Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Night Weaning Jude

I'm tired.

Not tired like had a busy weekend.

Tired like I've been getting up 3-5 times a night for almost 2 years.

Jude and I have a beautiful nursing relationship that has been mutually beneficial in so many ways. I don't regret one second that I have spent with my lil guy. Most times I don't even mind waking up so much at night. It is the days following a particularly busy nursing night that bother me. I am not my best when I am tired and Eliza tends to be the one to suffer. She is an energetic little girl and trying at times. When I am tired I am much shorter with her than necessary and I know that isn't fair.

Last Monday I made the decision to night wean Jude. I know he is old enough to understand. I also know I am home with him all day and we spend lots of time snuggling and cuddling. If I were working outside the home I am not sure I'd be able to cut back on the nighttime sessions without feeling guilty.

I am taking an approach that I feel is the most gentle. I opted against having Pete deal with the night wakings because I didn't want Jude to feel like I was no longer available for him at night. Instead I am helping him to fall back to sleep without nursing. Our rule is no "milkies" between the hours of 11-6. I told Jude that "milkies" need sleep too and so they are going to bed. It hasn't been as bad as I envisioned but he is still waking up at around 2 each night asking for "milkies" or more specifically "milkies now!". I have been getting him back to sleep by rubbing his forehead.

I know there are many who think it is crazy that he is still nursing (especially at night) at almost 2 years old, but nursing is an important part of my relationship with Jude and serves many purposes in addition to providing nourishment. I will not stop before we are both ready.

Night weaning is bittersweet for me because it does signify the beginning of the end. It doesn't seem that long ago that we were just home from the hospital endlessly working to get a good latch. On. Off. On . Off. I clearly remember one very low point. I was sitting on the couch with Jude tears dripping onto my nursing pillow as we continued to struggle day after day and hour after exhausted hour. I knew Pete was also growing frustrated. He was on his way out with Eliza and he stopped and looked at me and asked, "Is it worth it?". I answered, "It will be when we finally get it right." And I was right. Every single tear was worth it and now that the end is nearing I'll probably shed a few more.


Beth said...

This made me cry since Julian and Jude are almost the same age. I've been seriously considering night weaning Julian but I'm not so sure he will really understand in the middle of the night that our milkies have gone to sleep. He goes from 0 to totally frustrated in .7 seconds and I don't want this to be an overly negative experience for him. I'm so torn with the new baby coming, etc. Please keep me updated on your progress. You give me hope!