I haven’t nursed Nora in over a week. She is officially fully weaned. She still asks for it on occasion but she doesn’t get upset when I say no or distract her with something else. Although I was completely ready to be done with breastfeeding I still feel a little sad, or maybe nostalgic is a better word, now that it is over. It feels a bit like the end of an era. Babyhood in our family is officially coming to an end. Our kids are getting older and more independent by the day. Even the baby of the family isn’t a baby anymore.
Being done with breastfeeding feels like such a huge deal to me. Donating my nursing bras and tank tops felt surreal. For close to 5 of the last 7 and a half years I have had a nursing baby or toddler. It was just so much a part of my parenting routine that to have it be done feels weird, and I must admit a bit freeing. I don’t feel so tied down or required anymore. We all like to feel needed, and all my girls still need me and prefer for me to put them to bed at night, but I’m not required. Being gone in the evening around bedtime is now something I can do if I want to!
Nora was by far the hardest to wean. Perhaps it is because I waited a bit longer to start the process with her, perhaps it was just such a comfort to her she didn’t want to willingly give it up. Maya and Anna were fairly easy to wean, with only one or two nursing sessions being a little more challenging. By the time I started weaning them at 18 months they were down to just a few times a day anyway and we fully weaned within a month or so. Nora was still going strong at 18 months so getting her give it up was a lot harder. We took it slow and I tried to let her set the pace as much as I could, although I was ready to be done so I tended to nudge her a bit when I could. It took about 4-5 months to finally get to the point where she was just nursing once or twice a day. Getting rid of those last couple of sessions was a lot easier than I anticipated. I figured she would put up a huge fight, but with a little distraction and the introduction of some new elements to our morning and nighttime routines she quickly decided it was okay to give it up.
I really enjoy our new nighttime routine. We read a book (the same airplane book every night!) and snuggle for a few minutes. We still get that quiet, uninterrupted time together and she still gets her much loved snuggles before getting into bed. It works well and both of us are happy.
I miss this space. I miss having time to write about the goings on in our fun, crazy, busy life. It has been over a month since I have carved out time in my busy schedule to write. Time is flying by at warp speed with days filled to the brim with so much to do. Between school schedules for Maya and Anna, extra-curricular activities, play time with friends, chasing a super energetic and daredevil of a toddler, cooking, cleaning, running errands I barely have time to breath let alone sit at the computer and write.
There are so many stories that go untold. So many moments captured only in my mind because they happen in a flash and I don’t have time to reach for the camera or write about it. When I look back at the archives of this here blog at all the stories told about Maya, the fewer,but still many stories told about Anna, I feel bad. Nora’s stories are not being told. They are being captured and fill my memory but the days just don’t have enough minutes in them to write it all down.
My goal, moving forward, is to be more diligent about making time to write. To be more purposeful about this space and schedule time, at least once a week, to write. It might just be a few sentences and a lot of pictures. It might be rambling. But, I’ve always loved having this space to write. I’ve always loved that I can come here and document the big and small moments of our lives. Maybe no one reads it, maybe it doesn’t matter to anyone but me, but it does matter a great deal to me. I love looking back at the stories I’ve told, the moments I’ve captured in this space. I want to keep doing it. I want to find the time in this crazy, busy, chaotic life to keep writing, to keep capturing the moments of our life, big and small.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to get dinner going, clean up a wall or two that Nora decided to draw on and fold a load of laundry. Phew, so much to do, so little time.
In the wee hours of the morning when I hear her cries I bolt out of bed in a half awake, half still very much asleep stupor and stumble down the hall into her room. I am so, so tired and wish I was still sleeping soundly in my warm,comfortable bed instead of dealing with a crying toddler who refuses to sleep through the night. I pick her up and she presses her head firmly into that perfect spot on my shoulder made just for a baby’s heads and sighs as if there is no where else she would rather be. She asks to nurse but since we are working on weaning from night time feedings and it is before the arbitrary time of 3am that I came up with I quietly whisper no and shush her as she cries a little. I rock her gently and she quickly gives in to the fact that she isn’t going to get to nurse, and settles into my shoulder. Her hand wraps around my arm and her breath becomes steady as she returns to the land of sleep.
In these quiet moments I can’t help but think about the fact that she is my last baby. That one day she’ll figure out this whole sleeping through the night thing and moments like these will just be a memory. One night I’ll stumble into her room in the middle of the night to answer her cries and requests for the boob and it will be the last night it happens. I won’t know at the time but it will be the end of an era. Sure there will be times she calls out for me in the middle night but not like this, not to be rocked or nursed. I know I’ll miss these moments when they are gone. I won’t miss feeling completely exhausted but I will miss the feeling of a baby’s body getting heavy against my chest as she gives into sleep. I will miss the sweet smell of shampoo and sweat as I lay my cheek against the top of her head and breathe in her scent. I will miss the hypnotic sound of rhythmic breathing and soft snores. I will miss the feeling of being completely needed and trusted.
