“Ma! Bibs are for BABIES. I’m a big boy now!”
For the past week or two I’ve felt off. Occasionally more than off. Gleefully at peace one moment and then at the drop of a hat I turn into someone possibly emulating Ron Burgundy in his “glass case of emotion”. And weighted down with a source less sensation of sadness and anxiety. I also have been so bone tired, even though Henry is sleeping through the night (finally). Perhaps it’s because I am having vivid, psychotic dreams (like, hallucinatory-style weirdness in which I’m typically about to die) every night. For a few days I was petrified that I had gotten pregnant again already (which, while it would be a miracle, NOT the timing I’m hoping for!) And then at dinner this weekend I was talking about how I was feeling to Andrew and a revelation hit me– I’ve been finishing up weaning Henry this week, maybe THAT has something to do with it!
I consulted with the all-knowing oracle (Google) who backed up my suspicions- weaning absolutely causes mega hormone shifts which result in tiredness, depression and mood swings. BINGO. So why have I not heard much about this dynamic and rather uncomfortable/ can-I-just-go-cry-in-my-car stage? I’ve heard SO much about post-partum emotional struggles and every other aspect of breastfeeding, but this important end-stage seems to be left out of the discussion. Ladies, this sucks! Way worse than pregnancy hormones for me (and I was pumped up with boatload of IVF drugs too!) So I guess I’ll be the one to bring it up!
A couple of you have asked me to discuss my experience breastfeeding as a whole, and until now it’s felt like a slightly “too personal” topic for me for some reason (coming from someone who isn’t afraid to discuss pretty much anything, I found this to be quite a perplexing feeling). Breastfeeding has been the most surprising, difficult, empowering, unnerving, wonderful and annoying thing for me. Since my mother had challenges with it, I fully expected to as well and kept my expectations low (as far as if I’d even be able to and if so, how long.) Henry came out and latched on immediately and perfectly and we were off before I could even worry about it or think too much. It felt odd, but not painful as many had warned me. We kind of just worked well together. Until three weeks into motherhood and I came down with a raging case of mastitis, which I am confident I would not wish on my worst enemy. I cried and cried, in horrible pain for a week because the antibiotics didn’t work the first time and Henry was losing weight despite trying to get him to drink formula to make up for the lost milk. I was told I could stop, it was okay to stop- and I knew it was and would not have been upset with myself if I had, but I just didn’t want to. But also because at that point my boobs felt like overfilled water balloons about to pop and I couldn’t imagine NOT nursing or pumping to get SOME relief.
Ahh, and speaking pumping. Pumping was THE worst part of breastfeeding for me, other than mastitis (which I got a second time too). I hated lugging that thing to and from work and on business trips and panicking when my schedule blew up in my face because I had timed my pumping precisely and “oh my God, Penn Station has no private space with an outlet to pump and my train was just delayed two hours!” I mean, I had the supply of a fire hydrant, so things could get really sketchy if I went too long without pumping or nursing. This resulted in some doozies like having to use a squeaky hand pump under a blanket while sitting next to an unsuspecting (or possibly creeped out) businessman on a plane, frantic pumping in the rickety bathroom on a moving Acela, oh, and the time that 30 ounces of breastmilk burst inside my suitcase and completely ruined my new Macbook Air. You should have seen the faces at the Genius Bar when I rolled in with that one! The pump was my ball and chain, and it made me crazy. I was glad to be supplying Henry with milk, but MAN was it cumbersome and time consuming. I went away with some fellow moms for a weekend when Henry was six months old and they all looked at me after the first night together and said “Hearing you get up to pump in the middle of the night may have cured any desire I had for a another child”. The pump really does bum lots of us moms out, even those who enjoy breastfeeding.
But the really amazing thing was not only that I managed to last nine months (my goal was three), but that I enjoyed it as much as I did. It was such a special time for Henry and I to bond, and I loved that I could (with the drop of a heinous nursing bra flap) soothe him unlike anyone else. I have been amazed that my body could nourish this miraculous being all on it’s own. I mean, how freaking cool is that? For someone who has, in the past, harbored such ill feeling towards her body, it was great to think of it on such positive terms. And even through the challenges of mastitis, weight loss and then a suspected milk protein allergy (which meant no dairy for me for a couple months) we succeeded. But a couple weeks ago Henry sprouted some serious chompers and my nursing sessions started resembling scenes from Jaws. So we amicably called it quits. He actually seemed very uninterested in nursing from the breast too, way more into his bottles, so I’ve been pumping and using formula and now we are in the final countdown as the ounces drop. I don’t even remember the last nursing session we had because I didn’t KNOW it was the last one. It feels good to not have to plan my every move around pumping, but it also signifies that my little baby is quickly becoming a little boy and that is both joyous and heartbreaking.
