Friday, November 29, 2013

Nursing Nights are No More

Pre-post [Flashback Friday from over 2 years ago] ^ I miss those chubby cheeks!
 You all might remember this post from about 9 months ago.  I had started to wean my precious girl from breastfeeding at age 2.  Well it turns out that didn't go quite as I had planned, and up until Sunday night I was still night nursing my sweet girl.  We are a co-sleeping family, so when I say night nursing I mean I was nursing through the night"on demand."  If she would wimper in the night I could roll over and begin to nurse and she would immediately fall back asleep within 2 minutes, which has always worked really well for our family.  Which brings me to the point of this post...I'm sad to say that my breastfeeding journey with my sweet Kollyns has ended.  She will be 3 in February, so even though I'm overwhelmingly sad about closing this chapter, I feel like it is time.  Time for mom and dad to have her boobs back.  Time for Kollyns to turn to cuddles and hugs for comfort instead of my breastmilk.  Time for me to let go and let her grow up.  Despite all of the gasps, inappropriate remarks, and 'stank eyes' I would receive from toddler breastfeeding non-believers...I can honestly say I don't regret a single moment of my breastfeeding journey.  I'm so thankful for all of the time I have been able to spend with my precious daughter one-on-one while nursing, and I'm so thankful for the quiet moments that she was asleep and completely quiet and peaceful nursing as I prayed over her.  I'm so thankful that God allowed my body to produce this awesome nourishment for the most important person in my life, which has kept her totally and completely healthy for almost 3 years.  I'm  just so thankful for the entire experience in general.  You might be wondering why I stopped breastfeeding so suddenly.  And yes, there is a reason because if it were up to me I would breastfeed for as long as I could.  Sunday night and Monday morning Kollyns began to complain about her teeth hurting.  And not just a little bit, she was not herself and she would literally scream out in pain.  I went into sheer panic mode and started freaking out.  I thought to myself there's no way in the world it could be cavities or anything wrong with her teeth because the kid doesn't drink any juice or eat anything extremely bad.  She drinks water and breastmilk.  She doesn't eat an abundance of sweets, although she does eat them occasionally.  I brush her teeth and she rinses with fluoride twice a day.  What the heck was going on?  Thankfully my dad is good friends with a dentist (I'm officially convinced my dad knows everyone, his connections are endless).  We went to his office and he referred us to a pediatric dentist because although Kollyns wanted her teeth to quit hurting, she pitched a screaming fit when anyone tried to come near her mouth in that office.  Well the story went no differently when we arrived at the pediatric dentist an hour later, they were just more well equipped to deal with screaming children.  She freaked out and we had to hold her down so they could check her teeth.  Well it turns out she has 3 cavities.  THREE CAVITIES.  Shut the front door. I actually started crying because I felt like a failure as a mom.  I felt like I hadn't brushed her teeth enough, or that I should've never let her even taste sugar.  Then the dentist asked what she drinks during the day.  I told him water during the day and breastmilk at night.  He gave me this 'aha' look, and he proceeded to say that night nursing was the cause of her weakening teeth.  WHATTT the frickin' frick? I left the office feeling as if I had to quit breastfeeding immediately because I was ruining her teeth.  Then I began to think about it... Breastmilk has kept her out of the doctor's office for three straight years, but here she is sitting in a big scary chair in the dentist's office now having to have her teeth worked on because of this miracle milk that has kept her so healthy.  Which is more important?  Obviously I started researching night nursing and cavities as soon as I left the office.  La Leche League and many other breastfeeding advocates argue that breastmilk does not cause this, and it may or may not.  But regardless of who says what, as a mom I was led to begin the weaning process all over again.  I told Kollyns Monday evening when we got home from the dentist that her "ba ba's" might be what were causing her teeth to hurt.  We got in bed to go to sleep and she asked for Mickey Mouse instead of breastfeeding.  She slept all night and woke up the next morning asking for a sippy cup of milk instead of breastmilk.  Wow!  That easy, huh?  Of course not.  Tuesday night was a different story.  It was a battle.  She wanted them but I felt that if I gave in it would be like taking 10 steps back since she had already been 48 hours without them.  I didn't sleep a wink that night, instead I paced the house holding her and rubbing her back letting her know that mommy could comfort her in other ways.  Wednesday night we went to Devin's parent's house for dinner.  We got ready to leave and she said "Mommy I'm not going home, I want to stay."  WHAT?  This cannot be happening.  We haven't spent more than 2 hours apart since the day she was born.  I said, "Kollyns are you sure?  Mommy won't be here in the night if you wake up."  She said "Yes mommy, don't cry.  I'll be fine.  No more ba ba's."  That was it.  Just like that she knew there were no more ba ba's so she didn't need mommy anymore.  Talk about a crushed heart.  I dropped my head in defeat.  She was no longer dependent on me.  She did end up spending the night with Nanny and Papa, I cried a little when I left her there.  But I ended up sleeping better than I have since she was born and I needed it apparently because I don't even remember closing my eyes to fall asleep.  I went to pick her up Thursday morning so we could go to my Grandma's for Thanksgiving breakfast and she said "Mommy I want a real baby now in your tummy" because I have been telling her all along when she would ask for a "Sisser" (sister) that I can't have another baby until she stopped nursing.  She remembered.  And as far as that goes...we will just have to wait and see about that.  I really think my boobs need a long break.  And I want to find a million other ways besides breastfeeding to show my precious Kollyns how much I love her in the meantime.   It's so bittersweet.  I'm about 50% happy that I have my boobs back and she is gaining some independence, but I'm 50% sad that my little girl is growing up and we won't ever have another breastfeeding moment together.  But last night went perfect and she slept all night long with only a few wimpers that were fixed with some cozy cuddles with mom.  My little girl is growing up all too fast. But this is real life.  Every part of parenting is happiness mixed with a little sadness because time just goes by so fast.  I'm watching her sleep now, and I just can't wait for her to wake up so we can play and wrap a few presents together. I guess I can say what I've learned from breastfeeding, and just from life in general is to treasure every single moment with the ones we love.  I am feeling so thankful today and everyday.  I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving and counted each and every precious blessing.


Megan said...

Baby Sisser! Baby Sisser! I'm with Kollyns...Put another baby in that tiny tummy of yours :)

Anonymous said...

I agree!!! You need another little one. You are a wonderful mom!

Love Michelle

Kelsey Almond said...

Aww thanks Michelle! :)

Kelsey Almond said...

Yikes, I don't know about that quite yet! I'll just bring Kollyns over to play with Hailey for now! :)