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I’ll take it!

Well, last night was certainly a surprise to me. I fully expected the first night with no nursing to be a disastrous one with no sleep. I have never been so happy to be mistaken! Don’t get me wrong, it was not the ideal night by any stretch, but I couldn’t believe how well Knox did. Before bed, we gave him a cup of whole milk, which he’d been rebelling against until we added a teaspoon of chocolate syrup to it. Our pediatrician okayed this, and we figured if he liked it, we’d slowly cut it back until he’s drinking straight milk. Cow’s milk isn’t nearly as sweet as breast milk, so it made sense to me, and MAN did he like it! Like, wouldn’t let me take the cup from him, like it. See? (Sorry for the poor quality, I took the pic on my Blackberry and zoomed in too much)

This was a huge relief for me, knowing he wouldn’t be starving to death through the night. Then, we gave him some Advil for his teeth, and Trevor took him upstairs. It was my night to host bible study, so while I delved deeper into the book of Esther with friends (and Beth Moore via DVD), Trevor got Knox to sleep.  That, just in itself, was awesome.

He woke up in about an hour and was initially very annoyed when I wouldn’t whip my boob out. He kept rubbing his face on the strap of my tank top, obviously not understanding the delay. After about ten minutes, he was over it and back asleep. After that initial waking, he slept in two-hour stretches before waking up. The awesome part? He didn’t freak out when I didn’t breast-feed him! I was shocked. I picked him up, and he’d be back asleep almost instantaneously.  This meant I was only up for about five minutes each time and actually got some sleep. I’ll take that over our previous night any day of the week, thank you very much!

Hopefully it wasn’t a fluke and tonight will be better than last night. I will say that it is such an odd feeling to have to create a new routine. Our lives had revolved so much around nursing, it’s weird to cut that out. We were up at about 6:30, made Knox’s milk, he gulped down half of it (yay!) and we had a relaxing morning. I can’t remember the last time we got out of the house on time because I’m normally so tired I can’t function. This is a good thing.

The down side? Yowch, yowch, yowch! My boobs freaking hurt! I did pump last night before bed and this morning, which helped immensely. I only took about two ounces off each side, which believe me, ain’t much considering the size of these suckers. I felt like I was sleeping next to two boulders last night. My original nursing bras were D cups (they had shrunk a little since then), but I am literally spilling out of them. Well, I guess they’d be spilling out if they were soft like normal boobs, but they’re HARD, so they’re just kind of forcing the bra outward at an unnatural angle. Hopefully they’ll go down soon! I plan on pumping twice a day just a little until they go down, then decreasing to once a day. I’ll take any tips you can give me in that department! Thanks so much for all your comments about this weaning process and these sleep issues- they are so helpful and made me realize I am NOT alone, by any stretch!

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  • Reply Sarah

    Weaning is hard, I had no idea how painful it would be. The first night I went cold turkey I fell asleep only after putting ice packs on my boobs, drinking a glass of wine and taking Motrin. The ice packs were such a relief and the wine and Motrin took the edge off I think. And congrats on the first night – it seems like you all did really well!

    January 26, 2011 at 10:56 am
  • Reply Stacy C

    After almost a year of lurking I will stop being shy, “Hi Jessica”. The tip I had to share is going to sound strange but it works! Stick some referigerated green cabbage in your bra over your nipples until the cabbage wilts. Replace it and continue for as needed. There is some nutrient in the cabbage that help relieve the engorgement.

    It worked for me…

    BTW: Knox is adorable, I just adore his faces and his mohawlks!


    January 26, 2011 at 11:24 am
    • Reply Jessica

      Hello!! No more lurking, now you can comment all the time! :)

      I’ve heard this before, so I guess I need to try it. I’m going to smell oh-so-fresh… yikes.

      January 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    We are also in the weaning process. Super embarrassing but Spencer only nurses on one side so I’m a little lopsided to say the least. Thankfully since we cut out the nap time nursing, the two sides are a little more evened out. I’ve been told that cabbage leaves help reduce engorgement and swelling. My bradley instructor told the women in our class we could stick a leaf in our bra and it would help significantly. I haven’t had engorgement for a while since my supply has dropped signigicantly but if I ever have it again, I’ll be popping in cabbage leaves! :) Hope that helps.
    Hope Knox continues to sleep well for you too!

    January 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm
  • Reply Jodi

    I had a friend tell me to use cabbage in the bra and it dries you up… I haven’t tried it and don’t really know how it works, but I’m sure you could probably find some information on it.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm
  • Reply Erica S

    You’re doing the right thing by pumping but not pumping too much out. I would keep doing 2 oz. for a couple of days and then take it down to 1 1/2 and then down to 1 and then 1/2 and…you get it. :) Congrats on nursing for so long! Weaning is a hard and sad decision for some of us moms. But, you’ll settle into a new routine and nursing will seem so far in the past after awhile.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:50 pm
  • Reply Farris

    It’s not natural, but birth control (and some anti-histamines) also dry you up. I nursed for a year…went on BC at 4 months and had to stop because I was drying up and had to stop taking allergy medicine because it was having the same effect)!