So I am a little sad it’s over, but also feel huge relief in the freedom it brings. I feel like my body is mine again. From the multiple IVF cycles, to pregnancy and nine months of nursing it’s been about two years since I felt real ownership over it. And once I get through this weaning haze/rage (sorry Andrew! Hopefully this only lasts a few weeks!) I’m thrilled to enter a whole new phase of motherhood- a baby on the MOVE (RIP my coffee table) and who has magical new abilities to communicate and learn. Oh and all the cheese, wine and non-button down shirts my little heart desires!
Thanks for doing us the service of talking about all this!
I actually always felt I would not be happy breastfeeding if I ever chose to have kids, but your second last paragraph made me do a double take. Guess I will have to figure it out if/when the time comes, but nice to see the other side of how it can really all be worth the extreme difficulty (which I knew about but boy did you describe it well!).
Here comes Debbie Downer… as you get older you have menopause symptoms to deal with! From the mood swings to the hot flashes/night sweats, life is almost unbearable at times. The worst part, though, is the length of time one has to endure it. I have had some of the symptoms for more than 2 years!!
The struggle is real. I am so glad you figured out what was going on with you. i am amazed at how much information there is out there now. Back in the day there really wasn’t any . We all just had to suck it up and deal. LOL The pumping at work thing always embarrassed me. I remember going to a work lunch meeting where a baby at the next table was crying. Boom my milk released through the pads and bloomed all over my shirt. MORTIFIED. Can’t say i miss any of it.
I am confused! I had my first child in 1978 and breastfed her for a year. I subsequently had three more children, one more girl and two boys. I breastfed them all for approximately a year. They all weaned themselves. I have never pumped breastmilk. What is the purpose of this? It seems a great inconvenience and much dreaded experience from most of your comments!
1. Some mothers have to work outside of the home & be away from their babies for hours. Pumping & storing milk ensures the baby is fed when it needs to, even if her mommy is away.
2. Other babies struggle to suck from a breast & pumping ensures the baby will still get mother’s milk instead of formula.
3. Some mothers have a – painfully – large supply, pumping helps empty the breasts a bit.
There are more reasons but I hope these 3 can explain why a lot of breast feeding moms also pump. :)
I had decided to wean both my kids, then they weaned themselves before I was ready. No respect.
Seriously, my kids, 14 and almost 17, have been VERY healthy. They did have to have their tonsils out, but I think their susceptibility to strep throat was more physiological than anything else. Breastfeeding is the best gift you can give your child.
“…then they weaned themselves before I was ready. No respect.”
Best comment ever.
Can things be returned?
Where do I get baby blankets from this site?
I nursed my son longer than what was socially acceptable, but I kept it quiet because it was just between us. He is grown and gone now, and the most incredible man child I could have ever prayed for. Our adult relationship is full of great conversation and mutual respect. But I still love to tease him about how long he loved the boob and what a mama’s boy he was.
Joanna Goddard from Cup of Jo wrote a WONDERFUl blog post about her weaning experience. I’m a psychiatrist and I specialize in women’s mental health and especially regarding pregnancy and the time before and after and weaning depression IS A THING. A REAL THING. I also just had it.
Also, LOVE breastfeeding, HATE pumping.
FInally, my little boy just weaned before I was ready 6mos and I feel so sad that I didn’t memorize our last nursing session.
I don’t think a lot of people, in general, warn other mothers about breast feeding and about how hard every aspect of it can be. I just had twins two weeks a go and I feel like ALL I DO is pump. I completely understand feeling like your body is yours again after you wean. It’s this big mix of emotions but man, I always felt like it was such a relief.
