So… it has been over a year since I’ve posted here. The blog, she languishes…
So much has changed since I last wrote. For one, the first thing that comes to mind as I read the last post is that the whole “CIO” thing? Didn’t last. Nope. Not right for us after all. After maybe a week of sleeping quite well and going to sleep on her own without crying she started waking often and crying (the first couple of times trying the “sleep training” she cried for 15 minutes tops and then went to sleep). Well, as it turns out, I wasn’t up for letting her cry any longer than that and certainly not denying her nursing at night either. I started nursing and holding her until she fell asleep in my arms and then putting her back in her crib. Then, after discussing with my husband and realizing he wasn’t in any hurry to come back upstairs into our bed and that he was truly OK with me co-sleeping with my girl and all of that, we quickly resumed co-sleeping and night nursing and no longer trying any sort of CIO. Within 3 weeks of trying a bit of sleep training, I had decided that we would NOT be doing that again and that it was just not my thing.
I know plenty of WONDERFUL moms who have done some sleep training with their children and they are warm, kind and caring moms. Many of them also have done extended breastfeeding and other attachment parenting types of things. But moms, parents… we need sleep in order to function. So I don’t fault anyone for sleep training. I did it too. For me, and for our family however, it was just not the right choice. Turns out we get better sleep and are able to feel better during the day, too, when we co-sleep and comfort each other that way.
I did eventually try some night weaning using Dr. Jay Gordon’s gentle method of night weaning but it seemed each time I tried, my little girl would get sick and I felt she needed that night nursing to get better.
Then in early May of 2011 we discovered I was pregnant again! Yay! So… what would become of our nursing relationship? Would my girl continue? Would I want to? What about sleeping? How would that be affected?
We raised the bed up a bit as I got heavier in pregnancy as getting up off the mattress on the floor was getting rather uncomfortable and so we put it on the box springs and that helped. But we continued nursing to sleep for naps and bedtime. Then… something miraculous happened and I’m not sure exactly when, but my sweet daughter finally started to sleep through the night. Perhaps the lack of milk partway through my pregnancy along with my gentle urging that “milk is sleeping” finally did the trick and she started blissfully sleeping until morning. Once in awhile she’d wake briefly and ask for her water sippy cup using her familiar “drink” sign she amended with a finger in her mouth and a gurgling sound. Then back to sleep she’d go. Now if only my bladder had cooperated, but it did not, I was still not sleeping through the night because that pregnant body kept waking me up!
In any case, my pregnancy went really well. I was never the “burping rainbows and farting unicorns” type of pregnant woman. Pregnancy was a means to an end for me, but the ends certainly justified the means! Still, I was blessed with a really uneventful pregnancy aside from a few UTI’s at the end. I got huge like the previous pregnancy and was pretty uncomfortable. I had nausea for longer than the first trimester. And my desire to eat meat was greatly reduced. But… I was able to continue nursing my daughter through the pregnancy. I also went the midwife and doula route this time around instead of the OB/GYN route. It was the most wonderful experience. Hands down.
With my OB/GYN, she was wonderful, but she was not on duty the day I had my daughter. She also was not often present at many of my appointments and I had her alternate instead who was kind of “old school” for my taste. In her birth, I had my water break naturally a few days before her due date. Then the doctor suggested induction and along came the pitocin. Despite what I had learned prior to birth from our prenatal class taught be a doula, I was so tired at that point having not slept that I caved and just wanted things to “speed up” myself. If I had only known then what I know now! But, that was not meant to be. In time I ended up with gas, some fentenol (sp?) and an epidural which lead to not being able to feel how to push, and eventually a birth with an episiotomy and tearing. UGH.
With my son’s birth, my water broke and things were much different. I called the doula and midwife. They told me to eat and rest which I did manage to do a bit. I went to the hospital and labored for a long time in the shower with the doula helping me through contractions. Then my husband, doula and midwife all helped me to figure out how to push and I was able to have him with just using the gas to get me through transition. It was easily the most primal thing I have ever done but I LOVED it in comparison to my daughter’s birth. I felt so much better afterward. I had that baby boy on my stomach immediately (as I had with my daughter) and I got to see that they truly waited for the cord to finish pulsing before clamping. I also breastfed him right away compared with waiting in the case of my daughter until after I was fully stitched up. It all was a better experience all around and I do have to thank my first experience for informing me of what I DIDN’T want and reading up enough to know what I DID want this time around. My son and I both benefited!
Anyway, now here we are… my toddler is now 2 years and 4 months and the baby boy is 4 months old. Things are going well and life is good although we watch more TV than I would ideally like. 🙂 In any case, there is more to update but I hope to be posting soon about my story of weaning my sweet precious daughter right around the time she turned 27 months old (after 3 months of tandem nursing). So… thought it was as good a time as any to post a quick update. I hope to fill in the blanks sometime soon and start posting again more often. It seems like as good a way as any to keep track of so many important memories as well as to carve out some time for me to collect my thoughts.