In the middle of the night when others are sleeping, when I should be sleeping but instead am on mom duty, rocking my sweet toddler back to sleep, I think of these things and feel lucky to still be needed at 3am. I feel nostalgic for all the moments just like this one that I have briefly spent with all of my girls. These moments can feel endless when you are living them, but when you look back they are so fleeting. Truth be told, I hope there are at least a few more of these quiet moments with my last baby girl in the wee hours of the morning because I’m not quite ready to be done with this phase yet.
Nora is not a good sleeper. There I said it. It is the first time in my 7 year career of motherhood that I have utter the phrase “My child is a bad sleeper.” Not because I had bad sleepers and didn’t want to admit it. I have been able to avoid it because my girls are good sleepers. Well, at least until the last 6 months or so with Nora. The last 6 months or so have been rough to say the least. Nora isn’t sleeping well, which in turn means I am not sleeping well. A sleepy Lisa makes for a grumpy, impatient Lisa, which, as you can imagine, makes things a little crazier around this already crazy house.
When Nora was a wee baby, really for the first 9 months or so, she was an excellent sleeper. She was sleeping through the night, like 10-12 hour stretches kind of sleeping through the night, at 6 weeks old. She always went down easily and sleep like a charm all night, rarely waking and if she did usually only once and then right back to sleep. She even slept in a bit in the morning a lot of the time. It was fantastic. It made me so incredibly grateful and I didn’t talk about it much for fear I would jinx the perfectness of it.
When she started teething things began to take a turn. She began to wake at night more often but at first she always returned to her good sleeping habits. Then something happened. I don’t know what. It began one week when she was working on her first molars and had a cold all at the same time. She was so obviously not feeling well and was grumpy pretty much all day long. I did what I could by giving her tylenol for her teeth and setting up the humidifier for her stuffy nose. It didn’t help much. She began waking up 2, 3 and even sometimes 4 times a night. It went on for weeks. Long after the cold went away. I figured maybe it was the teeth more than the cold. The frequent night wakings continued. Month after month, tooth after tooth.
And here we are a good 6 months or so later and Nora is still waking up 2, 3 and sometimes 4 times a night. It is beyond exhausting. Now that she is fairly vocal she no longer cries, she stands up in her crib and screams, I mean screaming at the top of her lungs kind of screams, for me. I am rudely awakened by the sound of a blood curdling “Mooooommmmm!” at all hours of the night. She won’t let me just rock her, I have to nurse her every time. It is maddening and exhausting. She is hard to resist though in all her cuteness!
I’m ready for something to give. Something has to give, I need more sleep. I know at some point I’m going to have to play the bad guy and refuse to nurse her or let her cry it out or something. I obviously haven’t hit rock bottom yet because I’m not quite ready to do that. Plus, given the volume of her screaming if I let her cry (or rather yell) it out she is bound to wake up the rest of the house and the only thing worse than being up with one child multiply times a night is being up with more than one child multiply times a night! So, I guess for now we will carry on being sleepless in Seattle until she final returns to sleeping well (I secretly hold out hope that she will) or I hit by breaking point and
force nudge her in that direction.
We are 13 days into 2015 and I finally feel like the new year is starting. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks under the heavy fog of illness. I literally can’t remember large chunks of the past 2 weeks. 2015 came in with a bang, a bang of illness, for me. After spending a great night ringing in the New Year with friends I woke up New Years Day to body aches, chills and a low grade fever. Things steadily got worse from there. I don’t think I have ever been so sick in my entire life. I spent much of the next 10 days like this.
Luckily Lorne was around to pick up the slack and help care for the littles who aren’t big fans of mommy being sick.
After a full week of battling a fever, body aches, constant headaches and the onset of popping sounds coming from my lungs I finally headed to the doctor to get checked out. Of course, I had already self diagnosed with the help of Dr. Google and I knew I either had the flu, bronchitis or worse case, pneumonia, but I figured I should probably let a really doctor check me out. Plus, I was so over being sick and was really hoping whatever I had could be cured with medication of some kind. It didn’t take long for the doctor to figure out what was going on with me. I had pneumonia, the walking pneumonia variety, which gave me the strength to get around and kept me out of the hospital, but pneumonia nonetheless. With a prescription in hand for some heavy duty antibiotics and strict instructions to take it extremely easy until I started to feel better, I was on my way.
A few days later I finally began to get a glimpse of my old self again. The meds were doing the trick and slowly but surely I returned to the land of the living. I’ve completed my round of antibiotics and other than a lingering cough and still feeling a little more tired than normal I feel SO much better. That illness knocked my socks off and I am more than glad to have it behind me.
So, now that we are 2 weeks into 2015 and I am finally feeling better again lets get this party started. Here’s to a wonderful 2015. I’m looking forward to some incredible adventures with my little family.