I think all your posts are great. You’ve done such an excellent job at keeping your readers up on your life and still showcasing your amazing talent and taste as a designer. Thanks for sharing your life with us. :)
What an amazing post! I’m 7 months in and pumping is literally THE WORST. I have to talk myself into continuing this journey every single day bc I loathe pumping so much. As you said, though, the nursing sessions are awesome. Would you mind sharing how you started the weaning process?
I started pumping more than nursing and got him very comfortable with the bottle. I started replacing one feeding a day with formula and gradually increased it to two bottles while cutting out my mid-day pump. Then slowly cut out my bedtime pump and only gave him bottles and just this week stopped pumping all together. Super slow, too over a month I’d say but I was never uncomfortable and he doesn’t miss the boob at all!
Your timing is impeccable. I have been moody, ready to cry at the drop of a hat and/or rage (which isn’t conducive to my working environment – I’m afraid I may have scared some people :)). I too am in the midst of weening. Holy hell! This is my second and I don’t recall going through this with my first. So thank you for sharing this – you have opened my eyes big time to what is probably causing my weirdness as of late.
Yes, Yes and Yes!
No one talks about the hormone drop. It’s really hard. Maybe this post will help put it out there!
I remember the sadness of weaning and simultaneous relief of my body being ‘mine again’ too (admittedly, the latter is one of the reasons I’m not so excited to try for baby number two). Good job and good luck :)
Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo also experienced weaning-related depression. She had an especially rough time of it and wrote about her experiences on her blog.
So just know you’re not alone! Hang in there.
Great information! It should help any new mothers! What an experience.
Congrats!! Breastfeeding is truly a labor of love. Once I weaned my three kids, I also felt “off” for a few weeks. It definitely rivaled pregnancy mood swings but on a much larger scale. I promise it is SO normal and I warn my girlfriends about it. That being said, kudos to you for making it this long!! I agree with PP that running helps a lot. I only walked when nursing as it was more comfortable. Running was and continues to be a few minutes of “me time” while working in and outside the home.
FREE THE TATAS! I’ve been weening my 11 month old and your post has made me wonder if this is why I’ve been so batty lately. I loved nursing, but had to go longer than I wanted bc baby would not take bottle. She’s now drinking milk from a cup – once she hits 1 my tatas will be free!!!!
Congrats on lasting 9 months! Great job!! Now you have FREEDOM (as Mel Gibson yelled in Braveheart)!!!!
Thank you so much for this. My daughter is 4 months and we’ve made it so far breastfeeding fine, but I HATE pumping. I’m going back to work this week and I’m absolutely dreading pumping. I set my expectations low for breastfeeding since I had friends with so many issues. Now I feel guilty if I don’t pump since I don’t have the supply or latch issues. I just can’t imagine stepping out of a client meeting to pump or lugging the thing on an airplane (I’m in sales.) I too feel like breastfeeding is more personal than anything else in this experience. I’m consistently weirded out when complete strangers ask how breastfeeding is going. Thanks so much for sharing, I feel like it’s a huge help for me in deciding to back off on pumping and just breastfeed morning/evening. That Henry is gorgeous!
I had a very similar experience, and no one told me about it either. How I hated that pump!
Something I learned with my 2nd child: they can learn to drink from a cup rather early, with some assistance. With the first child, we waited too long and it was so much harder for him to learn.
All in all, turning into and being a Mom is an amazing experience, isn’t it?
Besides the horrific hormone deprivation, my hair also falls out (in clumps) when I stop breast feeding. It literally makes me pause every time I take a shower to verify I’m not undergoing chemotherapy. And my husband is so scared of me for a few weeks; he can do nothing right, I become highly critical, and we both end up crying in frustration. Luckily, once we both realized it was all due to my hormones, I was given undivided attention/spa time/extra cuddles. Worked like a charm :)
I applaud you for writing this and for nursing for 9 months. I was on bedrest for my third trimester with my first child (now 6 1/2) and had the supply of a fire hydrant. I went back to work and pumped and schlepped and marveled at how hard and weird it all was. And when I weaned him, I was joyous at having my body back. He is a healthy and wonderful boy, and those emotions are real. You have brought him into the world and given him the best food in the world for so long — and you are awesome. Enjoy having your body back! You have earned it!
This is exactly what happened to me too! And I knew it was going to happen only because of A Cup of Jo ( Joanna Goddard). Thank goodness she wrote about this and warned me.
