I promise the NYC trip is next on the topic of discussion. It just requires the download and file-size reduction of many photographs. But I didn’t want to forget to write about this one aspect of the last several days. You all know that I have a weaning plan and what not. I always assumed it would be me encouraging Jack to wean instead of him letting me know he was ready.
Starting early last week, Jack stopped nursing when I got home from work. Rather he would start nursing, suck a couple of times and then squirm away to go play. The first day I just figured he was full. The second I figured he was distracted. On Thursday I was starting to wonder if it was a sign he was ready for the next weaning step. He still liked to nurse before bed and in the morning. Maybe he was ready for the next step.
On Friday, I nursed him in the morning as usual. Then tried again on the plane….three times. No go. When we arrived at the airport to meet my MIL, I decided I should try once more just to see, because he was about to be in the car for 2 hours and he hadn’t eaten in about 6 hours, so he had to be hungry. Not having it again. Luckily I had taken some frozen milk and thought to start de-frosting one of them near the end of our flight…..that in and of itself was pretty hilarious.
So we were getting close and I was like ‘fuck how to warm this up quick?’ obviously running it under hot water on an airplane is a little out of the question….what else is warm? I proceeded to put the frozen milk between my thighs, in the small of my back, under my arm (obviously outside the shirt) and rotate it around finding warm portions of my skin. I started out just holding it in my hands, but realized Jack was going to be pissed if my hands were freezing when we arrived. Anyway, there is an on-the-go trick you never thought you might need.
After my failed attempt at the airport, I filled him a bottle and said my goodbyes.
On Sunday I pumped in the morning and saved it. We had been dumping all weekend. Let me just tell you how heartbreaking that was. As someone who is trying to give their child every bit of breast milk they can coax out of their tits, the first time I tipped that bottle into the sink my heart went with it. But there was no way to save it all. No freezer available. But I saved Sunday mornings, grabbed the ice bucket liner, filled it with ice, plopped my bag in the middle and tied it off.
Luckily I was smart enough to put the bag on the outside pocket of my suitcase. I realized the ice bucket liner was thin as shit and if it melted in my bag….well I was headed home anyway, but still. Just before we got on the shuttle to go to the airport, someone stopped me to let me know my bag was leaking water. I pulled it out, tore open the bag and pulled out my milk. It was still cold. Score.
Normally I would have pumped again before I met up with my MIL and Jack, but I wanted to be full, in case he was ready to nurse. The I made the mistake of putting my pump in my suitcase and checking it at the ticket counter. Oops.
We sat down to eat and Jack started getting a little of the hunger fusses. I pulled out my nursing cover and he was clawing at me like ‘give me your boob already!’. It was exciting. Yes! this is happening! ALRIGHT! He latched on for a second, squirmed, cried, flailed around, sat up. I tried to ease him back down. Repeat upset flailing. Mother effer! I pulled out the bag of milk and we asked for a warm cup of water from our server….btw our server ignored us for a bit after coming over while I was attempting to get my boob in Jack’s mouth. Not sure how much he saw. I choose to believe very little, but that poor man might be scarred forever.
As we were waiting for the water, Jack continued to fuss for food. It was written all over my face how distraught I was. I mean I know we are eeking up to 11 months, but I really wasn’t even thinking this would happen until after he turned a year. Was he really done with breastfeeding besides bedtime and in the morning? I tried not to be upset. But I was. It was stupid……and it is easy to say it was stupid in hindsight.
We were still waiting for the water when I was trying to think of the possibilities. The most likely: 1 – he is teething and it hurts to latch. 2 – he is overly stimulated. 3 – he hates being under the nursing cover. I was in pain. My right boob had a clot that only he was going to be able to get out. My pump was on its way to the plane. I had to try again. So I took him to the bathroom. Latched the stall door and tried again. At first it was the same stuff. Latch for a second. Squirm back, whine, and flail. He wanted to stand and touch the toilet paper dispenser. I’d let him do that, then laid him back down and tried to re-latch him. He’d pull away, want to stand up and look at the tile on the wall. I would let him do that, then lay him back down. Repeat. After a little while he seemed to be satisfied with seeing all there was to see in the bathroom stall and he LATCHED!!!!! Oh sweet jesus. I couldn’t have been happier. And he DRANK! We sat in that stall for a good 30 minutes while he emptied my right engorged and painful side and then the left.
I let him nurse as long as he wanted. Knowing that my MIL was sitting at our table, no doubt our food had arrived and my salmon was getting cold, I didn’t give a fuck. This was one of the happiest moments of my breastfeeding career and that says a lot when there are people taking a crap nearby. I looked down into those bright blue gorgeous baby eyes and reconnected with my little man. I couldn’t say it out loud, because it would have been weird to hear someone saying ‘oh thank you!’ in a bathroom stall, but I tried to express how thankful I was.
Maybe it was a sign he is ready to pull back a bit. Or maybe he was just taking a little vacation. He ended up nursing again on the plane-ride home. I was pleasantly surprised about that one. So it is possible maybe he was just overly stimulated, probably has a lot to do with his teeth. But I have to say, I was really close to taking it as a sign that he was ready to wean from the day-boob. I am really glad that I didn’t give up. Especially because giving up would have meant me bent over the sink in the airport bathroom yesterday with tears rolling down my cheeks as I tried to milk myself. I can think of very few people who would want to see that.