Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Weaning and Mastitis

This post is all about boobs. Feel free to skip right over it. Weaning Liam was quite the process. I couldn't find any good information on the internet similar to my experience, so that is why I am writing this.

I had originally planned on weaning Liam around his first birthday, but he wasn't eating much solid food or drinking much whole cows milk by then and he was so skinny that I didn't want to deprive him of calories and nutrients. There always seemed to be a reason to wait a little longer. I really wanted him to be finished nursing by our vacation to California though, so I started cutting back on his nursing sessions around Thanksgiving. (Liam was 13 months old at the time.) By early December, he was down to just nursing once right before bed. December 8th was the last time that I breastfed him. He was 13 months and 13 days old. If you are counting, I was a milk machine for 409 days.

That's when the trouble started. Even though I weaned him slowing, I got a terrible case of mastitis. On December 13th, I was so weak and nauseated that I took a pregnancy test just to make sure that it was just from weaning. I got a fever that night. I had a really hard time eating or drinking, too. I consulted some of my mommy friends and they all suggested putting cabbage in my bra. It helped a little, but not enough.

On December 15th, I started to get an upset stomach in addition to all of the other symptoms. Dan was really helpful with Liam and I was able to rest, but I continued to get worse. That night, my temperature spiked to 103.8. Dan dropped Liam off at his brother's house and took me to the hospital.

At the hospital, I started throwing up. I got an iv and antibiotics and the doctor prescribed my a course of antibiotics and ibuprofen. I felt much better as soon as I had fluids back in my system. I rested for the next few days. The doctor also recommended pumping, which I tried not to do until December 17th when I couldn't stand it anymore. I quit producing milk after that.

I finished my antibiotics on Christmas day.

Let's just say there won't be anymore string bikinis in my future and leave out any further descriptions.

On the bright side, Liam started sleeping through the night the first night that I didn't nurse him. Even though I had long since stopped feeding him anything during the night, I think nursing once a day was confusing for him. He didn't seem to miss it much once we were totally done. His appetite has also improved a great deal. He loves his sippy cup, sandwiches, Cheerios, oranges and Goldfish. Liam also goes down in his crib wide awake. He fusses for a bit, but not too long.

I really am grateful that I was able to breastfeed Liam for as long as I did. I never really minded the quite, peaceful nursing sessions at night. If I could do it all over again, I think I would have pumped more and fed him bottles earlier and more often so that he would be use to them and I could have occasional breaks.

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