No one talks about this. So I try to tell all the new moms about this hormonal shift even though it probably scares the crap out of them.
I probably made it a little better by taking a whole 7 weeks to wean my daughter but I still had horrible depression and I was a horrible bitch.
This is something that needs to be told to us by our doctors. Why don’t they warn you?!?!
We mothers wean so many times in our lives….this is the first. It is all right. Do what works, be kind to yourself and that energy will be felt by your beautiful family. Take care of yourself mama!
Erin- I just got all weepy reading this post. I’m still going strong nursing my little one at 23 months old. I took vigorous notes in my breastfeeding class while pregnant and set out to nurse until age 2, but was emotionally okay to give it up earlier if my body or baby decided. Welp, here we are. A journey it has been. Mastitis (so sorry sore booby sister that you too lived through this) and a little one who refused a bottle (as in never took one, ever!). I continued pumping and ended up donating my pumped milk to mothers/babies in the NICU in need of breast milk. It was a rewarding journey with many ups (that ultimate bond as she twirls my hair and now strokes my face while nursing and many downs (prisoner until she took a sippy cup and the nightmare of continuing to try bottles until I just decided it wasn’t for us). I truly celebrate every parent for however they feed their children, but damn, I’m proud I’ve made it this far and so proud of you too. Thank you for this post.
With my first baby we cruised through 9 months of breast feeding with my second (plus 2 step sons) I came down with a horrendous case of Mastitis and looked like I had committed a murder on the way home from a Christmas trip to visit my mother in law… my button down was covered in blood and the look of horror on my husbands face was now priceless but at the time made me wish it was him! I tried and tried and finally my mother gave the baby a bottle which she took like a champ at 9 weeks old while I took a hot 30 minute shower …. I never looked back. It’s different for every mom and every baby ! Thanks for sharing … Your honesty is always refreshing!
I stopped nursing at six months and gave myself a few weeks for the hormones to right themselves. Im still not back to normal and I recently ‘conceded’ I have PPAD. (Why do we try and ‘suffer through’? Why is it so disappointing to say its PPAD? I don’t know!) I’m overwhelmed with 4 kids and overwhelmed with the day to day basics that go with them (even going to the grocery store alone – which used to feel like a mini vacation!). Thanks for talking about Post Partum issues. I think many women feel they simply come with the territory of being a mom – the result of prolonged sleep-deprivation and putting everyone else before themselves. But there is a healthy balance in there, somewhere; it’s just tricky to determine what that is for each of us. Good job looking out for yourself. I think I can say that for myself, now, too :)
You are an incredibly gifted and witty writer.
I thoroughly enjoy your posts.
Erin–I’ve been following your motherhood journey this year. Henry and my little guy are just a few weeks apart. NO ONE told me about the post weaning hormone effing roller coaster. I was perfectly happy but then went into days of despair after I stopped pumping. I cried and cried, had unbelievable anxiety and couldn’t figure out who or what had stolen every ounce of energy from me. Thankfully it passed within a few days and I returned back to my “new normal.”
I too have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. I got multiple yeast infections in my right breast while nursing my now 3.5 year old. It feels like chards of glass in your nipple….good times! But I kept at it because I knew it was best for my baby. I also had a lot of crazy emotions when I weaned him at 15 months. Now I have a 5 week old and am back on the nursing train. Thankfully it’s much easier this time around but it is hard that you are basically stuck being the only one who can feed your baby at times (my oldest never took a bottle and my second is threatening to do the same). Gosh motherhood is hard! Good thing it’s worth it!
oh wow! so glad to know this. my two year old pretty much loves the boob and bc i work from home, i’ve never had to pump. still, i did experience PPD so i’ll be on the lookout for hormone swings when we wean…hopefully in the very very near future!
you’re a rock star for all that pumping!! hope your mood stabilizes soon :) this whole process is bananas isn’t it? i can’t wait for the posts when Henry can talk…
Joanna Goddard (Cup of Jo) wrote about having a very similar experience. Totally normal, but oddly never discussed.
Thank you for writing this real and relatable post. I had mastitis twice and it was awful! I highly recommend baby’s only lacto-sensitive formula. We tried 4 or 5 different formulas before landing on that one. From my research, there is no perfect formula, but it has a lot of the good stuff and very little of the bad. Also, try using cabo cream to soothe as you wean. It was a cooling life-saver !
