Weaning sucks. It sucks for the kid, it sucks for the parents and if you don't have to do it, I wouldn't recommend it. However, for me and my family it is a necessary evil. And when I say evil, boy do I mean it.
When we last left off, I was at my wit's end because Sofia was still waking up several times in the middle of the night to nurse. My brain was starting to fry; I was a walking zombie and something had to give. I turned to you, my beloved readers and I found the strength to forge ahead and do this night-weaning thing once and for all. We'd had a few half-hearted attempts that ended in screaming (her) and frustration (me) and it always ended the same - her nursing and me wondering if there was ever going to be a solution.
As you fine readers pointed out, it was time to bring out the big guns: DADDY. It was ineffective and cruel in my opinion to have me go in there, since I am the bearer of the breasts and stand in front of her, denying her the very thing she wants. She wasn't buying it and it wasn't working. So I begged Drew to go in there, pleasepleasepleaseIcan'tdothisanymore. In the past, he had never gone in, because he wasn't the bearer of the breasts and we sort of unspoken-ly agreed that since he worked outside the home, he should be the one who got at least some sleep. It wasn't ideal, but if someone had to be unwashed with crazy hair, it's probably better for it to be the one who doesn't have to stand in front of people and give meetings and meet clients and such.
But the status quo wasn't working and he had to step in. That was Thursday night. While I stayed in the basement painting the playroom (which I'm dying to show you, btw), he was upstairs with our screaming toddler who wanted nothing to do with him and made it very known. "Mommy come hold me!!"
It's your own personal horror show, I'm tellling you.
But somehow we all made it through Thursday night. Then came Friday, and somehow it got worse. She woke up every two hours and at one point, Drew came downstairs all crazy-eyed and frustrated and was like "Why won't she sleep?!?!?!?"
He looked like this. I was scared.
But he went back and eventually we all got to sleep. Saturday she woke up with a runny nose and a tooth starting to poke out, because of course she's going to teethe when we're trying to wean. She doesn't have enough stress in her little life. We debated scrapping the night weaning for now, but flip-flopping is even worse when you're trying to establish a new routine, so we stuck it out. I gave her some baby Tylenol and she napped for two and a half hours on Saturday, poor thing. Drew did too, poor thing.
And then, a miracle happened. Saturday night, she woke up once because her diaper was soaked. Drew went in to change her and was able to get her back down in a matter of minutes!
AND THEN!! Sunday night, we put her in a disposable and she slept THE WHOLE NIGHT!! 8pm to 6:30am!! We ALL got a full nights sleep! And when I tell you? I woke up Monday morning like a completely different person!
For nearly two years I've gotten interrupted, non-restful, fitful sleep. To get a full night's sleep? To be able to lay down and not have to get up until it's morning? To get to fall into that deep deep sleep? It's positively magical.
So THIS is what Drew has gotten to do all this time....
Monday morning Drew brought her to me and I wasn't groggy. My head didn't feel stuffed with cotton. I opened my eyes and I could see clearly; that doesn't usually happen until I've been up at least an hour.
We went to the kitchen and I fixed breakfast and we had time to eat it! Usually, I'm so groggy and non-functioning that I inevitably end up late for wherever I have to be and I'm throwing a waffle at her as we hustle out the door. Not this time! THIS time, we sat at the table, having our breakfast on plates. We chatted! I asked her what she'd like to wear to school, I asked her if she liked eating like a regular person. She just kind of babbled back to me, but I'm taking that as a yes.
We got dressed in a leisurely fashion. There was none of the begging and pleading because we're already late. We had plenty of time and I was rested. It was beautiful! When we left for school, I didn't have to run back into the house three times because I forgot various things. I felt capable, I felt like a mom, not some imposter who hasn't the first clue about what to do. It was absolutely glorious.
The last two nights, she's woken up but that's due to the whole not being able to breathe thing. That'll interfere with your sleep, weaned or not.
However, I'm claiming it. We've turned a corner and I believe we're on our way to successfully night-weaning my toddler and it's a beautiful thing. Now, I happily nurse during the day because I get my break at night and even that seems to be diminishing. She tried her old nursing-at-the-dinner-table trick last night and I said "Sofia, we nurse to go night-night. Are you ready for bed?" With that, she scrambled right off my lap because she didn't want to have to go to sleep yet. We're making progress, people!
We can't quite do the celebration dance yet, but I'm doing a little hip-wiggle in honor of a good night's sleep.
Ah, sleep. It's been a long time, old friend.