Weaning Day

I know I said I was going to go back and review some of the big things that happened over the past three months, but I’ve got to talk about the present for a moment.

You see, it’s weaning day.

It’s here and even though I knew it was coming, the suddenness of it saddens me.  I wish I had been able to continue until Nora had decided she was done, but we have reached the point where no one is able to function in our house. I’m 4 months pregnant now, and I’ve pretty much been hating nursing since I was just a couple weeks in. It’s… excruciating. (Excuse the graphic nature of this next part.) The only way I can describe it is like my nipples are being cut and stabbed with little knives and needles. It’s hard to even stand under the shower.

So I knew we were going to have to wean, and soon. But I kept hanging on because it’s pretty much the only way I know how to get Nora to sleep in less than two hours (I’m not kidding.) We’ve never practiced cry it out, and this just worked, so why fix what isn’t broken? Because of the sheer exhaustion I felt during the first trimester, we just toughed it out. We cut back to nursing exclusively to initiate/continue sleep. And it worked for a while. But now… now the system is broken.

My milk supply is pretty much gone, which has been frustrating her more and more, and her sleep has just been worse and worse.  I should be finally feeling a bit more rested, and on nights where we’re only up once or twice, I actually feel pretty good.  Brandon has been helping a lot to let me sleep in on the weekends, but after several weeknights of getting 4 hours of interrupted sleep (or less), I was falling apart.  I have been impatient, easily frustrated, even yelling and hiding, and just generally not being the kind of parent I want to be.

This morning at 4am, Nora was awake, for the second day in a row. I’d had two hours of sleep because she’d been up nursing several times already. I lost it. I just sobbed while Brandon stepped in and finally we got her to sleep without nursing… at 6:30. But it was enough for me to acknowledge that this time has finally come. If I can hold on by myself for naptime (or lack thereof) today and tomorrow, we can tag team through the weekend, and maybe after 4 days she’ll start to get the hang of bedtime without the “boobies.”

I know that in all honesty, this may take a couple of weeks for her to really adjust… or even longer. But we can’t put it off anymore. And she will not be left alone to cry herself to sleep still. We’ll help her learn, and all be frustrated and exhausted and sad together. But because she is so loved, I have to draw the line today. I am a gentle parent, and it’s weaning day.