Just a few months ago I weaned my second, and probably last, baby. I expected it to be no big deal. My baby and I had been slowly working toward this moment for about a month. My milk supply was slowly decreasing and my baby was getting frustrated with breastfeeding and expressing a clear preference for the bottle. "I've done this before," I told myself. "No problem!" I even planned a trip so that I could make a clean break, which I thought would be easier for both of us.
In fact, I was so confident that I wasn't even planning on bringing my pump on my trip. I didn't want to send my body the wrong signals about continuing production. And I had a set of TendHer Pillows for pain relief and a plan to do some expressing in the shower. Easy, right? Thank goodness for good friends who asked incredulously, "Um, are you SURE you might not need to pump?!" I tucked it into my suitcase, "just in case," never intending to use it. And then I landed in New York. Day 1 = Fun girl time. Day 2 = Fun shopping time. Day 3 = Sore boobs, engorged, and at least one plugged duct. OUCH!!! Thank goodness for my TendHer Pillows. I was using them either warm or cold about 3 times per day to allow let-down, warm-up the plugged duct prior to massage, and then cool down the sore areas. And thank goodness for my pump! I might not have made it through without both of these tools.
So, physically, weaning was difficult - and a bit of a surprise. But I think the bigger surprise was how hard it was emotionally. I was an "experienced" mom and was really proud of my little independent baby. I was ready to have my body back, all for myself. Wasn't I? As I struggled with the physical pain of weaning, I realized that I was sad. I hadn't really said goodbye to breastfeeding, hadn't (even mentally) celebrated that last time. So when I found I still had a little supply left when I got home, I fed her again. Every night for about a week. And it was wonderful and special and I really cherished every moment. And then she was weaned - and I felt better physically and emotionally.