Sunday, March 4, 2012

A well earned break for the girls!

My baby - my 13 month old - whom we all still call 'Baby', is officially no longer a baby! His toddling began only days after Christmas, but he's teetered and tottered, and wobbled and taken enough spills to warrant hands at the ready for each step taken. The last couple of weeks though - since donning his Winnie the Pooh cast off trainers - he's maintained a less drunken style of toddling. Though his moves may appear less precarious, his speed and deftness has caught us so very unaware. Nevertheless, he's well and truly earned his 'toddler'status.

It's always a little sad to say goodbye to each developmental stage, even as we contrarily rush and celebrate each milestone. With my first born, however, I never really had to say goodbye to my baby, before baby number 2 was well and truly nestled in my arms also. My eldest has always been apt to dawdle (takes after his Daddy that way) and from the very beginning he's been content to sit back and take in the world around him.

He was an even bigger booby baby than baby number 2, and weaning him before 'Baby' arrived was never really on the table. It didn't matter - nursing my firstborn was no chore, and I was more than happy to give tandem nursing a whirl. I actually suspected it would be easier to leave the taps on, rather than having to experience the double-whammy burning engorgement of stopping and then starting them back up again.

It turned out to be a bit of a handful (admittedly) but it was really special to bridge the gap that way. Weaning my eldest took it's natural course a few months after baby was born, and baby continued his suckling - happy to have his Momma all to himself. When I found out I was expecting again, I naturally assumed  I'd be tandem nursing my two youngest for the first few months. The transition had worked out so well the first time so I was eager to repeat the success.  

Nothing ever works out the way you plan it.

Without really wanting to, I had to put an end to daytime nursing a few months ago. The little vampire left me no choice! He'd started to bite down hard during every booby offering - except when he was asleep. After only a few days of this undead behavior, he'd reduced me to a nervous wreck, so I took to only nursing him during the night, when for some reason, he was able to gently latch and dream feed without baring his nasty little needles.  

A few weeks ago, his eating reached an all time hiatus. I could hardly see any real nutritional value left in nursing the little piggy - in spite of his desire to ravish my boobies all night long. And ALL night is really no exaggeration. We had a run of sickness throughout January and baby had upped the night feeds from a manageable every 2 hours or so, to an unbearable every 40 minutes or so. To top it all off, the nature of his night nursing demands had taken a mean turn. The little monster was pinching, and head butting to get more of what he wanted, and in spite of the high frequency of the feeds he was less satisfied by each one.

It was doing none of the family any good, so I decided enough was enough, and I said 'no'. This was a particularly hard no, but I stood by my guns the whole night through. When he couldn't get back to sleep, we got up and watched cartoons until he passed out from exhaustion. Not having planned to wean, I hadn't thought the whole thing through and by the following evening my breasts were massively engorged, and very tender to the touch.

I wasn't really sure if we were going cold turkey, until a little after dinner when the pain was so intense I chickened out and I decided I needed some relief. Pain meds weren't an option with a growing baby in my tummy, so the lucky little so and so was offered another chance to empty both my boobies for his supper, and he eagerly obliged. The relief!! I made up my mind then that cold turkey was a crazy idea. Instead I would nurse once a day at 7pm every evening (and only then) to keep the milk going and continue baby snuggles for  little while longer.

Little did I realize but the damage had already been done, and over the following week, baby's turn on the booby reduced to almost nothing. My last attempt to nurse was 6 days ago, when he latched, unlatched, wrestled and rolled out of my arms. I've been on tender hooks all week, waiting for the booby pain to start, but there's been nothing. Instead both Momma and baby are sleeping through the night for the first time in a little over two and a half years (thanks to daddy for taking night potty duty with our big un).

And I'm really not too sad about it. With another suckler on the way in less than 5 months I'm thinking that it's high time these wobbly workaholics become ladies of leisure (or should I say pleasure?) at least for a few months or so...    

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