struggles stopping nursing after nearly 13 months, I had to watch my son cry and scream when he learns he won't be nursed anymore, and we had to learn together new ways to be comforted to sleep. Some people disagree with my method, or say they cannot do it, but although it was incredibly difficult, it was the right decision for us and I feel so relieved that it is over.