"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Friday, August 23, 2013

not at all how it was supposed to be...

Monday, August 19, 2013, 7:15 pm.

Two days shy of 18 months old.

Molly nursed for the last time.

I breastfed for the Very Last Time.

And my heart is broken because I didn't know it would be at the time, so I didn't savor every moment, remember every snuggle, trace every outline as I should have...as I would have had I realized it's finality.

I knew the end was near. Molly had been regressing lately with her sleep. She had been sleeping through the night and waking at 5 or 5:30 to come into bed with me and nurse/doze until the boys woke at 6 or 6:30. Over the past few weeks, however, she'd been waking earlier and earlier and not falling back to sleep at all, even when nursing. Since last Saturday, she's been up for the day at 4 or 4:15. Four. In the morning. That's crazy early. That's even early for my dad.

So it was decided. No more morning nursing. I figured I'd teach her to sleep later in the morning by offering only a sippy cup of milk rather than nursing. I would still nurse her at nap and bed times, but would gradually taper that down, too, over the next several days. I was buying myself more time. I wasn't ready for it to be over.

I love breastfeeding.

I love the bonding. I love the closeness. I love the fact that my body has come through for me so flawlessly THREE times to nourish and sustain my babies. (And I know how lucky I am for that.) I love that, by breastfeeding, I can still keep my babies BABIES. I mean, she's 18 months old, she's no newborn...but when nursing, she is. She's my itty bitty, snuggly baby. I love the fact that it has never really mattered that Molly is such a picky eater (she puts Evan to shame. EVAN!). I know that even if she were to skip all three meals, she'd still get her crucial nutrients and calories from me.

But that was the other problem....besides not sleeping, this girl has not been eating. I knew that it was time to wean so that she would learn to fill her belly with food. Again, she's eighteen months old. It's time. Besides, perhaps if she ate more during the day she'd sleep later in the morning? Perhaps she really is waking up hungry at 4am?

Tuesday morning, when she woke up at 4:15, I brought her straight downstairs from her crib. "Nu-nu!" she said, pointing into my room. "No, baby, let's go downstairs and get some milk." She protested, but ultimately drank a few sips from her cup and snuggled while we she watched Angelina Ballerina (and I closed my eyes, obviously). We had a normal morning, which included a trip to the park to meet some buddies for a Last Day of Summer Ultimate Playdate. It was wonderful. And long....after an already long morning. I wasn't surprised when Molly fell asleep in her carseat on the way home at noon. I was surprised, however, when, for only the second time in my six-and-a-half year tenure as Mother, I was able to transfer a sleeping child from carseat to crib.

She slept for an hour and a half. She hadn't nursed beforehand, and I certainly wasn't going to nurse her when she woke up....and so....it seemed like it just made sense....we would wean cold turkey. I thought that if I nursed her at bedtime it would be confusing. Like we'd be starting over at square one the next morning.....

Sam put her to bed that night. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was a little heartbroken that she didn't have a harder time falling asleep without nursing....

And so it is.

She's not quite sleeping yet, she's not quite eating well yet, and she's pretty fussy...but...
Molly has weaned.
My time as a breastfeeding mother has come to a close.

My girl will, someday, sleep and eat.

For now, I'll savor my snuggles when I can get them (yes, even at 4am) and I'll look forward to what lies ahead....because there is so much to look forward to as our family, together, gets older.

And I'm not going to lie, if not for the discomfort that cold-turkey weaning causes, I could get used to these B-cups.

Lesson Learned:
She's off on her way...

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