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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Moody Jess

*I apologize in advance to the male readers: This post discusses girly bits...and probably not in the way you wish it would.*

About 6 weeks ago, we decided to begin transitioning Norah from breatfeeding to formula. There were several reasons for this, but at the heart of it, I was sick of pumping. Lugging the pump back and forth to work, getting up at 4 am to pump, pumping before bed, keeping track of the frozen breastmilk, well, it just all started to feel like a chore. Norah was more than 6 months old at that point, and I knew it would take awhile to fully transition to formula, so while I did have reservations about fully switching from breastmilk to formula, I also felt completely fine with the choice (discussing this could take up a full post on its own, but I want to try and remain as concise as possible).

So, slowly, I started cutting out one feeding at a time, starting with that 4 am pumping session. And, gradually, we used up the frozen breastmilk and began using formula (which Norah took to just fine); and, bit-by-bit, I cut down on the actual breastfeeding until finally, about two weeks ago, she had her last boob-feeding and made her full transition to formula. The gradual approach worked well -- it took a long time, but I didn't have to suffer through any painfully engorged boobs or wacko hormones.

But...I still experienced a huge hormone shift. (Yeeeahhh, kinda explains my whole "wanting to pull the plug on the whole blog business" doesn't it?) It was like a serious case of PMS. It didn't help that this coincided with the post-spring break-blues and the post-slew-of-races-blues. And anxiety about Jerry-being-out-of-town-blues. So, it would be understatement to say that for the past few weeks, I have been feeling a bit outta sorts.

Then, earlier this week, my lower back began aching, my stomach felt kinda crampy, and I felt -- in general -- gassy, bloated, and lethargic. Yup, you guessed it. True PMS. So, for the first time since November 2008, I have my "Aunt Flow" visiting. (Hey, guys, if you're still reading -- I warned you!)

In many ways, this hasn't been nearly as bad as some friends had warned me it would be, but in other ways, both my brain, my emotions, and my body are like, "WTF?! We were enjoying the smooth ride of those breastfeeding hormones!"

And, while this does kinda suck right now (and I do miss the intimacy of breastfeeding), on the other hand, I can go home tonight and drink 3 beers if I wanted to. And, if I wanted to, I could sleep on my stomach. And, if I wanted to, I could wake up and drink 5 cups of coffee tomorrow morning. So, while I do miss nursing, and having the 'ole period back isn't the funnest thing in the world, it is also nice to have my body back. I kinda missed it being entirely mine.

21 comments:

Katie A. said...

Yeah, Aunt Flow is a bitch. Welcome back to the club. You made the right choice for you and your family, enjoy the freedom again, you deserve it. From what I can tell, Norah is thriving well - you should be a proud Mamma!

Running Jen said...

Be proud, I think it's great that you breastfed her for as long as you did, nice job!!

I know, aunt flow does suck. I felt totally cheated, because I got mine back when my daughter was 4 months old, I was exclusively breastfeeding her at the time, was nowhere near weaning her, yet I got it back, just didn't feel fair, as all my friends told me I wouldn't have to deal with it for the entire year that I nursed her.

Enjoy your freedom of being able to drink coffee and alcohol again!

Monica said...

:)

Aunt Flow is a bitch!!

Stephanie said...

While I know it's probably not fun to write about (or experience) - it's good to read. I'm sure I'll be right there in a few months and it's great to read your perspective. Thanks for all your thoughts on both running and motherhood.

inmytummy said...

This is probably a really naive question, but you don't get your period when you breast feed? I mean, not you specifically, but you as in all women?

N.D. said...

The transition for me was ridiculous. I was so hormonal - then I got pregnant. Talk about a long lasting PMS ... good luck, it will go away soon!

Erin said...

Yay! Jess is back! What you are going through is normal. I didn't breastfeed but after 4-5 months of pure pumping, I was happy to give it up. It's emotional no matter what. You did an excellent job with providing for Norah. Now it's time to get some of you back. Watch out, that's how my preggo weight came back after being at my lightest in 3+ years. Wait, you actually exercise. No need for the warning :)

PS-Norah's Easter basket will be delivered next week.

Firefly's Running said...

Yes, having the monthly visitor is a bitch, but envy you for making a smoother transition. I breastfed my oldest for 9 months before I was forced to stop cold turkey. It was awful.

Nice job!

Aka Alice said...

I can completely relate...I nursed both my kids for about 6 months, but I gave up the 4 am feeding for formula after about 2 months! So in my book, you are a nursing goddess!

Now, we can look forward to beer-bowling posts, yes?

Jamoosh said...

Does this mean we get a bowling post now?

TNTcoach Ken said...

You had me at hello. I stopped reading but good luck with that Blues singing career.

Wes said...

We transitioned all of our kiddos around the sixth month period as well. Dee Dee is such a smart mama! But really, its all good, chica! We aren't worried about the peaks and valleys in your blog. We're just excited about the future! When does bowling crank back up? :-)

Whitney said...

Wow - what a nice break from Aunt Flo! I just found out that I'm pregnant and this is my first month without and I already love it! :)

Rio said...

Although pregnancy, childbirth and nursing is all pretty amazing, I agree, it is nice to get your body back as your own and you can do with it as you please and with more freedom to partake of beverages as you desire. Happy Easter weekend!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

The things no one tells you about having kids...seriously it blows my mind when people finally get real about everything that happens. I clearly have no words of advice other than umm take a nice long bath...clearly this requires a baby sitter

Anonymous said...

Congrats on getting Aunt Flow. She skipped me. I've breastfed my son now for 15 months when I discovered *shock* I was pregnant again! Aunt Flow never came. I haven't seen her since March 2008. If I breastfeed again she probably won't show up again until 2011!

Nikki said...

Hmm, think I went through the same thing. It was hard to decide to wean, but boy I'm happy now that it's done. Anyhow, I never even thought of the hormones, but geez, did I ever notice a change in attitude, outlook etc. Now it all makes sense!

Tricia said...

I haven't been able to comment in a long time, but I just wanted to say you hit the nose on the head. I'm only 5 weeks into pumping and nursing, and the feeling of wanting your body back is exactly right! You're smart doing the slow transition; I did that with my first and never experienced any discomfort either.
Thanks for sticking with the blog!

Jrahn said...

I'm on the same timetable as you are. My daughter was born on August 22 (I've been reading your blog since we were both in our early pregnancies). Anyway, I just stopped pumping two and a half weeks ago, as well. I would LOVE to have a visit from AF ago, and am doing everything from acupuncture to herbs to get it back. Got any tips? I'm wondering if the running is interfering...clearly, it's not in your case! :)

Krissy said...

Oh you sound exactly how I was about the whole transition! I stopped actualy nursing Eli the last week in Jan. & then pumping the 3rd week in Feb. I had a really hard time with the decision as well but what made me finally stop was that my supply was diminishing, I couldn't keep up and I had been feeling really crummy for a few weeks. Well wouldn't you know the good old Aunt Flow paid a visit the same week I stopped pumping completely.

So that was why I felt TERRIBLE and my supply was just to hard to keep up. My hormones were a mess...I know exactly where your coming from, I initially missed being so close w/Eli but I soon realized it was the best decision I made at the time. I am happy I did 6 months of breast feeding and I surpassed my initial goal by far.

MCM Mama said...

Regardless of how long you breastfeed (we all know I did it longer than the average bear), your body does wacky things when you stop.

You did good, mama! Welcome back to "owning" your own body, at least until you do it all over again. ;o)