*EDIT in OP* I want to wean. Please help me make this a tear free transition.
EDIT! I think the pain issue may have finally been solved!! After stumping a few LLL leaders, one of our own mods may have seriously figured it out!!! I am SO STOKED, because yesterday was the first pain free nursing day that I have had in a very long time! If we can keep up the pain free sessions then mommy's bar is 100% back in business! Thank you so much for the replies, ladies!
Before jumping on the "keep going, you're doing great" bandwagon, I should point out that my nursing child is almost 17 months old. He was EBF for the first 7 1/2 months, and received a very small amount of formula as a newborn due to health issues.
Now.. with all that said. We are trying to conceive our 3rd child. I know, that's a bad reason, but there's a lot more to this. I have always had trouble nursing him, and the problems aren't on my side. He's my second breastfed child, and I went onto nurse his brother for almost 16 months. My LO was born just barely making it to full term (I charted so I was 100% positive of his EDD), and had trouble latching for the first few days. We ended up getting it right, and all was great for a few months. Then something changed, and his latch got all sorts of wrong. It's been an off and on battle since.
Ever since he got teeth it's been hell on me. I just pushed through it, but ever since his top teeth came in he's left bite marks on me. Now lately he's been leaving top and bottom marks.
Just over 4 weeks ago, he lacerated my left nipple. I've been trying to get it fully healed since, and he's nursed maybe 4-6 times on that side since. When I thought it healed (and it really looked like it was healed all the way!), I let him nurse and he split it back open.. Even worse than before. Now I'm back to the "let it heal" phase.
He doesn't drink cow's milk. I guess he doesn't like it. He would throw his sippy cup and come to me to nurse. He nurses a LOT still. Like 6 times or more a day, but usually just in short sessions. He'll eat cheese and yogurt, so he gets some dairy. He's got a great appetite for solid, whole foods, so it's not like he is going to be lacking nutrients. I was also gonna keep him on a multivitamin to help compensate the lack of vit D.
I honestly just want to do it cold turkey. I'm tired of being in pain. If I weren't in so much pain from nursing I would seriously continue until he self weaned. I just can't take it anymore. The emotional connection is still there, so I'm not happy about ending our nursing relationship all ready. I'm sure once the hormones go all crazy I'm gonna be a bubbling fool.