While Trystan was still in the NICU after he was born, I had to pump to establish/maintain my milk supply for when he could eventually begin breastfeeding again. My milk came in at an astonishing rate, probably because it had been less than a year since Charlotte was weaned. She nursed until she was around 19 months old, and I really enjoyed that time with her. With Trystan, I was worried that he would have trouble breastfeeding, or would end up preferring the bottle after sampling the preemie nursers that practically pour the milk into the babies mouths. I decided at the time that if I had to, I could just pump and feed him my milk in a bottle, as clearly my body was responding fine to the pump, and because the thought of drinking processed powdered milk gives me the icks. Happlily, my little guy came right back to the breast and has stayed there after we came home. I have pumped while at work and for other occaisional separations, but I have always breastfed Trystan while we're together.
Always until about the past week. Trystan is approaching a year old, and is eating table food (nearly as much as his sister at some meals), and probably does not need as much milk as he did a couple of months ago. However, the little guy has decided to treat me like he does his pacifiers--and gnaw on me occaisionally. Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. Trystan has two bottom teeth already, and I think he's working on a top one as well. His sister didn't cut her first tooth until nearly 14 months, and though she went through a "biting" phase at about this same age, it was more annoying than painful. And she would only do it when she was done nursing, while Trystan is doing it instead of nursing.
Yesterday, he was home on a pseudo-sick day (had run a fever at daycare the day before, but was symptom free all day), and he only actually nursed once, at about 4am. He takes a laxative every day that has to be mixed in fluid, so he generally takes it in one of his daycare bottles (he still doesn't like juice, crazy kid), and so I gave him a bottle in the morning for that. After his afternoon nap (when he woke up with a dry diaper, and immediately tried to bite me when I offered milk), I gave him another. My husband fed him a third at bedtime, though he did nurse a tiny amount (more for comfort, as he hadn't latched right to actually drink much) before he fell asleep. I managed to pump twice in the evening, but my regular pump is at work.
I wasn't intending to wean him by his first birthday. I wasn't intending to switch him to bottles. But the kid has got to have fluids, both for normal health and because his laxative keeps him from absorbing all of it (more fluid = squishier poop, you know). Darn it, I like breastfeeding him--it's cozy and exceedingly convenient. I will probably keep offering the milk to see if he gets over this phase soon, though I get nervous every time I do now, for fear that he'll actually break the skin one of these times. But I'm afraid that I will be spending the next month feeding plastic bottles two or three times a day and counting down the days till I can hang up the horns.