This post is filled with too much information. BUT you asked for it, and I want to share with moms who undergo similar things.
Jack. Stop reading. Check back on the blog tomorrow, but you don't need to read about my breasts.
(Jack is my 14 year old brother.)
About three weeks ago, now, the babies both decided that they were not going to breastfeed again.
Since I hate pumping, and had already been doing it for months, and since I don't have time to spend twenty minutes in my room pumping even once a day, let alone several times, I decided to just stop.
The boys had already self-weaned to the point that they only breastfed two, maybe three times a day each.
But unfortunately for my body, that was still four to six times a day.
And people (like my mother-in-law, and a lactation consultant) told me that I should pump the same number of times the boys were eating and slowly, every few weeks, decrease one pumping session.
But that would take MONTHS.
So I just stopped.
And It was reaaaaally painful.
I would lie in bed and cry.
I would sit for hours in the tub, crying and trying to massage the giant, painful, lumps of milk out of my breasts.
On the rare occasion when I decided that I needed to pump, or else I would die - I would sit and cry because the suction hurt so badly.
I tried cabbage leaves, torn up and shoved in my bra, but all it was so lumpy and uncomfortable that I couldn't leave the house with them in.
And they made me smell terrible.
So after a few days, I stopped even trying them.
I started taking allergy medicine, since I needed it anyway and they say it dries up milk.
But it didn't really do anything either.
For two and a half weeks, I had giant swollen breasts. I couldn't sleep lying on my side. I couldn't wear a normal bra. And I literally squirted out jets of milk around the room every time I undressed.
It also wrecked havoc on my hormones. I yelled at my poor husband a lot for about a week.
I would bake things and then throw them on the ground, yelling that they were "cake shit" and I was a failure as a woman.
I couldn't bake a simple cake. I couldn't continue breastfeeding two babies. And I certainly didn't want to be intimate.
Acne also broke out all over my face, which only intensified my unhappiness and self-depreciation.
And then, one day, one of my breasts was almost empty. It had one tiny painful lump in it, but was otherwise a normal, small, wrinkly, stretchmarked boobie.
And a few days later, the other breast was too.
A few more days went by and they didn't even have lumps in them. (About last Thursday).
So it took about three weeks, and now I'm okay again. (Although I actually have quite a bad cold, but that's not the same.)
And now I no longer nurse my babies. I miss it, because I liked to be close to them, one on one.
But it is freeing, and now we can leave them with a babysitter for more than an hour or two.
And my breasts don't hurt, nor am I constantly wearing a damp bra, which is kind of wonderful.
So... yeah. What were your experiences breastfeeding (or stopping breastfeeding)? Were they as bad as mine? or worse? Or not so bad?