Wednesday, January 23, 2008

i'm a weaner!

i can hardly dare to believe that i may have actually weaned my last! the last time she nursed was monday, jan. 21st before her nap, and she hasn't asked for it at all in at least a full day. so... we'll see. that was a horribly difficult thing to do! hah--it didn't help, of course, that two days after we started the weaning process she got the stomach flu, then me, and right on the heels of that, we got a horrid cold-flu thing that is still hanging on with a vengeance! it's been almost 3 weeks in the entire process. many thanks to leanne, who spurred me on and gave me advice when i was at a loss for even knowing how to begin. i swear, the only advice "weaning books" ever give is why you should keep on nursing forever and ever, providing many examples of mothers who changed their minds about weaning, and assuring you that your child will self-wean when ready. yes. well judging by my child so far that is not going to happen until she is four, and let's not forget that mother in england who let her girls decide on their own, and was still subjected to their suckling when they were eight years old! gnar! i could never do that (except maybe in the case of severe famine) and i knew it was time, as i was getting more frustrated with the nursing process than enjoying it. and of course babies are not immune to their mother's attitudes, so i was feeling bad for her too!

anyways, kim, who i usually go to for experienced mothering advice, was no help, but by no fault of her own--her babies really HAVE all weaned themselves, at nice early ages, too, goldie excepted (having been 2 before she let go). then i remembered leanne's tired struggling with lissette and called her up at once. she was brilliant. she said, sit your baby down and explain that you are no longer going to have nu-nu time. then brace yourself to get NO sleep--and do practically nothing else around the house either--for the duration of the process. at night, you have to go through her entire bedtime routine as normal, except do not nurse her at the end. stay up with her thereafter as long as it takes her to fall asleep--she will eventually get tired. this sounds horrible, doesn't it? walking the hall with a screaming baby for possibly hours and hours while you yourself are mad with exhaustion? the morning nursing had been dropped fairly easily using distractions like books and food, but i had been afraid to tackle the night one until leanne gave me this golden nugget of advice: "stay up and watch movies." BINGO! that couldn't be TOO awful... at least you'd both be amused and semi distracted through the sleepless struggle! too bad i was not big on having babies watch movies. but that rule was going to have to go out the window for a bit, wasn't it? once we had weaned her off the breast, we would then tackle weaning her off watching movies to go to sleep. and that is precisely what we did. it was gorgeous! i watched all of friends season 10, as well as several other chicky titles. this was all starting while thomas was in china, which was perfect. one of my fears had been the prospect of keeping him up at night.

so minus the glitches of getting horribly ill twice in a row in the midst of it all, it has been slightly easier than i thought. having her be sick dragged it out a little, i think, as there were times when i felt so awfully guilty that at the time she needed antibodies the most, i was depriving her! so i would let her have it in the morning occasionally, and i didn't tackle the naptime nursing until just recently. and eventually she got used to just having almond milk out of a bottle while we watched movies at night, and now doesn't even ask for it anymore. the naptime session has been slowly eliminated by simply letting her stay up in the afternoons, which actually worked out great for weaning her of nighttime movies, because she would subsequently be so tired in the evening, that i could just lay down with her in bed for a few minutes, and she'd be out cold. just the past 2 days, though, i've been trying to get her used to napping again by telling her to lay down and be quiet for 10 minutes, and then she can go play again. and she's been falling asleep that way, so i am fully astounded: i think i have actually done it!

next project: potty training! actually, she made her very first poop in the potty on saturday night (jan. 19th)--she was saying "poopy!" so i thought she had gone already and went to change her diaper, but when i found nothing in there, i asked her if she wanted to sit on the potty and she said "yeah." and to my utter amazement, in a few moments, i looked and there was a clean little loaf in there! wooo! you can imagine the hooplah. "TOM! YOU HAVE TO COME SEE THIS!" he was filming it and everything. my, how easy and precise it was, wiping her neat little butt with barely any residue on it! i was so pleased that i gave her a present i had been saving in the closet for a special occasion: two little toy bunnies which delighted her immensely! of course she hasn't done it since, but this was a glimmer of hope in the growing up of sparrow mcdonnell. sometimes you think your life will be all about the many details of raising babies forever...

No comments: