Monday, January 30, 2012

Big Changes for Sweet Girl... and Mama

In the months leading up to the baby's birth, there will be some big changes for my little daughter. After all, she is growing up. I predict they will be harder on me than on her.

The first is weaning. When I first got pregnant, I thought it would be nice to have a three to four month break from nursing before starting at the beginning again. Naturally, the times we nursed whittled down to only before nap and bedtime. I was glad for this because it was starting to be painful. Lately, it has been extremely painful, even though we nurse for only a few minutes at a time. It's always the beginning that is the worst. I felt reluctant to try to stop it because I thought it would be a battle. She always made sure we were going to nurse by signing it and got excited before we'd start. I knew she didn't need it to sleep, but she sure enjoyed it. I enjoyed it too, minus the pain. It was special, very special.

But Saturday when we nursed before her nap, it hurt worse than ever. And with a big thing coming up in a few weeks, I knew I needed to either do it now or wait until that was over. I decided I just could not wait. We nursed for the last time that night.

I wasn't positive that I was ready for it to be the last time, so I didn't know for sure. But I realized just how sad I was that it was ending. I hate "last times." Whenever we moved I would always think, "This is the last time I'll do this here." or "This could be the last time I see this person." It was excruciating. So I thought about it that night and the next morning and decided it would just be best that the "last time" was over. I was aware enough to be able to remember the "last time", but since it was uncertain, it wasn't as awful as if it were definite. And now there will be no dreading of the "last time." It's already happened.

The first time I put her down without nursing, I gave her a cup of milk to drink while I sang to her. She didn't realize it was replacing the nursing and cried a little when I put her in the bed. But she seemed to understand that there would be no nursing, and comforted by me offering to rub her back. Then she proceeded to play happily for twenty minutes before falling asleep. Night time was a little different and she cried a minute after I left. I went back and asked her what was wrong and she asked to nurse. I told her no and reminded her that she had her cup of milk instead of nursing. I offered to hold her more and sing to her and she wanted that. After a little while, she was okay with me laying her down again and then again to played to sleep. I sure don't mind doing extra cuddling, and it helps me accept the change easier too.

The next big thing will come in mid-February. She needs to have a minor, outpatient surgery. Again, it will probably be harder on me because she won't remember a thing! I'll write more about that as it comes up and happens.

The next, will be moving into a toddler bed. I'm sure it will be fun for her; she'll love getting out when she shouldn't! I'm hoping it won't be too much of a challenge, but I'll be sure to share the adventure!

And hopefully the last (for a while) will be the coming of her brother or sister! That will be the biggest adjustment of all, but hopefully the happiest too.

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