We are entering night seven of night weaning.

Two out of the seven have been really really really hard, but I suppose that means five of the seven were good, so we’re pretty lucky.

The first three nights went so smoothly. I employed a  “gradual release” where I was sill nursing but would break his latch before he fell asleep and soothe him to sleep in other ways- cuddling, patting his back, talking to him, etc.  [We still full on co-sleep.] The first non-nursing night was kind of rough. He did great until about 3 am and then was up every 20 minutes or so and needing lots of cuddles. By 5am he was down right ANGRY and pulling at my shirt. I couldn’t nurse him till 6am. A was pretty much begging me to nurse.

The next night was totally different, he slept so well and never really even looked for milk. He woke at 6am, I asked if he wanted milk, he smiled and dove in for it. We snuggled in bed and then got up. It was a lovely way to start a Saturday morning.

Last night was a whole.different.story. To be fair he had an off day – sleep and eating wise. He would not go to bed on his own so I rocked him to sleep and then let him sleep on my lap until we went to bed. Once in bed he was restless but mostly slept. Until he didn’t. 2:30 hit and he was pissed. He cried and cried. I reached for him and pulled him into me and tried to snuggle. He wanted one thing, and it was not snuggles.

After all my best efforts I asked A to get up and rock him, which she did for a bit. Then we switched. I rocked him and the walked him until he fell asleep. Every now and then he’d wake, cry, and nod back off to sleep. After about an hour he was in a deep sleep and he and I crawled back into bed and snuggled up. Two and a half hours later he woke up “for the day.” [In quotes because we all know babies get naps, but moms don’t.]

Night weaning is so easy and it’s so hard- depending on the night. I am 110% committed to the process, and having made it this far, I am not going back. My son is stubborn, but he got it from me and I have 30 years of stubbornness on him, so in the middle of the night, I win.

I am surprisingly feeling really great about my rather abrupt decision to night wean. You see I have loved nursing. There was a time when I really felt so sad about the fact that some day I would not provide my son’s nutrition. And shortly after hitting one year, and when he started eating a little, and then a lot, the majority of his nursing sessions were in the middle of the night. He’d nurse anywhere from 1-3 times during the day, depending on the day. He seemed to enjoy the night nursing a lot. Perhaps too much, and it pushed me over the edge. [No 13 month old needs to nurse SIX times from 10pm-6am, want to, yes – need to, no.]

I am trying to remain open and zen about how night weaning will impact our nursing relationship. E is solidly nursing first thing in the morning. And usually once more sometime during the day. He also gets on and quickly gets off all through out the day. I absolutely love that he can sign for milk so I know when he really wants it, and I can provide for him. One part of me wants to keep nursing until at least 18 months because deep down I think that is the minimum I want to offer my son, but I can see going to two years, maybe longer. I also wonder how things will further change once we start TTC in a few months, and how clomid will impact how E experiences breast feeding (I’ll be dry for five days). And finally part of me thinks I’ll let him decide when we stop. I’ll only do this if it remains mutually agreeable. Had I not night weaned, I would not have been able to even entertain this idea.

I am lucky to have several friends close by who are also so-called “extended nursing” – without their support I am not sure I’d make it. My day-to-day life is touched with weaning hints and other suggestions that “you can not nurse and be pregnant.” Which of course, simply is not true. [Though it may not be fun.]

I suppose there is one more thought about weaning, and that is, I never wanted to wean so that I could start trying again. Though I’ve tried to shed my TTC baggage, I’ve still got some, and I know that if I am not able to get pregnant again, and look back to see that I weaned in order to try, I would never forgive myself for cutting this relationship short, for my own needs.

And since I have been a slacker about pictures here are some of my adorbale son:

dscn0977E heading out for his first ever bike ride.

dscn0957E crawling into his cabinet.

dscn0959E shutting himself in.

dscn0963E walking!

dscn0967E riding his cousin’s trike and loving it!

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