    January 26, 2011 at 12:51 pm
  • Reply Erin Cardone

    awwww…weaning is hard, and sad! You’ll miss nursing him! Time for another!

    January 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm
  • Reply RRR

    Hi, I also have been lurking for awhile and I just wanted to say that you are an awesome mama for nursing Knox for a full year despite the lack of sleep! I too can relate. I’m still nursing my 8 month old and plan to continue until he turns a year old as well. He is not the greatest sleeper either! Thank you for sharing the weaning process with us. It helps to know what I can expect in 4 months (oh no, that soon!? But he’s my baby!!!!!!).

    Also, was it difficult to get Knox to drink from a sippy cup? I fear that I will wean my boy and he will still not be able to drink from a cup! He currently just plays with it when I give him one. He has rarely had any bottles in his life so all he really knows are boobs!

    January 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm
    • Reply Jessica

      Thanks so much! The sippy cup wasn’t too bad. He never really took a bottle, either, so it took some persistence, but we just started with water. Eventually he caught on, now he is obsessed with cups of water! We probably started when he was around six months old with the cup.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply Nikki Darlin'

    Oh that’s so good that his taking the milk. Hot towel on the boobs will help. Good luck hope tonight is good.

    January 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm
  • Reply nancy

    Use cabbage. I didn’t let mine wilt, I would change the leaves. It works. It also made me laugh when I took the cabbage off and I had the imprints on my breasts.
    I am so happy for you that you got some rest!! It is a HUGE step.

    January 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm
  • Reply Bethany

    It took much longer to stop producing milk than I expected. I thought it would stop within 4 or 5 days. It took about 3 or 4 weeks for me. I would do the small pumps and finally just had to stop if it was going to stop (not suggesting you to do this now….ouch!). Just thought I would share since I had no idea and I wish I had! Hope it is quicker for you!!!

    January 26, 2011 at 7:38 pm
  • Reply Nlvaden

    cold compress. Wear a sportsbra in the shower so they are not stimulated. Honestley, I would do the twice a day pump for a while and cut down the minutes pumped at each session instead of going from 1 to 2. then when you get down to 5 minutes, cut them both out. It is what I did and it went great.

    January 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm
    • Reply Jessica

      Dude, I am not even pumping for five minutes now! I get about an ounce a minute, it’s insane!

      January 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm
  • Reply Kelly

    Hi Jessica! I am also a lurker coming out of the woodwork! I love your blog and you always seem to make me laugh and brighten my day. I hope you start getting some sleep soon!

    BTW…I left you an award on my blog if you want to check it out….

    January 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm
  • Reply Kate

    The chocolate syrup is a great idea. I mixed yogurt with milk to get my son to eventually take whole milk. Now he’ll drink plain milk, but before bed I still give him a “yogurt shake.” I figure it helps fill him up a bit more than plain milk would and he loves it. Just another idea. Good luck!

    January 26, 2011 at 10:09 pm
    • Reply Jessica

      That is a great idea! I may try this considering the chocolate milk isn’t working today. :(

      January 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    Oh I feel your pain! I just stopped breastfeeding about 4 weeks ago. I only made it to 12 weeks with my daughter because I am a home health nurse and it is IMPOSSIBLE to pump during the day, so once I went back to work, after about a week of being miserable and pumping when I got home, I decided to stop all together.

    What I was told to do by a friend worked very well. You wait until you are painfully engorged and then pump or hand express just enough to get relief. You may end up pumping a half of an ounce from each breast multiple times the first couple of days, but it gets better each day. It took me about 5 days to feel comfortable, and then my boobs shrank over the next week. It took about 2 weeks to be completely back to normal (well, normal aside from the saggy mess that is now my boobs!) I wouldn’t recommend setting a schedule of just twice a day because you could end up getting a blocked milk duct or mastitis. Ouch!

    Good luck!

    January 26, 2011 at 10:36 pm
    • Reply Jessica

      Yeah, that whole pumping twice a day thing went out the window! I was about to die when I got home, so I pumped three times yesterday. Just once so far today, but I’m just going to listen to my body on this!

      January 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm
  • Reply Amanda

    Cabbage leaves do work wonders….Also you could take some sudafed to help dry things up! I hope this helps. :)

    January 27, 2011 at 5:06 am
  • Reply t.bird

    ice cold cabbage leaves. amen.

    January 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm
    • Reply Jessica

      If it worked for you, it’s worth a shot for sure! You’re my breast feeding idol. :)

      January 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm
  • Reply Brandy

    I’m a little late on this, but sage can help with drying up quick. Not sage from the spice rack, but capsules that you get at a health food store.

    February 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm
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