Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Nursing Saga :)

If you don't like boob talk, this probably isn't the post for you.

But first!

We had our doctor's appointment on Monday, which went very well. Charlotte is still looking practically perfect in every way. :)

Updated pictures-of-pictures.

Charlotte sends you kisses!

But at said appointment I received some shot or another in my right arm...which is the arm I do everything with and was told that was a good thing, because it would be sore and needed to be moved around. Well. Yeah. They weren't kidding. I can barely lift my dang arm, and I can't sleep on my right side either, which is incredibly annoying since I am already limited in the ways I can sleep. Our dryer went out yesterday, and you should have seen me trying to drag a bazallion pounds of wet clothes, two kids, and my pregnant belly to my parent's house to dry our laundry with one good arm - if you can call my clumsy arm a "good" arm. Thank goodness while I was over there it was discovered that one of the tires on my van was flat as a pancake, and my dad fixed that for me. When it rains it pours, haha.

It probably wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't been averaging 3-4 hours of sleep per night, which if you've been there done that, you know makes everything in life seem way worse. The sleep deprivation thing is kind of something I brought upon myself, which brings me to the point of today's post.

Nursing. It's a beautiful thing, it really is. I've been incredibly LUCKY over the past 5+ years to nurse three babies with barely any complications whatsoever...just one infection when Reagan was small that knocked me out for a few days, but...still...not too bad. My kids have always been champion nursers, and since I stay home, there was never really a reason for me not to do it.

With almost a badge-of-honor, I had been able to say, "I've been nursing nonstop since June 2009!" Most friends grabbed their chests in a horrified sort of way when learning that, haha. I certainly wasn't breaking any world records, but even I was surprised when I would sit and think about it.

When it came time, the girls were ridiculously easy to wean. I didn't have to do a thing to get them to stop nursing. By the time the next baby came, they were barely nursing anyway, and a couple of nights away from mom while I was in the hospital was all it took to stop completely. And then there was Reagan. Reagan, Reagan, Reagan.

My son is older than either of the girls were when they were weaned. But since turning two, Reagan wanted to nurse MORE than ever before. What the heck?! It had gotten to the point that I couldn't sit down during the day without being mauled, and we had many many nights that he wouldn't sleep a wink unless he was attached to his mom...all...night...long. Aside from being annoying, it was becoming incredibly uncomfortable for this pregnant mama. Tears were shed, from both of us, when I was in so much pain (mostly back pain!) and nothing would make my son sleep except for the cause of that pain. It sucked. It needed to END.

But how do you get a kid that's so attached to something that's attached to YOU to stop? Unlike a bottle or pacifier, the usual tricks were not going to work this time. I couldn't hide them. I couldn't throw them away, mail them to other babies, or tie them to helium balloons and watch them fly away.  There would be no cutting the tips off or pouring hot sauce all over myself. :)

This kid was seriously addicted, and it was going to take something drastic. But what??

I turned to two totally reliable sources...Google and YouTube. Turns out that something was something I didn't think would actually work in a million years. "He is way too smart for this," I thought as I taped band-aids over myself. "Owies? Is he really going to believe that I suddenly have giant owies on my boobs?" No, surely he wouldn't.

But he did. I wish I had his face on tape the first time he saw them. Hahaha....

I warned him ahead of time. I groaned and said, "Mommy can't nurse, I have owies."

Of course, he smiled and looked at me like I had lost my mind. But when he lifted my shirt and saw the band-aids there, he stopped dead in his tracks. "Ow - owies?" he said, confused.

"Yes," I said. "Mommy can't nurse today." I was feeling equal parts amused and guilty at that point that I was lying to my kid, but seriously, I was willing to do anything!

Without much hesitation at all, he put my shirt down, turned towards the tv, and started watching cartoons. No way. There was no way it was going to be that easy. Months and months of frustration and that was all it would take?

Reagan wouldn't even nap without nursing before, but now suddenly, with just a couple of fabric bandages he was (mostly) over it. There have been times he forgets and I have to show him again. With hardly any fuss at all, he just accepts it. I suppose kids understand "owies."

But some old habits die hard. Reagan has spent his entire life with the same bedtime routine. He always nursed before bed. Now suddenly that has been completely disrupted. The poor kid didn't know what to do with himself at first, and even I wasn't sure how this was going to play out. That's where we are now.

It takes Reagan foooorever to fall asleep. Now instead of nursing, he lays next to me and rubs my pokey-outie belly button. :D It seems to do the trick, except that it literally takes me hours to get him to finally give up. If he's snoozing by midnight, I am extremely lucky. And then, he's up and down throughout the night. Once he wakes, it takes him forever to get back to sleep. We are slowly but surely getting there, but it hasn't been easy. I can't even get frustrated, because I don't blame the kid for feeling a little topsy-turvy at the moment. I'm a walking zombie, but at least I'm not a nursing zombie. :)

I haven't nursed a single day in 2015. I can't believe it! I wish I could say that I "have my body back!" but I don't, haha. Still pregnant. And in two months I get to start allll over again. But a two month reprieve? I'm taking it. Part of me is sad that the chain has been broken for a little while, but it couldn't be helped. When nursing becomes less of a bond and more of a resentment, you know it is time to stop.

It's so funny, but since this whole thing started I have had more than one person ask me questions about nursing and if it is "weird" to nurse a kid as old as Reagan is. My short answer is, "nope." It's not weird. You'd think it might be, but it's not. It really feels totally normal when it's all you've ever done. I encourage anyone who nurses to do it as long as possible! Let your kids self-wean if you can. MOST of the time, it's not going to last forever anyway. Evie was practically over it by the time she turned a year old. Funny thing is, it's mostly BOYS that I hear have a hard time letting it go. But if you ever find yourself in the same situation that I did - band-aids. I'm telling you. It's strange, but it works!

And that's my nursing story for the day. I'm sure it was important for you to know all of this, haha. But that is our life at the moment, and it's kind of a huge milestone for this mom! This is a family blog after all, and that's what's new in this family. :) Eric finds the whole thing quite amusing. And no, I never showed him my band-aids boobs. In case you were wondering. :D

Okay. That's enough over-sharing for one day. Hope you all are having a good day!


Cassie said...

major props to you! i watched a documentary on netflix the other night about breastmilk. more power to you!!

dare i say - yay for a boobie vacation!! lol. i mean, that's kind of what it is. lol.

Adrien said...

Ha - that's exactly what it is! And other than the lack of sleep, I am NOT complaining. :D

Sara Simpson said...

Oh my gosh I loved reading this today. Im in the process of weaning Lainey now. Its so sad but yet also time for our journey to end. I might have to try this! Im extremely content with stopping at 14 months but sometimes think she would nurse forever if I let her.

Adrien said...

I hope you don't have to resort to this, but if you do, you'll have to let me know how it goes. :)


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