weaning, not what i thought it would be

i’ve been meaning to blog lately but over the last few days it’s been busy around here! we had some friends over on the weekend for a sleepover with their 14 month old daughter on Saturday night, then headed to pick up the dog from my parents house on Sunday and that night, was the last time my little man nursed. i honestly didn’t think that when the time came to bring his nursing to a close, that i would be as emotional as i was. i don’t think either of us were really ready for him to wean, however, with hubby and i having a few evenings out planned, it was kind of necessary. i tried pumping, but didn’t have much luck. since our son only nurses at bedtime, trying to pump during the day got me about 1 oz which definitely wouldn’t be enough to give him at bedtime. i’d like to think that maybe he was only drinking a little and mostly suckling for comfort and relaxation, which made it a bit easier for me. my  sister is coming over in about 2 weeks to watch the little man while hubby and i have a night out: dinner and a comedy show here in town (Danny Bhoy at Centennial Hall, woo hoo!) so we figured that if we started a new bedtime routine, minus nursing, that it might give him enough time to settle into things. i was going to change things up last week when hubby was on days but i honestly didn’t want to. i decided that i’d do it when he was back on afternoons, that way it would be just me and the little man, pretty much same as usual, only minus the boobmilk. i figured that since his bedtime routine had consisted of nursing to sleep for over 95% of his one year of life, that it would be best if it was me putting him to sleep without the milk. that way when the time comes for daddy to try, he won’t be crying to nurse … we headed upstairs around 7:30 and he grabbed a few toys from his room to play with. i set up the gate at the top of the stairs and got out his jammies & sleepsack, turned on the white noise on the radio and clicked on the monitor. i found him playing in the hallway and said, alright little guy, time to brush your teeth! this too was a new thing. for about 6 months he only had 2 little teeth (the bottom front two) but over the past 3 weeks, 6 more have come in. SIX! i figured that since there are 8 now, we probably could switch from tooth wipes to a toothbrush and a baby-safe paste. he was so good about it. he came into the bathroom, i sat him on my lap and i brushed his little teeth, all 8 of them. then i gave him a sip of water and he seemed fairly content. after watching me brush my teeth numerous times, and using his little baby silicone brush to brush his gums etc (from when he was younger) he appeared to be ok with this new thing. we then went to his room, changed him into his nighttime diaper and jammies and sat down in the rocking chair to read a story. we read two books and i told him that it was time to go to sleep now. i turned the lamp down low and we rocked in the chair, like every other night, just minus nursing. at first, he seemed fine; nuzzling his nose into my arm and fidgeting to find just the right spot to fall asleep. after maybe 5 minutes he started to whimper, and that little whimper broke my heart. on and off for about 20 minutes he’d sit back and look at me, cry and then rest his head on my shoulder. i knew it was going to be hard, but i didn’t anticipate the tears that were streaming down my cheeks as i rocked him and told him it was ok and that it was time to go to sleep. as i wiped each one from my cheek i explained that this is how things had to be and it wasn’t that mommy didn’t want to, but rather, she had to, in order for him to be a big boy and be able to be put to bed by someone else. i tried singing and humming our usual nighttime songs but found myself choking up each time i tried; i decided to just rock him in silence for a few minutes to gather my thoughts and after that began to hum. he seemed to relax and fall asleep so i laid him down in his bed and crept out of the room. i wasn’t gone 5 minutes when i looked at the monitor and saw him squirm, sit up and begin to cry. i went back in to soothe my little man; gave him a hug and told him it was ok and it was time to sleep now. i rubbed his back, sang a few more songs and tried to slip out again. this time i decided to sit in our room (across the hall) and watch the monitor to see how he’d do. maybe 10 minutes went by and he was up again. i knew it was going to be hard getting him to sleep this first night, without nursing, but i wasn’t really sure what to expect. i went back into the room and picked up my, then sobbing, son. i sat in the rocking chair, hugged him, kissed him and told him it was ok. i could see from the glow of the clock that his eyes were open, just slightly, looking up at me. we sat like that for another 40 minutes until he passed out, again. i quietly laid him in the crib and slipped out the door. waiting in our room, it took about 15 minutes for him to wake up again, and again i went in to soothe him. i hugged him and told him it was ok, and that mommy would just be downstairs if he needed her and that it was time to sleep now. he let out a big sigh and fell back asleep. by this point i had about 20 minutes before my husband would be home from work. i normally would take advantage of the few hours of time between our son going to bed and him coming home, to do laundry, check email, write a blog, etc. but last night i just sat in the kitchen and ate a bowl of cereal, trying to relax. hubby and i went to bed a few hours later and the little man woke up around 3am. my amazing husband went to tend to him to give me a little break (which i appreciate so much and feel i don’t tell him often enough). i could hear our son whimpering and crying as my hubby tried to rock him back to sleep. after a quick bum change and a little rocking he was out. it only lasted about 10-15 minutes and he was up again, sad. i went in, hugged and kissed him and told him to lay back down and go to sleep. he let out a big sigh and as i rubbed his back i told him that mommy and daddy needed to sleep too and that we’d be just across the hall if he needed us. he fell back asleep and i snuck out of the room. thankfully he slept until we had to wake him up to take him to a doctor’s appointment. i felt bad waking him up, but it was better than him waking us up again in the wee hours of the morning … bedtime today went much smoother and he took about 15 minutes to fall asleep after our new routine. fingers crossed things he sleeps better tonight. it breaks my heart to see him so sad when i know what could make him happy but can’t give in. ahh well. i know this too shall pass.

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my super man

it’s 9:25pm on saturday night and i decided to write this blog post because my son won’t go to sleep. after nursing we cuddled, as usual, for 20-30 minutes and i ended up snoozing only to find him looking up at me when i woke up (i was only out maybe 10-15 mins) … i sent my hubby a text to ask if he’d come try rocking the little guy. he was in there for probably 20 mins or so when he opened our son’s door and said, the laundry’s ready to run through a regular cycle now … when the little man saw me he reached for me so i took him and rocked him while hubby went downstairs to take care of the wash. he sent me a message saying it’s going through a cycle now, i’ll come back up and rock him. i told him it’s ok, i’ll do it. he said, i know, but you need a break. i love this man. it’s not just for tonight and doing the laundry and taking a turn rocking our son to bed (which he doesn’t do too often because of his swing shift at work) but for all the little things he does for me and our son. he works so hard, his regular hours each week and usually at least one shift of overtime on the weekend. right now i can hear our son on the monitor giggling because his dad makes him happy (despite the fact he should go to sleep, an hour ago). he does the laundry, cuts the grass, takes out the garbage. cleans up the dog poop in the yard (a task no one enjoys), helps do chores around the house (especially vacuuming!), shovels snow, rakes leaves. he gets along with my family and enjoys hanging with them, even going on vacations with them. he gets along better with my father than anyone i know (which is a pretty big thing if you know my dad). he takes care of me when i’m sick, hugs me when i’m sad and is my biggest supporter. he makes me laugh every day, and i love to laugh. he listens to my rants and raves, my loves and hates, and he actually does listen. he engages in conversation with me, regardless of the topic. he shows interest in the things that interest me. he respects me and loves me for who i am. we’ve been together for almost 7 years and i can’t imagine being with anyone else. he’s my drinking buddy, my partner in crime, my husband and my best friend. i’ll never be able to tell him how much he means to me and how much i love him.