You are almost at the ten month mark, I usually warn new Mother’s of slight relapse of pp around that time. Not saying you have it but I remember both times with my two kids (now almost 7 & 4) that I thought I had it together and then crying at totally random times and losing my temper all the time.
Hormones are a killer. Also, heat works well when the ache of not breastfeeding starts to set in.
But, martinis… Martinis are back in game! Cheers.
Cried every day of weaning (which I think I stretched out too long). This is what I warn all my new mom friends about because I had thought the hormone rollercoaster was behind us! Thank god for husbands, friends, and moms who can always cheer us on during the lows!
Omg. No one warned me about the hormone drop while weaning either. It was HORRIBLE!!! I weaned in the middle of insanity at work, my husband transitioning jobs, my mom having a major health problem because I thought it would be easier not to live around pumping and feeding. But, holy crap, I was a wreck. I had no clue either what was wrong with me until I googled. There should seriously be a PSA.
Your story is mine, and so many others. This is how it goes, all normal I promise, and yes the hormones are playing a huge factor here. Nursing was an emotional roller coaster for me as well. A total love / hate relationship 100 percent. But, I did it twice, and I would do it twice, all over again.
This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for me. Thank you for this!!
** Literally pumping at my desk as I write this. **
Thank you for sharing Erin! I am not a mom, nor do I plan to be, but I find these posts really interesting (shared w/a breast feeding mom friend) and always appreciate your honest, intelligent and good-humored approach to these real life topics.
Ahhh the weaning! It’s as strange and hormonal as the beginning! I broke out like a 13 year old boy when I quit. Seriously, my son’s first birthday pictures are a great reminder or my pizza face. Good for you for lasting 9 months and now the ability to get a little hammered!
Yes! I had almost the exact same experiences (except the easy latching). Pumping in the bathroom stall at LAX while on a business trip with the toilet auto-flush going off and soaking my pants – that was a favorite! But through the difficulties was the magic of motherhood. I am still in awe of that period of time. And those last weeks were so tearful, weaning was much harder for me than for my daughter, one of many fleeting moments of parenthood.
Thank you so much for being so honest in your posts about motherhood! I have dealt with anxiety all my life, as well, and now that I’m pregnant your posts have been invaluable to me in making me feel less alone/scared. You seem to be doing a wonderful job and it is so refreshing to hear someone speak candidly about the issues all mothers go through. :)
Oh, gosh. I had forgotten about that! It’s such a weird thing, you are so excited to be FREE of nursing/pumping but also the hormones are crazy.
I agree with the breast-pump thing. I have pumped in the most uncomfortable, dirty places. Yuck!
I was thrilled to sell my breast pump when I was all done.
Good luck, I hope it all gets better soon!
Not sure of your circumstance with BC but I was on a low hormone one that I used while nursing and then stayed on after I stopped. Once I stopped, it was giving me major issues….twice a month showings, major weakness throughout my body, extreme tiredness, etc. I had blood work done and nothing showed up…came to find out that I needed a higher dose of hormone in order to regulate all the changes. total difference maker! just wanted to mention it in case something similar happens to you or any of your readers.
So enlightening!! I am 22weeks pregnant and absolutely petrified of breast feeding-this post has really put my mind at ease somewhat!!! Thanks x
This rings completely true! I am the mom of a 10month old, and just stopped nursing. I’ve been exclusively pumping since JANUARY and I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to be completely free of it all. I can relax after dinner and not have to get the pump out while unwinding from a long day! The SWEATING, weird bouts of nausea, joint pain, and emotions have been enough for me to call it quits with my new bff Mr. MEDELA.
I also had an over supply issue which was both a blessing and a curse, so I completely understand where you’re coming from. While I’ve felt completely lucky to have an excess amount of milk, the pain and constant clogged ducts (taking the highest dose of letchin for months) came with a whole other set of issues.
You nailed it when you mentioned how joyous and bittersweet it has been to end this stage! It took me a long time to accept the fact that I’m not the only one that can nourish my child. That, was a hard pill to swallow for me.
Regardless, I feel reassured that I’m not a crazy person for feeling extra nutty these past few weeks and thanks for the fellow mom support!
