There are things I'll miss about having a baby. I will miss the clink of onsie snaps in the dryer and sleepy heads on my chest. I'll miss that aroma of warm milk and baby soap. I'll miss bald heads and little toes. I'll miss wearing a tiny person in my Lovey Duds wrap and little fingers grasping mine as I nurse in the rocker. I'll miss the sight of a baby swaddled like a burrito and pictures of blank stares and cooing mouths. I'll miss the firsts. The first step, the first word, the first smile.
And as I restrain a screaming, 24 lb, toddler that seems to have superhuman strength at 1:30am for over an hour I realize, I will even miss weaning.
I won't miss the lost sleep. I won't miss the helplessness. I won't miss the ear-splitting, headache-inducing, screaming. But I will miss this. I will miss this time that he chooses me, that he needs me, that with one simple act I can bring comfort and relaxation and sleep.
We have come to the time. I never know exactly when it will be. But I know it's time that I begin the process. Right now, I'm just trying to get him back to sleep without nursing. I'm not ready to give it up completely. Ainsley went 13 months, Freddie 19 months...Cohen will most likely go longer. But what I can't do anymore is have him nurse consistently through the night. It's become a problem for him and me. Neither of us get the sleep we need. So it's time to at least start this journey.
We had a terrible night 3 weeks ago, but then it got better, and I thought we were on the right track. Then we went out of town. And we all slept in the same space, and I couldn't have him screaming in the middle of the night when he was all out of sorts and waking up the whole place. So I gave in. And I knew it would be a set back...I just didn't realize how much.
This week has been horrific. I'm exhausted. I know it will pass...but this time while I'm standing hip deep in the muck its hard to think about what's next.
BUT...while the screaming crashes through my skull and the kicking and punches make my tired limbs ache and I can't help but just cry with him...I try to remember that when we come out on the other side of this, I'll be one step farther from my baby days. That soon after that, I won't sense his little body cuddled up to mine in the night. I won't feel his little fingers pinch my skin. I won't smell his soft wisps of hair that tickle my face. I won't see those deep blue eyes fight to stay open and eventually, slowly, close. And when I remember all of that, I know I can do this one more time. I can breath in every moment, the good and the bad, and get over this hill one more time. Just make sure there's plenty of coffee for me in the morning.