I had posted awhile back that I was pretty certain Will was starting to self-wean. It's been three weeks since that post, and we are down to only one "real" feed in the morning.
He enthusiastically latches on for the first feed of the day, gulps his milk down in less than ten minutes a side, and that's it. I am still trying to nurse him when he gets up from his morning and afternoon naps, and he is having none of it. He will latch on half-heartedly and then bob off and on for a few minutes or do the taffy-pull with my nipples as he looks around the room for something more exciting. . . which is pretty much anything these days. He has been having a bottle at the bedtime feed since he was a newborn and he is barely taking 4 ounces from that bottle anymore and that's only if M really forces the issue. He is eating his regular solid meals like a champ, including drinking water from a cup, so I think he is just done.
When we were away from Will and I pumped at those times, I only got two ounces of milk from both breasts, so I am not sure if it is a case of chicken vs. egg, but my supply is pretty much non-existent past the 7 AM feed.
I gave some thought to trying to pump and get my supply back up, but I think it's just forcing my body to do something that he is trying to give up. I know self-weaning is normal and that it is actually better for me emotionally that he is choosing to end this relationship. If he was still All About the Boob, I would have a hard time taking it away from him and probably would nurse him longer than I wanted to and possibly become resentful.
So. . . with a lot of emotions flooding through me, M and I have come to the decision that we will not force the issue (as if we could, right?).
I am officially dropping the afternoon feed as of today, though I will still try to get the last morning feed in for another week, then drop that, too. We will just be down to the one feed until he loses interest in it or his 1 year birthday, whichever comes first. I am going to stop pumping milk during the evening feed and we will just use what we have in the freezer and then phase that last bottle out as well, probably in the next month, or earlier, if he chooses.
This way, the memories are positive and the experience was good. Should we be blessed with another baby, I would definitely want to try breastfeeding again. I am so glad that I did it, that I stuck through it during the bleeding nipples, jaundice scares, the up-every-hour nights, and everything else. It wasn't always easy, but I am so glad for the experience. I know that we had it easy and that it isn't possible for everyone to do it, but it worked for us, and I am so grateful.
If you haven't yet left your parenting advice, please do so at this post. I am really enjoying reading everyone's comments. I am going to type them all up and put them in a cute little book for her. Thank you for your insight!