P.S. I’m so excited to finally sleep on my belly again!!
My motto was, “Breastfeeding…there is nothing natural about it.” I had to use a nipple guard, and feigned ignorance when pumping during conference calls when someone complained about the background noise. Yet, I list it as one of my top three accomplishments besides becoming a mother and passing the bar exam.
Funny how basic stuff like breastfeeding and caregiving/work balance/giving up work tasks for child rearing and vice versa are such sensitive, politically -charged topics, even amount like-minded people. What does that say about the pressure put on women to be everything to everyone at all times?!!Def give yourself huge pat on back for sticking it out!! I remember pumping and dumping in SO many awful places, like ER when I contracted pleurisy during breastfeeding) and bawling my eyes out. Unfortunately our society (Penn Sta-yuk!) is not breastfeeding/working mom-friendly and kudos for role modelling and sharing your stories..def SO nice to know we are not alone in what can sometimes be so harrowing of an experience. And you are not alone with the pregnancy nightmares!!! lol.
So totally relate on every level! What formula have you been using?
Henry was tricky with teh whole milk protein thing (which may not even be a thing) sow e tried a bunch and he seems to like/tolerate Gerber Soothe the best. May try switching him to another one soon as I don’t love that it’s not organic- I know Babies Only is supposed to be amazing.
Earths best sensitive is amazing. Organic and was gentle on my little ones extremely sensitive tummy.
Also transition to cows milk is horrible if he has milk issues. My little one was tested for protoen issues etc. they found nothing but it still took a good two months to adjust to it.
Yup, Henry has constipation issues too and I read Soothe was the best for that, which is why I tried it. :)
We used Gerber Soothe and loved it, then tried to switch to Honest Company organic and dealt with horrible constipation. Same with Holle. So we’re back to our non-organic Gerber- better than dealing with a crying, constipated baby!
Honest Company has a formula now, too, that’s organic. If I have a next time around and need to supplement/eventually switch to formula, I’ll probably try that. I haven’t heard from anyone who has used it, though, but just thought I’d throw it out there.
Just to give you young Mother’s a “heads up”, sometimes one’s Thyroid changes after having a baby. It’s often not noticed immediately because of all the other changes taking place. Your body goes through additional changes when weaning a child. So if these symptoms persist, have your Thyroid checked. It only takes a minute and is done through a simple blood test (ask for a full panel screening). You will be glad you did!
Thanks! I had a short bout of slow thyroid when pregnant but then it went back to normal so I will have it checked again!
Pumping was definitely the worst. I travel a lot for work and have experienced some pretty terrible airport bathrooms, among other places (p.s. Tampa airport ranks as worst ever for me). Regarding the “feeling like your body is yours” point – that definitely was a liberation after I stopped nursing. But in hindsight, with both of my kids, it took a full 6 months for hormones to normalize. And not coincidentally, I also noticed the metabolism boost that I got from nursing dropped at exactly the same time six months post-weaning. Just be warned! :)
I had the luxury of working from home, so I didn’t have to pump. I sometimes sat at the computer with the baby nursing to meet deadlines, but that wasn’t that bad.
I nursed for two years. After the introduction of foods around 6 months, the nursing became a supplement rather than the main course. It was mostly about bonding, relaxation and antibodies. My kid rarely got sick and was in primary school before having antibiotics. Even chicken pox was very mild–so mild we recently did a blood test to make sure there wouldn’t be a risk of catching it later.
The appearance of teeth was an issue for about a day. Amazing how fast they adapt when food is at stake.
For me, I loved the bonding and the easy weight loss (it’s like liposuction!). But even with just nursing a little at night and not even every day at the end, I got the blues big time when we stopped for real.
It’s definitely the weaning. I’m going through it too. If you start to feel anxious or depressed, know that it is the weaning, too, and it will pass. Not to scare you, but I find it helps to know and be mentally prepared.
For people that deal with depression and anxiety, and probably a lot of women, the breastfeeding and pregnancy hormones seem to provide mental well-being and stability. I think the weaning is also similar to the beginning of pregnancy. I’ve had nausea after eating, headaches and major back pain. I even took a pregnancy test.
You may have none of this, though, of course. Congrats on your new freedom!
