Feeling: Like my nights are coming back, piece by piece
So I’ve been ousted from my room for the last few nights.
Instead, my husband returned to our glorious king-sized bed with an extra thick mattress and additional mattress-topper while I made do with our decently supportive super single mattress in a day bed style in the guest room.
But I’m not too upset.
In fact, by the way that things have been going for the last few days, I wonder why I didn’t move out of our “love nest” that much sooner.
But to be honest, I was hanging on to the last vestiges of my baby’s babyhood. I was trying to prolong what seems like the last few chances for mother-son bonding while nursing.
And yes, my son still nurses and breastfeeds at 22 months. There’s no shame in that.
There are so many sites and articles which extol the virtues of extended breastfeeding. And even if there wasn’t ANY nutritional value in doing so (which there is, albeit little), I would still do it for the closeness that we feel when we share that time together, his head on my chest.
But moving on, this post isn’t about breastfeeding, as much as I advocate it. It’s about stopping.
I’m not going to be stopping completely though. We will still continue to latch on and share our precious moment for as long as we can, but only during the hours where the sun is out and shining bright because God almighty, if I have to spend another night in and out of consciousness because the baby is tugging at my tee-shirt and crying his head off when I take too long to respond to his pulls….
I swear I WILL kill myself.
Or I will die of the tiredness anyway.
My husband had the right idea. He kicked himself out of the marital bed about half a year ago to get some shut-eye in the guest room.
To his credit, he lasted pretty long as it was. The first few months, when the baby was small, those times were not that difficult to navigate. But the sleep debt kills you.
Months of not getting the full 8, or even 7 or if we were honest, actually only 5 hours of sleep per night would take its toll on you. And an interrupted one on top of that.
There are a lot of crazy people who thrive on that little amount of sleep, but we are definitely not one of those crazies, nosirree.
It’s just a bad mix of work location and chores that need to be settled and trying to get into a bit of a routine at home that led to us just not being as well rested as we should be and literally running on empty with the little shut-eye that we managed to get.
And the sleep debt was culminating in snores and less than ideal REM cycles for the poor hubs. In fact, I think that even now, when things are getting better with the bub being able to stay down for most of the night, we are both on such high alert in the middle of the night just in case he happens to wake up that we never sleep as deeply as we should.
*ahem* moving on..
Yeah, he moved out to the other room in the house and at least now, he’s not as interrupted as he would be if he continued to squeeze on our bed with me and the bub, despite us having a King.
There are tons of articles about this all over the internet right now actually – how co-sleeping means that eventually somebody will end up moving out of the room to give the baby and remaining parent more space and stuff like that.
But for all the nay-sayers of co-sleeping, I’m testament to the fact that it doesn’t detract anything from our relationship. The intimacy and love that we feel for each other can be found in so many other instances. And most importantly we are able to appreciate those instances better on a proper night’s rest instead of with bleary and red blood-shot eyes and emotions on the fritz from a lack of sleep.
Sure we might miss being able to cuddle each other without having to worry about rolling over the baby in the middle of the bed. But we know that there’ll be plenty of time for that when the kids eventually grow out of wanting to sleep with mummy and papa.
Then why bother with night nursing at all, you might ask? It’s not just about extended breast-feeding anymore when the consequences of this mother’s (and apparently the father’s) sacrifice start to eat into your health.
If I were to be very honest with you all, it all started because we were too damn lazy to get the baby a bottle in the middle of the night – it was so much easier to roll over and shove a boob in the baby’s mouth than having to get up and get the milk, warm the bottle, test it and bring it back for him.
And I guess it’s a routine that once established, is a little hard to shake, despite the fact that we need to now for our own sakes.
Plus, besides, the obvious bonding and reassurance that’s created for the bub when he wakes up in the night and knows that there’s easy access to a soothing action that will lull him back to sleep, we know that there’s not much time left before he will stop for good anyway, or a sibling comes along and we have to learn how to share mumma’s boobies.
I mean, besides the article that popped up on my Facebook feed a few days ago about how this family combined 3 different mattresses in their room for co-sleeping purposes, I’m pretty confident that my child will EVENTUALLY want to move out into his own room.
He’ll want to be a big boy like his friends, and obviously you can’t be sleeping with your parents when you get a girlfriend or get married.
UGH. Perish the thought. We will most DEFINITELY kill ourselves if we brought up a child who was that clingy.
But back to the topic…
So for nearly 2 years, while I can, I’ve relished (in my own way) being able to provide my child with a warm body to snuggle up to in the middle of the night and the comfort of my presence and nourishment in the night so that he would know without a doubt, that there is someone there when or if there are things that go bump in the night to wake him up.
In any case, the days of having to plough through the day without sleep are coming to an end I hope. and like I said, it looks like the brighter days are ahead now that it seems he’s getting used to the idea that he doesn’t need to nurse to be soothed, that it is easy enough to go back to sleep.
And that’s the goal! That I won’t have to prop my eyelids up during the day for much longer once we are able to re-establish a good sleeping habit…
It’s been a painful teething process for us thus far but necessary.
I can only imagine what this weaning process will be like when the baby is older and there are other things that we need to “wean him off of”.
I honestly hope that we won’t have to come across a day where the baby is so attached to or addicted to something that weaning would be this painful ever again. Let’s not get into the vice and contraband that could potentially infiltrate his life when he gets old enough to experiment…
But neither do I wish that he never feels passion for something so much so that he would never want to let that item go.
Obviously there are things in life which will be deserving of that kind of attention – a job he loves, a woman he loves, a lifestyle he has committed to… Things that you should never be forced to have to wean from.
It’s my job as his mummy to make sure that I teach him the fine art of restraint and balance, self control and apprehension, at least long enough to gather information about the activity or item so that he can make a good decision about whether this is something that he wants to commit to.
But for now, I’ll have to make a decision for the both of us, for the sake of our sanity and body-health.
And weaning from breastfeeding isn’t all that terrible at the end of the day. There are plenty of things to look forward to when we are both properly rested because we’ve slept through the night and it’ll only get better as we get more settled into our new routine of a good night’s sleep 🙂
Getting more winks,