So far, the weaning process has been quite successful. I reduced my visits to the office lactation room from three times a day to once a day, and only for a few minutes. And even though the one time I went was before noon, I really could have pushed it to later in the day, but I was trying to manage my risk for leakage.
Since LP has been getting whole milk bottles at day care, I increased the number of ounces I provided per bottle, and I haven't really had to nurse her after her dinner. In fact, I try to avoid it because she is napping less at school, so if I nurse her when she is done with her dinner at 7 she tends to fall asleep after two minutes and sleep for a half hour. The Hoos and I determined that it is better to keep her awake at this time and put her to bed a little earlier.
At this point that means I am only really nursing LP before bed. I can see how they say this is the hardest feeding to eliminate. It is definitely a calming experience for LP and I am not sure how we will be able to get her to sleep without this part of her routine. I am not worrying too much about that now since I am not planning on phasing this out just yet.
I have not really experienced any engorgement issues and I am feeling good. Tomorrow will be the true test. My parents are coming up to CT from Long Island to spend half of the day baby-sitting LP so the Hoos and I can get out and shop and visit with some friends. I do not plan on pumping or nursing until the evening (if I can help it). And I definitely plan on enjoying myself.
While nursing LP exclusively for the first year of her life has definitely been rewarding and worthwhile, I am ready for a little more freedom. It is constraining to always be thinking about the next time LP has to eat and if I need to pump to ensure she has a bottle and is there enough frozen milk in the freezer in case my production decreases. I plan on nursing again when the time comes for baby number two, but for now I am looking forward to fitting back into my old bras and throwing away - or maybe burning - my nursing bras.