Thank you for this post. My baby is almost two months and this whole breastfeediing thing has been surprising to say the least. I had such negative thoughts about it before and I must say I enjoy the time we spend together. As an “overproducer,” I feel your pain and know that relief the pump will provide. It’s incredible! Thank you again for opening up about the weaning process!
Absolutely had postpartum from weaning. It’s a huge hormone crash.
Check out cup of jo- Joanna talks about the same thing. It was because of her post that I realized I had mild postpartum while I was decreasing pumping/ breastfeeding with my first.
My daughter is just a couple weeks older than Henry, and I’m dreading the post-nursing hormone roller coaster. I remember Joanna Goddard wrote about it after her first son, and it was the first and only time I’ve ever heard of it. There are SO MANY things no one ever tells you about with motherhood! Thanks for being so open about it, and sharing your experience. I’ve been reading your blog for years, and it’s been fun to see your life change and grow!
Amen…holy amen! It’s amazing and glorious and rough all at the same time. Totally thought I was the only one with the nightmares waking up to body sweat, omg the memories!
Not that you want advice but I would start water, “juice” (almond milk for us) in a sippy cup and keep going with your bottles of milk. I found that keeping the sippy cup different was “fun” and exciting too and hopefully an easy transition to cups when you’re ready as well! Well done, Mama.
UGH the pump…. Congrats on making it so long nursing!
I remember with my first son feeling so liberated when we weaned at around the same time, 9/10 months…. but i don’t remember too many hormonal issues. mostly just felt freeeeeeeee.
My little man is 10 months now and we’re starting to wind down, this is my last baby so I feel like i’m going to be more sad this time around, but i WILL NOT miss my g-d pump at work… i’m hoping the hormones don’t throw me for too much of a loop.
That henry is ONE. CUTE. BABY.
I lasted five months until my participation in the weekend-long wedding party of a dear friend screwed up my schedule too much and I just couldn’t get my supply back enough to carry on. I hated quitting in a way because the bonding is great, but the feeling of liberation when I finally decided to stop was exhilarating!
Perfectly written and how a good majority of us nursing/pumping moms have felt! BTW – if you haven’t seen the movie Bad Moms yet – plan a night out ASAP. Most hilarious & relate-able movie I’ve ever seen!
oh the pump…. pumping at work as I read this! Really enjoyed reading this post as it echoes the complicated feelings towards feeding we all have! I hope you feel better soon and enjoy all those fabulous non-nursing bras and clothes :-)
Random in case you need this in the future (or anyone else reading) – I found a service like stitch fix called Mama’s Milk Box, and it sends you a box of fun nursing tops to try on – good for pumping at work too!
Pumping is the worst. My son always preferred a bottle because my flow was slow and I never produced enough and I supplemented early on. I was exclusively pumping but would nurse in the morning for bonding time. This worked for a bit but as he got bigger and hungrier he would get so frustrated and flail and cry. It was the worst thing to watch him go crazy on my breast because I could not provide fast enough. Then I switch to exclusively pumping for all sessions and I agree knowing that I had to plan my schedule just right or wanting to go to bed but remembering that I forgot to pump – it was just exhausting. I nursed for just shy of 6 months. I was so worn out and depleted I just needed a break and have some time for myself. I will warm you that my period came back the week after I stopped pumping. I had a few painful clogged ducts while weaning and then they came back when I got my period which was really strange. Also, just a suggestion, if you end up having another, keep the pump you used for Henry and keep that as a designated work pump. I did that with my son and it helped a lot to not have to lug it everywhere. I would just bring the parts back and forth.
Did you wean Henry off breast feeding and the bottle ? Is he totally drinking from a cup? He is adorable and I really enjoy your photos and your sense of humor.
No! Bottles only right now.
I had three babies in three years, each time getting pregnant while still nursing the last one, so when I finally weaned the last one at 11 months or so, the hormone crash was unbearable. I found myself in a deep depression that required lots of love and care for a while. I found running outside the most helpful. And after a few months (sorry, it took that long for me), I finally regulated and felt like myself again. That last switch of the hormones is not for the faint of heart. Lace up your running shoes and head outside and be kind to yourself. You are not alone!
This echoes so so many of these feelings and experiences I had!! Thank you for lending an honest and humorous voice to it!