--YOU KNOW YOU KNEAD IT--

Tag: weaning

No lemon aid & thanks for all the fish

After nightweaning Small Z for the final time in January, the month of my utter fatigue, I thought that moving house and the associated weirdness of all that would account for the first chunk of February or so. I didn’t want to make any other big changes to Small Z’s soundtrack over that time.

However. For the past few weeks I have been trying to wean her from the boobaramas. Full stop. Of course, I have done some research, spoken to an ABA counsellor (they are G-O-L-D) and tried to do it as gently as possible. Small Z, as anyone who has read this blog for a while, was the ultimate booby-fixated baby. She is now two, and remains exactly the same. I had naive hope that she would wean herself. Nope. Nada. Never. Not. Going. To. Happen.

So it was fairly easy to cut out the feeds that were not sleep related. There weren’t many of them. But, for the past week or so I have been refusing to feed her for the midday nap, saying that the boobies needed to rest for her feed at nighttime. Ohhh. The yelling. The begging. The hours that my patience has elastically stretched over. Extraordinary.

M read somewhere that people have had success spiking their boobs with lemon juice. Mmmm. That worked the first time. After that, she got a taste for it. And then there was the day when I had washed the girls in bicarb as a preventative measure (click if you must), later added the lemon juice and in doing so created some kind of energetically fizzing chemical reaction that scared me so much that I did much plunging of my top half into a basin full of water, wishing that I had paid more attention in chemistry. I had to speak to my only chemically qualified contact in order to establish nothing was going to explode.

So then I tried garlic. Why would I bother trying garlic on someone whose favourite food is hardcore pesto? Call it blind hope. She lapped it up. Yesterday? I went for the most disgusting thing I could think of. I don’t mean just what I happened to have on hand. I mean the most disgusting liquid that I. Could. Think. Of. If you do any thai cooking, you’ll know right away. Fish sauce. How revolting is that? I applied it liberally to the girls while holding my breath. Ugh.

I think Small Z lives in a state of olfactory denial. She did not react ONE iota to the stench of fish sauce on the girls. She had one, then the other. No reaction. Nothing. How is this possible? She is very good with smells – she can pick lavender, rose, orange. If you walk into a fish shop that is stinky (something a good fish shop should never be) she shrieks and demands to be removed immediately.

L suggested that stuff that you put on for nailbiting, as did M. However, I have decided today that it is all at an end. After tonight, I will SHUT IT DOWN (I can hear my mother – who weaned us three at nine months – breathing her relief from miles away). I cannot go further than fish sauce. Before I had Small Z, I never imagined breastfeeding past six months. I made declarations like “I will never feed anything with teeth” and sneeringly said “I am never going to feed something that walks”. Is there anything more humbling than parenthood? In my case, it has taught me not to be such a judgemental fucker about something of which I have zero experience.

So yeah. Start spreading the news…they’re leaving today…they’ll no longer be a part of it…the boobs, the boobs…
And a big welcome to a whole new round of sleep deprivation and yelling. It WILL be worth it.

Don’t cry over spilt…

I’m at the start of day six of weaning Small DB. It continues to be h-a-r-d. The 5am wake ups have sapped my non-feeding stamina. Dealing with a tired Small DB who spends a good part of her day pleading for “my fwiend the boobies…my fwiends the boobies are bwoken…” is soul sapping…

It doesn’t help that the girls are full, sore and ready to save the lives of babies everywhere. I’m chomping down sage…raw…with no appreciable effect.

The weaning has prompted Small DB to have earth-shattering tantrums. Of the sort where she has to be put in an area where she is unlikely to hurt herself. (Yeah mum, I’m torturing the kids again, look away now…) She screams and screams and screams and screams…she’s not screaming to be fed, she’s screaming because she’s tired…so tired…and the comfort she’s had access to from birth whenever she’s feeling out of sorts is denied her 🙁

I have to just stand aside. She won’t be interfered with. I’m not even allowed to look at her. It is so desperately dispiriting to feel like I am the cause of my gorgeous two-year-old lying on the ground writhing and screaming, “Don’t look at me. DON’T LOOK AT ME!.” If I leave the room, she continues. If I stand there, she continues. All I can do is just be present and wait it out… and then she’ll come to me, and collapse…

I hope this is fucking worth it. I would far prefer to feed Small DB until she weaned of her own volition, but I just can’t go on feeling so leached – running on a cocktail of vitamins because my body appears incapable of producing milk AND iron/magnesium/calcium etc. etc. Let me advise anyone out there with this scenario in the future – MAKE SURE YOU DON’T EMBARK ON THE WEAN AT THE SAME TIME YOU’RE ABOUT TO HIT SOME PMT…it will make you second guess yourself, feel doubly bad…the works. Just saying…

Milk Bar = Closed.

Small DB has not breastfed for a week. She had her two-year-old check up with the health nurse (the good one) the other day. She asked how I was and I confessed to staggeringly sore mega-boobs. She suggested I express as much as I could to alleviate the OW! factor and keep chomping down the sage. I didn’t cry, but I was wet-eyed. This shit is hard. She passed the tissues.

I went home and did as she suggested. Five ounces later, I offered the milk to Small DB, expecting her to pounce upon it like a small and ravenous lion. She was absolutely uninterested. In fact, she requested “the other mama-drink” – kefir. Sigh. There was no way I was going to waste the boobjuice…

Don’t be offended when I tell you that I threw it in a smoothie with some yoghurt, raw egg and honey. It was undetectable – but anyway, in case you don’t know, breastmilk is very sweet. I’m assuming that’s the last time I’ll ever pump, and the last time I’ll ever taste it. I feel a combination of disquiet and ambivalence.

The 5.30am starts continue. I am seriously considering covering all the windows in the bedroom with tinfoil to block out the light that inevitably leaks through the blackout curtains. I’m wondering whether the experiment would be worth the effort…


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