Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh Nurse!

Routine suits us. It makes life so much easier, and the kids thrive on it. I know I sound like all the parenting books, but really, everyone knows what to expect and isn't that handy? So tonight, while nursing Marta, I realized that soon there'll be a change in our routine, and I actually got scared. She's one. And speaking of parenting books, they all recommend starting the weaning process when your kid is one. I've barely given it any thought at all, and now I'm supposed to come up with a way to throw a wrench into our well-oiled machine. It's just not very appealing.

When Berit was almost one, I was chomping at the bit to wean her. I did love nursing, but that little one would have nursed all day if she could have. In fact, she kind of did. She nursed every hour -- every hour! -- well into her first birthday. (This goes for nighttime, too, friends.) I tried all the tricks, I read every book, I cried on the phone to the lactation specialist. She ended up nursing until she was 18 months old, and I was only able to wean her out of panic because I was 5 months pregnant, throwing up every three seconds and really, because I could explain things to her. I remember thinking that it was kind of a good thing I waited so long, because she understood so much, and weaning was more of a talk-it-out thing than a crying, mourning process. 

Now I know there are plenty of women who nurse their children until they're, like 12, and I'm not saying that's wrong. But when Berit was nursing, I was exhausted by it. I wanted to be done so badly. I obsessed over it for 7 or 8 months. 

And here we are with Marta, and I'm reluctant. Not because I love nursing -- I do, but I don't feel like I really need it to be close with my child or anything like that. I'd be OK without it in my life, even if this does end up being our last child and I never nurse again. (I'd be sad, admittedly, but I'd make it.)

I just love the routine of it all. I know she'll go to sleep with a full belly. I know it's her signal to rest. I don't know how I'll calm her down without nursing. I don't know how I'll sit in the rocking chair and do our routine and not have it happen. It's the key ingredient in our routine. I feel sort of blank -- like, when I think about how to wean her, absolutely nothing comes to mind. 

It's going to be waaaay easier than with Berit, I do know that. Marta only nurses before bed, and she doesn't nurse to sleep. But when Trevor has had her for the afternoon and I've asked him to try putting her down for her nap, she just doesn't go to sleep. She waits until I get home, she nurses, I lay her down and then she goes to sleep. Even if he does every other step, and fills in a little milk in a cup for the nursing, she still won't go to sleep. So, any thoughts, my mom brigade? 

No comments: