Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Lopsided priorities?

Although my breasts have never weighed heavily on me, the subject of breasts is weighing heavily on me these days. One reason is because of my friend's difficulties, which I mentioned before. But another is because I'm considering weaning Nutmeg by the end of this month.

The reason I might wean her is not because I think that toddlers shouldn't be nursing. I think they should, and I always intended to nurse Nutmeg at least until her second birthday, unless she was one of the few babies who lose interest on their own. The WHO recommends nursing until age 2. And I love nursing Nutmeg, and the pediatrician says she's still benefiting by getting antibodies through the breastmilk. Which would help explain why other people's toddlers are always sick and ours almost never is (the main reason is that she doesn't go to daycare).

The thing is, my friend Bert has invited me to go to the Dominican Republic with her for a week. She used to be in the Peace Corps there, and has lots of local friends that we'd be visiting, so it would be a really neat opportunity as well as a fun getaway. My parents happen to be coming to town around then, and they said they wouldn't mind helping Epu take care of Nutmeg if I go away.

I'm not afraid Nutmeg wouldn't be able to cope without me for a week. She was separated from her father for four days on our recent trip and she barely asked about him at all. She'd be with her daddy and grandparents and I think she'd be fine. But I just don't know if we are ready to wean. And there's no way I would put her through going a week without nursing and then let her go back on the breast, only to have to do it all over again later. Besides, there's no way I'm going to pump while in the DR.

Maybe I should take a vote. Do you think going on a trip is a dumb reason to wean a baby? There are so many decisions and worries facing our household lately, that I feel like I just can't decide anything. Especially something like this. The worst part is, if I were to stop nursing at the end of the month, I should really start eliminating feedings now.

There is one other reason that weaning now would be nice. I've gotten totally lopsided. My left side has all but shut down production since we have always favored the right. And how long do I really want to walk around with the opposite of a BLT, as they called it in Rocky Horror Picture Show?

OK, and a break from my handwringing to report something really awesome happening in our lives: Hazel's BFF (best friend forever), Eliot, is going to join our sharecare situation one day a week. For months, I posted ads for our nanny and met other parents who never ended up joining our share, and I stressed over the fact that I was paying more than we can afford for solo care on the days the Sharebear doesn't come. Now we'll have sharecare both days, because Eliot's mommy is going back to school and has classes all day on Thursdays. They get childcare without having to look for it, we both save money, the Nanny earns more, and, best of all, Nutmeg and Eliot get to play together all day once a week! As Nutmeg says all the time now, "Yay!"


Kori said...

Well, I'm in no position to tell you what to do with your feedings, as tomorrow I'm 2 weeks past delivery, and I'm already thinking about throwing in the towel and relying solely on pumping for as long as I can make any milk. Agonizing breast pain will do that to a person, as will low supply, incorrect latch-on, a screaming baby at each feeding...well, you get the idea.

I will say, though, that I was breastfed until I was 18 mos. old, and my mom said that the transition was really pretty smooth. I ask to breastfeed, and one day she said, "I'm sorry, honey, but you drank it all gone. There's no more milk." Apparently, I walked away, perfectly happy with her explanation, and she went in the bedroom and cried. I didn't ask to nurse again, and she weaned me. Hopefully, whenever you decide to wean, it will go that quickly and easily.

And don't forget to buy some cabbage for your bra. I hear it's supposed to help with discomfort when you're ready to stop.

Notta Wallflower said...

Like Kori, I am in no position to tell you what to do. However, since you have asked for opinions, I'll give you mine - just realize that I may not have any better answer than you do. First of all, go with your friend Bert on a trip. Have you ever been away from Nutmeg for that long? If not, it will do you good to go on a trip where you are just taking care of yourself, especially since Epu and your parents will be there to take care of Nutmeg. Contrary to what some people believe, no, you are not selfsh for wanting some time away. Nutmeg has already benefitted from 14 or so months of nursing, which is more than most children get. I guess my point is that it's great to have a plan, but what is the major dilemma if you deviate from it slightly?

Carrie said...

Yeah, I know Nutmeg would be fine and content with Epu and my parents. But I just didn't feel ready to wean and one week of fun for a whole year of nursing didn't seem like a good trade-off.