Well, 10,000. Yup. We've had a lot going on lately. Yet I still manage to post like crazy...
So*, I'm sure most of you know that a couple of months back, the "na-nas" started "going to sleep" during the day. They were only available morning and night, while I was in my jammies. Ketchup Princess adjusted to that fairly easily-- I think she was almost as ready as I was-- and I was thrilled to have some freedom (to wear a pull-over dress without nursing openings, to go out in public without having a little hand stuck down my top or pull it up, to sit down without having to let a teething child come soothe her gums on sensitive areas of my anatomy...), while still happy to have that closeness morning and night.
I guess I was kind of hoping that would last forever, even after I found out I was pregnant, even as I rejoiced in each new "grown up" thing that the Princess did. But I can't stop her growing, and she knew when she was through with it. Last week, she stopped nursing significantly at all at night; she'd been doing about 5-7 minutes on each side for a while, but all of a sudden, it was down to one minute a side, if that. When she nursed for five seconds on each side and then slid off my lap to run and get a toy, I knew that this had become a bedtime-delaying tactic. So she brushed her teeth and went to bed. The next night, she went in and brushed her teeth happily, and didn't remember to scream "Na-na! Na-na!" until she was in the doorway to her bedroom. And then she still went to sleep in her usual time and manner.
For the next few days, her morning nursing session (which had long been the longest and most important for her) was longer and more cuddly and clingy. In fact, she's much more cuddly now than she used to be; she comes up and spontaneously hugs us or asks for a kiss-- which, of course, we are happy to give. But after a few days, the nursing in the morning began to resemble the perfunctory pattern that the night-time sessions had had. And secretly, my heart began to ache, even as I said brave words about her being a big girl and me getting a couple months' break soon.
Then all of a sudden one morning my precious Princess nursed longer. I rejoiced. I didn't have to give it up so soon! I would be able to keep my snuggly baby in the mornings a bit longer! But it was not to be. We had two mornings of nice, long snuggles, and my Princess petted my hair, patted my back, and was generally affectionate. I think she knew how much I needed that day or two of goodbye to nursing-- because the next morning, when I had been up all night, Ketchup Prince Consort got her up, and for the first time since she began to ask to nurse, she didn't ask for her na-nas that morning. He decided I needed my sleep, and took her to the living room and changed her diaper. When she still didn't ask, he offered her breakfast, and she went to her chair. She was ready for breakfast, and when I finally woke up, she was happy. She hasn't asked since-- even when I changed clothes in front of her.
I'm proud that she's so big that she's ready to stop. I'm proud that I managed to make it that far, and let her decide when she was ready; there were nights when she woke up and cried to nurse and I was sore and tired and swore that this was it, I was stopping in the morning for good, she could drink formula! (I think it happened about every three months. KPC was wonderful about it; he reminded me, "You've done really well to nurse her this long, not everyone is able to. If you go a little more, you'll reach such-and-such a milestone, but if you really want to stop, it's okay if you do it in the morning. But right now, she's hungry, how about we feed her and see how you feel in the morning?" And once in a while he'd see that I just couldn't handle it that night, and get up and make her a cup of formula-- she rejected bottles and pacifiers at 2 1/2 months, but by three she'd drink from a sippy cup if we held it for her. I couldn't pump without getting mastitis, so we gave her an occasional cup of formula. Without his support, I wouldn't have made it even to one year, I don't think.) But at the same time, it's so hard to let go.
I remember that little baby who nursed 45 minutes in the delivery room, before my milk even came in, and woke me every hour and a half for the first few days of her life. I remember lifting her out of her bassinet those first few sleep-deprived weeks of her life to nurse-- and learning to change the diaper first when the diaper blew out all over the bed and my nightgown. I remember when she first had teeth coming in, and having to teach her that I am not a teething toy. I remember when she started asking for "na-na"-- her first word, before "Mama" and "Abba", at five months, when she didn't say our names until about seven. I remember her starting to walk, exploring everything, but still coming back to me to nurse and be cuddled and reassured. I wish she still needed me like that, much as I admire and value her independence (what a relief to sit her down with her dinner and be able to eat mine! How nice that she goes to nursery at church and leaves us two hours of freedom!)
And then I realize that it's not that she doesn't need me any more. She still comes to be comforted when she bumps her head or is scared. She still reaches for my hand when she needs support or security. She comes and kisses me, and hugs me, and this is not a rejection of me. It's a willingness to give up something she no longer needs, and an eagerness to be like us, whom she admires so much and wants to emulate in everything. (Note to self: stop saying "crap" and "stupid". ) It's as it should be, as it must be, even as I grieve for what was, like when I held my baby in my arms that first evening and grieved that I could no longer protect and care for her just by protecting and taking care of myself, and wished that I could keep her locked safe inside my body forever. So I will let go and move on, as I did then, and rejoice that my baby-- no, my big girl-- is happy, healthy, and learning and growing so much.
Besides, in six months or so I'll have another one, and I can start the cycle all over again.
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004
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You know. Some of what you said makes me realize, "Hey, I never want to get pregnant." But some of it makes me say, "Oh, that is so cute, I wish I had one of my own."
But then I remember I'm a guy, which means that I can't get pregnant. Darn.
Great landmark, kq.
And I'm sure that I speak for most of us when I say, "We still want those darned cute pictures. And of the next bundle of joy, as well." Just maybe not in those exact words.
And I forgot to mention, if you don't want Princess to grow up just send her to Neverland. You can go with her. I don't think they have ketchup in Neverland, and children who are forever young shouldn't live without the stuff.
Posts: 6026 | Registered: Dec 2004
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KQ, the little princess is lucky to have such a wonderful mom. Watching them grow is so bittersweet. I still miss the baby that my baby used to be, but I am so proud of the wonderful young man that he is becoming.
May you derive nothing by naches (joy) from your young'uns.
Posts: 10397 | Registered: Jun 2005
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That was a great landmark kq. I'm so impressed that you did all of that. Part of me can't wait to become a mother, and part of me is scared to death. But I'm so amazed of everything you do. It makes me excited to see what the next chapter of your life will bring.
Posts: 1789 | Registered: Jul 2003
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Kq, congrats on reaching 5 digits! You must have more energy than a nuclear power plant to have reached that many posts so quickly, WITH a wonderful little daughter, AND a wonderful husband, AND moving halfway across the country.
KQ, I loved your story. It felt really familiar to me. I had such a hard time nursing my first, and felt so triumphant when we succeeded; and now having weaned my last, it's bittersweet. She's the same age as yours. I'm sorry to give up that stage of being able to provide everything. But the freedom is nice! (Makes me want to go give my Sweet Pea an Ugga-Mugga!)
Wow, I knew you posted a lot, but 10,000? You don't sleep, do you?
Posts: 1522 | Registered: Nov 2005
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quote:It's as it should be, as it must be, even as I grieve for what was, like when I held my baby in my arms that first evening and grieved that I could no longer protect and care for her just by protecting and taking care of myself, and wished that I could keep her locked safe inside my body forever.
On the other hand, it's gotta be so exciting seeing her grow and learn new things every day, and really getting to know this neat little person as she is in the process of becoming. I think that this would be one of the coolest things about being a parent; sharing all the neat things in the world with your kids. First ice cream! First walk in the woods! First winter learning the birds at the feeder! First puppy that we raise together! First library card! First time you get to be a field trip chaperone! First piano recital! First little league game and you're cheering your kid at bat! First ride on a real roller coaster! First deep discussion where you talk about life, the universe, and everything over cocoa! There's so much cool stuff to do with your kids!
Posts: 1512 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!
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